"We're hoping and praying [Mississippi voters] will say yes," Colorado Right to Life spokesperson Bob Enyart said on Monday. "Mississippi is where the battle is most fierce to protect unborn children."
Initiative 26 would define the beginning of life at the moment of fertilization, effectively banning all abortions and some forms of birth control. Twice, voters in Colorado have overwhelmingly voted against very similar measures, but recent polls suggest I-26 has a decent chance of passage in Mississippi.
"I'm really interested in what happens tomorrow," Sen. Irene Aguilar (D-Denver) said.
Aguilar, a physician, is decidedly pro-choice and a staunch critic of the so-called "personhood movement."
"I really see this as a woman's choice," she said. "I think this is seen as a very personal issue between a woman, her family and her physician."
Both Aguilar and Enyart agree that passage in Mississippi would likely force the Supreme Court to take a good look at Roe v. Wade once again, as it would force the justices to reexamine something that was not defined outright in the landmark decision: the moment when life effectively begins under the law.
While a half-dozen states are contemplating similar personhood measures, to date the only state to weigh in on the issue at the ballot box is Colorado. In 2008, 73 percent of Colorado voters voted against Amendment 48. In 2010, 71 percent of Colorado voters voted against Amendment 62. Backers insist they will try again in 2012.
"Mississippi should be the first state to stop it, and then we should be able to follow suit," Enyart said.
"I think this country has spoken and we strongly believe that Roe v. Wade was the right move for our country back then and it's still the right move for America now," Aguilar countered.
Both the Democratic and Republican candidates for governor in Mississippi have come out in favor of Initiative 26.
(KUSA-TV © 2011 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)