Tags: Mississippi Abortion Amendment

Barbour: Life-at-Fertilization Prop 'Ambiguous'

Wednesday, 02 Nov 2011 03:33 PM

JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi's Republican governor, Haley Barbour, says the life-at-fertilization initiative on next Tuesday's state ballot is "ambiguous" and he's not sure whether he'll vote for or against it.

Initiative 26 seeks to amend the state constitution to declare that life begins when a human egg is fertilized.

Barbour told reporters Wednesday he opposes abortion but thinks the initiative could have unintended consequences if it passes. For example, he said it's unclear whether the measure would hamper in vitro fertilization or limit medical treatment for women with ectopic pregnancies. Such concerns have also been raised by physicians' groups, including one that represents Mississippi obstetricians and gynecologists.

Barbour, who leaves office in January after two terms, said he believes life begins at conception, but he thinks that's different than what the initiative asks.

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