Voters Continue to Reject "Personhood," Showing Just How Out of Touch Mitt Romney Is
Last Friday, Montana became the latest state — joining Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Mississippi, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, and California — to reject a so-called “personhood” measure. Needing 48,674 signatures to get a personhood initiative on the ballot, supporters only managed 23,512, less than half of what they needed to qualify it. The effort failed in no small part due to the work of Planned Parenthood of Montana, who ran an extensive “Decline to Sign” campaign that educated Montanans about what was at stake.
But Montana was only the latest state with good news. In six out of these 10 states, “personhood” supporters failed to gather enough signatures to enable the measure to qualify for the November 2012 ballot. And in Colorado and Mississippi, where voters faced these proposed initiatives that had qualified, they were decisively defeated — in Colorado by a two to one margin! Even in Oklahoma, the state supreme court roundly rejected a proposed personhood ballot initiative in April, deeming it unconstitutional.
Why is “personhood” continuing to fail? Because voters know just how out of the mainstream this extreme and dangerous measure is. These initiatives could amend state constitutions to ban a wide range of vital women’s health services, including lifesaving treatment of ectopic pregnancies, in vitro fertilization, common forms of birth control, and all abortion with no exceptions. It would produce so many legal uncertainties that it would ultimately pose a serious threat to a doctor’s right to provide pregnant women with basic medical care.
Voters don’t want politicians overreaching into the private decisions best left up to a woman, her family, her faith, and her doctors. But that’s exactly what Mitt Romney wants.
When asked if he would support this dangerous proposal, Romney said “absolutely.” And when asked if he supported “personhood” measures, that would define a fertilized egg as a “person,” as part of the Republican platform he said, “I do support the Republican platform, and I support that being part of the Republican platform.”
“Personhood” is so clearly far out of the mainstream that even one of the most conservative states, Mississippi, rejected the measure by 16 points less than a year ago. It’s why voters in the states have so consistently said no. And it shows just how important the November elections are for women around the country.