State Supreme Court hears arguments of proposition 26 - - The News for South Mississippi

State Supreme Court hears arguments of proposition 26

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

They sang out in support of an amendment known as Proposition 26, which would define life in Mississippi as beginning at conception.

"The citizens of Mississippi want to vote on this is," said one supporter.

That vote is set to happen in November after a Hinds County judge ruled last year it should be up to the voters to decide. Now, the State Supreme Court will have to decide whether the "Personhood" amendment followed proper procedure to even be place on the ballot to begin with.

Opponents argue the initiative process can't be used in changing the state's bill of rights by potentially altering the word "person" which currently has no direct description.

Supporters, like Pro-Life Mississippi President and former abortionist Beverly McMillan says there's nothing wrong with allowing voters the opportunity to provide a definition.

"We want to make that very clear, define it very clearly in the constitution of the state of Mississippi. That's what this is about, we want a chance to vote," said McMillan.

After supporters rallied outside the supreme court, oral arguments from both sides were heard by the full court as to whether Proposition 26 should be allowed to appear before voters.

Attorney Steve Crampton says it's the people of Mississippi who have the right to alter their constitution.

"All the personhood amendment does is define a term that's not already defined. That the term happens to appear in the bill of rights is really of no consequence to the legal issue," said Crampton.

Robert McDuff, representing the two women who challenged the constitutionality of the initiative , says the process violates the Mississippi Constitution.

"The way to do it is by persuading the elected representatives to put it on the ballot," said McDuff.

Even with a grassroots effort of more than 130,000 signatures requesting the measure be put on the ballot, McDuff says it doesn't meet the requirements to make the change.

"This case is not about abortion, it's not about when life begins, it's really about following the proper procedures to put something on the ballot," said McDuff.

After the arguments, the full court took the case under advisement. 

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