Friday, September 9, 2011

Personhood Amendment

Dr. Freda Bush (right) expresses her support for the Parenthood Amendment and encourages voters to cast their ballots for the amendment in November. Bush was joined by supporters, including, Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant (left) and Sister Dorothea Sondgeroth (center) at a news conference held at Mississippi College on Thursday afternoon in Clinton. / Photos by Vickie D. King/The Clarion-Ledger
Yesterday, the Mississippi Supreme Court voted that the Personhood Amendment will be on the November ballot. This controversial amendment declares the status of "personhood" on human fetuses as a means of curtailing abortions. The ACLU and Planned Parenthood, not surprisingly, stood against the amendment while Pro-life groups were in favor. The Clarion-Ledger has more.
Bishop Latino has stood against this amendment and instructed parishes to not endorse the amendment. The USCCB (United States Catholic Conference of Bishops) have their own pro-life initiative which may be jeopardized by such political activism.
Bishop Joseph Latino
 Statement of Bishop Joseph Latino
on Personhood Mississippi petitions

As Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Jackson, I must commend the many efforts of our
Catholic faithful to promote a culture of life and to act on behalf of the unborn. As
Catholic Christians we must remain steadfast in our commitment to defend human life in
all its stages, from the moment of conception until natural death.
I am aware of a petition circulating in churches which seeks to place a “Personhood”
amendment in our state constitution. The amendment defines personhood as beginning at
the moment of fertilization.
For several years the United States Roman Catholic Bishops have been working to
promote a human life amendment to the US Constitution due to the fact that Roe is a
federal issue and not a state issue. We currently partner with the National Committee for
a Human Life Amendment and prefer to work through these efforts rather than the well intentioned
efforts of the Personhood Mississippi initiative.
Therefore, while Personhood Mississippi is a noble initiative, as Bishop, I join with
Catholic Bishops in several other states in not endorsing these Personhood petitions to be
circulated in our Catholic parishes. We have committed ourselves to working for a
federal amendment and feel the push for a state amendment could ultimately harm our
efforts to overthrow Roe vs. Wade.
For more information on the Catholic Church’s pro-life efforts and initiatives, visit and click on Life Issues.