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Our Bodies, Ourselves: The Right to Choose and Mississippi’s Proposition 26

Do you know what’s happening to your right to choose around the country? A record number of states have enacted abortion restrictions this year, more than have been adopted since abortion was first legalized in 1973. Forty-nine percent of all reproductive health provisions in the first six months of 2011 sought to restrict access to abortion services, while in 2010 this number was only 26 percent.
Proposition 26 in Mississippi was only the most recent of these measures. The ballot question asked, “Should the term ‘person’ be defined to include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning, or the functional equivalent thereof?” Not only would this effectively ban abortion in the state of Mississippi, but it could also be used against women who have miscarriages or stillbirths. Proposition 26 doesn’t even make exceptions for women who have been raped, are victims of incest, or whose lives are in danger from childbirth. In fact, certain birth control methods, such as intrauterine devices and Plan B, could also be outlawed if it were to pass!

Thankfully, the majority of voters in Mississippi yesterday answered with a resounding “No!” to this fetal personhood proposition. Victory this time, ladies. With the presidential election just a year away, take this time to consider what our country would be without the guarantee of our right to make decisions about our own bodies.
To get involved in the fight to preserve YOUR reproductive rights, visit Planned Parenthood at plannedparenthood.org.


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