1. The big question - What does proposed Amendment 26 actually SAY? The text direct from the Secretary of State:
Be it Enacted by the People of the State of Mississippi: SECTION 1. Article III of the constitution of the state of Mississippi is hereby amended BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW SECTION TO READ: Section 33. Person defined. As used in this Article III of the state constitution, "The term 'person' or 'persons' shall include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent thereof." This initiative shall not require any additional revenue for implementation.
*Just a note, the term fertilization in the amendment is key in to the rest of the links.
2. Why is birth control being brought into this debate? The pill stops an egg from fertilizing in the first place.
From this page, which is the fact sheet on drugs.com for Ortho-Cyclen, one of the most commonly used birth control pills on the market, describing how it actually works:
It works by increasing levels of estrogen and progesterone, which inhibits ovulation, changes the cervical mucus (which makes it more difficult for sperm to enter the uterus), and changes the endometrium (which reduces the likelihood of implantation by the fertilized egg).The fact sheet for Minera IUD states the same basic use.
3. Why are people talking about IVF?
This one is hard to find a good resource for, since most of the good resources about IVF go into way more detail than necessary to explain how it's linked to this bill. Here's the link to an information sheet from the MS IVF Clinic, which explains the process. It's actually a better link than the one I originally offered, as it's less complex. The bottom line, not all eggs fertilized in the lab will be used, they fertilize more than one or two in case the first round of treatment isn't successful and they need to try again.
4. What is an ectopic pregnancy, anyway?
A couple of resources - from Wikipedia and for those that dislike the Wiki, one from medicinenet. From the Wiki article (imbedded links are theirs, not mine):
An ectopic pregnancy, or eccysis , is a complication of pregnancy in which the embryo implants outside the uterine cavity. With rare exceptions, ectopic pregnancies are not viable. Furthermore, they are dangerous for the parent, since internal haemorrhage is a life threatening complication. Most ectopic pregnancies occur in the Fallopian tube (so-called tubal pregnancies), but implantation can also occur in the cervix, ovaries, and abdomen. An ectopic pregnancy is a potential medical emergency, and, if not treated properly, can lead to death.
5. Are there other proposed amendments on the ballot in Mississippi this year?
Yes indeed. Two more, and they deserve your attention as well. One is Voter ID and the other involves Eminent Domain. Both links are to the Secretary of State website and has a ballot summary for each as well as links to the brochures that have the full text of the law.
I hope this helps somebody understand what we're voting on before they cast a ballot. And if anybody has better NON-BIASED information they'd like to share, please do.