The Secular Coalition for America Applauds Mississippians for Voting 'No' on the Proposed 'Personhood' Amendment

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Secular Coalition for America applauds the people of Mississippi for voting against Initiative 26, an amendment to the state constitution that would have defined a person as a human being “from the moment of fertilization.”

The Secular Coalition for America firmly opposed the “personhood amendment” because it was not based on scientific research or rational thought. Instead the amendment was based on religious dogma, imposing state-sponsored religion on the citizens of Mississippi, while simultaneously preventing women from receiving basic health services.

Time and time again we have seen from this Congress a move to break down the barriers between church and state. We saw it last week in H. CON. RES. 13, which reaffirmed ‘‘In God We Trust’’ as the national motto. We saw it last month when Congress passed the religiously-based House Resolution 358 that would allow health care administrators the right to deny a pregnant woman life-saving procedures if that procedure offends the religious conscience of the provider – even in cases where the pregnancy is not viable.

“The ‘personhood’ amendment was a threat to the use of contraceptives, which actually help to prevent the abortions the religious right claims to want to end,” said Herb Silverman, President of the Secular Coalition for America, adding that the bill unconstitutionally favored one religion over another. “Declaring a fertilized egg to be a ‘person’ violates the religious freedom of people with different faiths or none, when those beliefs teach otherwise.”

While we are happy that the people of Mississippi said “no” to those who wanted to impose religious dogma on the secular government, we deplore ongoing efforts to put religion into government—both at the state and federal levels.

“Instead of looking for practical solutions to solve problems, many on the religious right continue to find wedge issues to divide our country, tie up states in legal disputes, and erode the rights of women,” said Silverman.

The Secular Coalition continues to urge the American people to fight back against lawmakers who aim to annihilate the separation of church and state—and attack the very principles upon which our country was founded.



CONTACT: Lauren Anderson Youngblood, SCA communications manager …….. 202-299-1091 ext. 205 or [email protected]

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