National Organization for Women (NOW)

For Immediate Release


Latoya Veal, 202-628-8669, ext. 116

Birth Control Remains Legal: Mississippi Voters Reject Draconian "Personhood" Initiative

Statement of NOW President Terry O'Neill

WASHINGTON - The National Organization for Women joins women's rights supporters around the country in applauding Mississippi voters for rejecting Initiative 26, a measure that would have defined personhood as beginning at fertilization in that state's constitution. Initiative 26 would have banned common birth control methods and infertility treatments used by women who are not pregnant.

Grassroots NOW leaders from Mississippi joined together with other women's rights supporters to give generously of their time and money to organize rallies, educate voters and bring people to the polls. Our grassroots movement started small but built quickly, and victory was decided at the local level.

We are under no illusion that this vote marks a definitive victory for women. We know the national personhood movement aims to continue its onslaught against Roe v. Wade in other states -- recklessly placing the lives of women at risk: women with ectopic pregnancies; women with cancer; women trying to refill daily birth control prescriptions.

But we also know the women of this country (together with the men who respect our humanity) will not stand for the fanaticism of the personhood movement. NOW vows to continue working aggressively to educate voters and stop personhood efforts in other states. Women's lives depend on it.


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The National Organization for Women (NOW) is the largest organization of feminist activists in the United States. NOW has 500,000 contributing members and 550 chapters in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

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