Last night, voters in Mississippi–one of the most conservative states in the country–voted against the controversial bill that would have declared a fertilized egg a person.

Despite initial polling that suggested the bill might pass, Mississippi voters overwhelmingly voted it down, ensuring women in the state would still have access to abortion and contraception services.

Supporters of the bill argued that it didn’t “matter whether you’re rich or poor, black or white, or even if your father was a rapist,” fertilized eggs should be granted the same rights as living people. While opponents felt that such a designation was not only silly, but also dangerous because it would limit access to some forms of birth control.

In spite of the bill’s defeat (and other such laws being voted down in several other states), anti-abortion activists vow to keep fighting. But as Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said,  “An amendment that allows politicians to further interfere in our personal, private medical decisions, including a woman’s right to choose safe, legal abortion, is unacceptable.”


*Photo courtesy of Bruce Newman / AP/Oxford Eagle /November 8, 2011

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