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MISSISSIPPI’S CONSTITUTIONAL INITIATIVE 26 WILL RUN HEAD ON INTO MODERN ASSISTED REPRODUCTIVE TECHNOLOGY

Tomorrow, Mississippi Voters go to the polls to vote on a Constitutional Amendment declaring "personhood" to start at conception. The Initiative is quoted below as it will appear on the ballot:
“Initiative #26 would amend the Mississippi Constitution to define the word “person” or “persons”, as those terms are used in Article III of the state constitution, to include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning, or the functional equivalent thereof.”
No matter what a person’s position on abortion, this initiative will generate a fire storm of confusion, litigation, and possible criminal laws relating to it. This will run smack dab into technology that exists today regarding assisted reproductive technology. Even without the amendment, it is “that reality of a child conceived, or sought to be conceived, by medical collaborative reproduction that has created a number of difficult legal issues for lawyers and judges in the context of nontraditional life....” Assisted Reproductive Technology, by Charles P. Kindregan, Jr., and Maureen McBrien, ABA 2006, at 7.

The following are some examples of assisted reproductive technology to procreate:
  • Same-gender female partners who can employ intrauterine insemination to produce a pregnancy in one of the partners with the sperm of an anonymous donor or a known donor.
  • Same-gender male partners who can employ a traditional surrogate to carry a child for them using the sperm of one of them to produce the pregnancy by intrauterine insemination.
  • Same-gender female partners who agree that one of them will become pregnant by in vitro fertilization or a similar procedure, such as gamete intra-fallopian transfer, gamete uterine transfer, or peritoneal ovum and sperm transfer.
  • Same-gender female partners who agree that they will employ a gestational surrogate to carry a child for them using the egg of either one of them and donated sperm.
  • Same-gender female partners using donated sperm and donated eggs that are fertilized in vitro, producing embryos intended to be implanted in one of them.
  • Same-gender male partners who provide the sperm of one of them to fertilize a donated egg in vitro, with the resulting embryo to be carried by a female gestational carrier.
  • Male and female couple who employ the sperm of a donor to make the female pregnant by intrauterine insemination because
  • of the infertility of the male partner, or to avoid a disease carried by the male partner or because of Rh blood incompatibility.
  • Male and female couple who use an embryo produced by another couple that is fertilizedin vitro and cryopreserved in order to be implanted into the uterus of the female.
  • Same-gender female partners who use an embryo produced by another couple that is fertilized in vitro and cryopreserved in order to be implanted into the uterus of one of the female partners.
  • Male and female couple who use their own gametes but employ intrauterine insemination to produce a pregnancy because male impotence makes sexual intercourse impossible.
  • Unpartnered female who uses donated sperm to become pregnant by intrauterine insemination.
  • Unpartnered female who uses donated sperm and in vitro fertilization to become pregnant because of defective or diseased fallopian tubes.
  • Unpartnered male who uses either his own sperm or donated sperm and, by use of intrauterine insemination, employs the services of a surrogate carrier to give birth to a child he intends to raise.
Id., at 9-10

Technology is there to help people who are unable or unwilling to fit into traditional notions of reproduction by a married male and female. Is recognition of their rights going to be shattered by this Amendment?