By Bryan Fischer
Follow me on Twitter: @BryanJFischer, on Facebook at “Focal Point”
After sounding dazed and confused on Wednesday about Amendment 26, Mississippi’s pro-life personhood amendment, Gov. Haley Barbour voted for it on Thursday.
Barbour was voting via absentee ballot.
Amendment 26 defines personhood as beginning at the moment of conception, and if passed by a majority of voters on Tuesday, will amend the state constitution to make Mississippi the first state in the union to provide legal protection for all unborn babies since the infamous Roe v. Wade ruling of 1973.
The pro-life governor had sent shock waves through the pro-life community in Mississippi by telling Fox News that the language in the amendment is “ambiguous.” Unfortunately for the governor, the language is not ambiguous at all. It defines personhood as beginning at the moment of conception. That’s it. Nothing confusing or ambiguous about it at all.
That the governor could be misled about the amendment at this late stage shows the effectiveness of the lies Planned Parenthood has been telling about it.
Gov. Barbour seemed cobbed up on Wednesday about the difference between “conception” and “fertilization.” There isn’t any, and it’s almost bizarre that the governor could be that mixed up about something so simple and straightforward at this point in the campaign. As Jackson, MS, OB-GYN Dr. Shani Meck said, "Conception is to fertilization as the Republican Party is to the GOP - they are one and the same."
Barbour evidently believed, at least for a time, the lie that the amendment would ban in vitro fertilization. It does nothing of the sort. It simply directs that no fertilized embryo, which is a human being in its earliest stage of development, is flushed into the sewer as medical waste.
He also believed the lie that the amendment will prevent doctors from performing life-saving surgeries on women with tubal pregnancies or with conditions such as severe preeclampsia or toxemia. It will not.
The governor did not get his mind right until after his sound bites from Wednesday had been grabbed and turned into robocalls against the amendment by Planned Parenthood operatives.
Fortunately, the governor’s pro-life instincts - and perhaps his desire to preserve electoral viability should he decide eventually to run for the United States senate - kept him from casting a disastrous vote. Said the governor: “I know life begins at conception. So I think the right thing to do was to vote for it.”
Had Barbour voted against personhood, he would have placed himself in the bizarre position of being more pro-abortion than the Democratic candidate for governor, Johnny DuPree, who has endorsed it.
Pfizer, which produces the leading abortion pill in the U.S., donated generously to Gov. Barbour’s gubernatorial campaign in 2007. Thus Pfizer had a vested interest in Gov. Barbour’s public position on this issue and on the outcome of this vote. Who knows what behind-the-scenes pressure Pfizer lobbyists exerted on the governor?
Mississippi will have a new chief executive on Tuesday, and no matter who wins, Amendment 26 will have a friend in the governor’s office, as the Republican candidate, Phil Bryant, is co-chairman of the Yes on 26 campaign.
And both candidates for attorney general, the Democrat as well as the Republican, have pledged to defend the amendment vigorously in court.
It truly would have been a freakish thing for Gov. Barbour to come down well to the left of the two leading Democratic candidates for higher office in his home state. The pro-life community is breathing a sigh of relief today that he saw the light in time.
The Supreme Court justices, during the oral arguments which led to their Roe v. Wade ruling, made it clear in questioning Roe’s attorney that, had the personhood and rights of the unborn been established and defined in law, she would have had a nearly “impossible case.” She laughed nervously and agreed.
Mississippi has the chance on Tuesday to be the first state in the union to follow the path marked out by even left-leaning justices 38 years ago, by following Dr. Seuss’ wisdom and declaring that “a person’s a person, no matter how small.” Here’s hoping and praying that on Tuesday Mississippi voters will cast a resounding vote for life. And may the death tolls for Roe v. Wade begin ringing throughout the land.
(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.)