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Controversial measures on any ballot anywhere in America today.
It's in the state of Mississippi and what happens in the magnolia state today could change the abortion debate across our nation for years if not decades to come.
Right now Mississippi -- are going to the polls to vote on the so called personhood amendment and I'll get to that.
It's initiative 26 in Mississippi a controversial ballot measure that would define a fertilized -- as a person with a legal rights.
If it becomes law abortion in Mississippi would be akin to murder.
There would be no exception for cases of rape no exception for cases of incest no exception for cases where the mother's life is in danger.
According -- legal scholars it could also limit access to birth control and infertility treatments.
And as I mentioned this is not about just Mississippi supporters say it could set the stage for challenge to overturn Roe vs.
The landmarks 1973 decision that made abortion legal in America.
And the city has the -- to.
Needed to lead the nation and be the first to end abortion it's always been a baby and always will be a baby and -- is never a good reason villains that child in the room.
But critics including some religious leaders say people who are pro life can still vote no -- initiative 26.
26 would make some forms of contraception.
Are best strategy against abortion.
-- calls us to believe that god is gonna come into the Booth and strike down if we vote a certain way.
The person would vote appears to have deepened the divide in the religious community.
Doctors can't seem to agree either.
Mississippi governor Haley Barbour says he voted for the amendment even after expressed concerns about the amendment.
He'll join us live in just a minute.
But first let's go to John Roberts is live in the State Capitol Jackson Mississippi.
This thing is mighty close from all the polls that I've seen John like 44%.
To 45% or third updated tally.
-- it is a razor thin margin no question about that ship the as secretary of state of Mississippi.
Albert -- has been told me today he doesn't know which way it's going to go but it's going to be very close.
He also said that he has detected somewhat of a slippage in support over the last few days my piece detailing governor the governor.
Haley Barbour rather the governor expressed his concerns about it but to people who support has not wavered.
The two people who are seeking to replace Haley Barbour.
Phil Bryant and Johnny -- they say they're both voting for this amendment.
I'm voting for because I believe.
The human being.
Becomes a human being conception I believe that.
Has basic human rights I can't get away from that.
Both candidates also say ship that if this thing is past it's going to be up to the legislature to write the laws around his constitutional amendment.
-- it it appears there are a number of different avenues that opponents of this initiative are using to try to sway people's minds against it.
Together looking at the ambiguity of this long that was expressed by Haley Barbour is well last week in the potential unintended consequences of it.
Particularly for women's health issues.
What about miscarriages what everyone of them becomes suspect what about in vitro fertilization what about a topic pregnancies.
Doctor Randall Hines is a local IVF specialist here in Jackson he says that he is voting against this measure.
Our biggest argument is that we think this represents.
A new level of government involvement and medical decision making.
That we've never seen before.
We just had a big debate about.
Government financing of health care this is way beyond that.
And -- either way it goes it's going to be big news if it passes as you said it could go to the Supreme Court if it fails people might ask how pro life amendment failed.
In a state that is arguably the most right to life of any in America.
And this is bringing out people as well the secretary of state says so far they have seen.
Record turnout in terms of absentee ballots -- gubernatorial election 45000.
Of them were filed as of this morning -- -- John Roberts live forcing Jackson Mississippi this afternoon John thanks let's switch -- the governor of that state now Haley Barbour.
Joining us from the capitals well governor -- good afternoon good to see you.
-- -- but for having me -- in but the word is you have your concerns but you voted for what are your concerns.
Well I did vote for -- I do believe life begins at conception.
My concern is that this says a lot more than that I don't know cloning is illegal in Mississippi yet this addition -- cloning admit it talked about.
The equivalent thereof to fertilization.
I will say today I am -- and believe fervently.
That this will not prohibit abortion to -- -- the life of the mother something that you reported.
And and somebody may have told -- that -- don't think that fraud I would've voted against it myself if that was the case however.
And it is an example of -- something -- issued a golf but the legislature.
It should have been debated through the committee system.
All the four through the conference committees right and got these -- tiger were people who know what -- being asked of mobile.
Here's one thing we know if the seventh grader goes to Oxford -- -- big sister for a football game.
Com's home that night in his raped on the side of the road in downtown.
Then gets pregnant and she and her family makes a decision that this little girl -- carry this pregnancy to term.
-- she can be charged with murder.
Well I don't think that's right -- the last that you say that is what makes it -- it did if if there is no problem with the mothers.
Being -- but there's some bad.
That you would be right but if the -- believe that the mother may not be able to hear the job as of the teenager.
And it is a risk to the mother that it did you wouldn't be -- but still your main -- -- -- it provides no exception for right for instance.
It and yet you voted for.
I did because I believe it is correct that life begins at conception.
I'm not a theologian and I'm not a philosopher.
Certainly not a position.
But I don't know any other tab that we can describe life beginning.
Except -- conception and so once you have.
Two lives that you're considering.
Then the doctor got to decide that -- it -- topic pregnancy does or doesn't threaten the life of the mother so -- -- that is the case.
It does you asked me water buckets concerns it over and voted for how worried what this dates for in vitro fertilization.
Which is -- there's been a great -- for.
Many many many families including in Mississippi.
But I do believe that the issue about threatening the life of the mother.
If she goes through with the pregnancy.
Is taking care of this because the life of the mother weighed against the wife of it a lot of it of the unborn.
You -- there's no -- would be no legal reason that she would not choose to protect a lot of.
-- this -- -- homegrown initiative mr.
governor this this this initiative comes from a group out of Colorado.
And they -- Mississippi in the way that Mississippi has been used for many many decades.
They're very pro god they're very pro gun they're very pro family and they know this is a place we can get our initiatives pushed through.
Are you concerned that if -- well I think if are you concerned that if legislation goes through the state of Mississippi today.
That allows a thirteen year old girl who's been violently raped during a home invasion requires her to carry that term or be or if she or her life is not in danger.
Be be threatened with a charge of murder are you concerned that people Begin to move out of the -- of people think of our state in a different way.
I'm not concerned about people moved out of state but here's here's the point you made this was put up about much people in Colorado.
That couldn't pass it in Colorado.
They chose to -- to miss it because we are one of the most prologue states in the United States.
Yet they came with a process to amend the bill -- ride to the Mississippi constitution.
This should have been done of the Mississippi legislature this should have been done through the regular process.
You shouldn't have Mississippi ends with ten days to go before the election.
Coming to more what the exact wording years because there are many many pro life people of Mississippi besides me.
Who have come out against this -- -- expressed their concerns.
It's a -- great to see you governor Barbara thank you Mississippi -- read this measure to be informed before you vote.
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