Life begins at conception – initiative rejected by new Mississippi vote

Controversial News | A Zygote is not considered human life | Image source:

A zygote is widely not considered human life | Image source:

Currently an important vote has been sought in the US state of Mississippi: whether to amend the state constitution to declare a fertilised human egg a person.

This move is not only likely to reignite the bitter abortion debate ahead of the 2012 elections, it becomes an interesting precedent other states – and even countries – would consider.

Opponents argued that Constitutional Amendment 26, which declared that human life begins the moment an egg is fertilized — and therefore expanded protection given to embryos — would also have outlawed some birth-control methods and common medical procedures. Intrauterine devices, for example, allow an egg to be fertilized but prevent its attachment to the uterine wall.

Advocates for the measure, known as the “personhood” proposal, also opposed the morning-after pill and destruction of any eggs fertilized in vitro.

Source:Embryo issue buts abortion in spotlight | 

Debates like this one often make me wonder whether the sway of voters would be any different if religious beliefs were completely taken out of the equation and the whole concept purely based on scientific evidence.

The fundamental moral law “thou shall not kill” obviously extends to atheists and “no religion”, however, the “divine unknown” of whether or not you will be punished for accidentally murdering an unborn child out of convenience is lifted. Without this fear of spiritual consequences brought on by belief, suddenly, the pressure to categorise a zygote as a baby is considerably lessened.

Interestingly, here, despite Mississippi being a state of 86% Christianity and 10% “no religion”, the majority of voters declared that a fertilised egg is not a person, and therefore, can be “aborted” with no consequence to the moral conscience.

So, is this a case of 21st century science,  of educated humans assessing irrefutable evidence, prevailing over conservative belief? Or is this simply “no news” while the debate rages on in the minds of citizens? The vote, after all, is not a new idea: the morning after pill has been legal in most countries since the early 2000s.

One pro-life blogger from Dakota explained the result like this:

You can bet this proposal had the pro-abort people doing back flips to defeat it, because it would outlaw abortion in our state.  The hell-backed, baby-killing business is huge money for those involved in it, and when there is huge money involved, people do not take kindly to a threat against it, even if the threat comes from a conservative state like Mississippi with only one abortion mill in it.

So, the pro-aborts went into overdrive flooding the state with all sorts of scare-tactic misinformation.  I heard everything from preposterous declarations that a woman who suffers a miscarriage would be prosecuted for murder to the claim that contraceptives would be made illegal.


One country that in 2009 outlawed the morning after pill on the grounds that conception = human life, is Peru.

Judges of Peru’s Constitutional Court considered that the right to life of a conceived child could be affected “on the grounds that the absence of abortive effect – the inhibition of implantation of the fertilized ovum in the endometrium – has not been proven.”

Not surprisingly, they had to look no further than the insert included with the MAR put there by the drug manufacturer, which clearly states that the “pregnancy prevention” happens because the zygote is prevented from implanting in the uterus.

As Peru has a law defending the right to life of each of her citizens, beginning at the moment of conception, this abortifacient drug has now been banned throughout the entire country.

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Categories: Beliefs, Morals, Health, Medicine, Science, Technology

Author:Andrew Beato

CEO, Chief Editor and founder of Intentious. Passionate comment enthusiast, amateur philosopher, Quora contributor, audiobook and general knowledge addict.

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3 Comments on “Life begins at conception – initiative rejected by new Mississippi vote”

  1. James Hill
    November 23, 2011 at 9:58 am #

    Religion provides a framework (arguably a bad one) for ascertaining when life begins, but relying purely on “science” doesn’t bring us any closer to settling the argument on when life begins. What is a reliable metric for deciding when an organic aggregate of cells constitutes a human life? Is it consciousness? Babies are able to hear sounds and begin moving in the womb during later stages of development. Is it autonomy, the ability to survive without contact with the mother? If so, we should be free to abort toddlers.
    Most people do not have a fully articulated answer for this, but acknowledge it occurs sometime during pregnancy. Very few people advocate being able to abort a child seconds before labour begins, and very few people suggest that a zygote is a human life. The answer lies somewhere in the middle, but it’s very hard to get people to agree upon exactly where in the middle.

  2. rich
    December 6, 2011 at 11:46 am #

    There is one thing the religious have right. The zygote is life, and the spark of life is sacred because it cannot be created from nothing, or mixing chemicals in a vat.

    Conversely, we murder chickens all the time to eat for food, so how is disposing of a zygote any different?

    • December 7, 2011 at 1:14 pm #

      I think even all pro-abortionists admit that a zygote is alive, the question is whether it’s human

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