Judge: rewrite personhood measure

A district judge ruled earlier this week that a fetal personhood ballot measure in Nevada — similar to the one that failed in Mississippi — provides “inadequate” information on its potential effects on access to birth control, in-vitro fertilization, treatment for ectopic pregnancies, and stem cell research.

Nevada District Judge James E. Wilson ordered sponsors of the measure to add the following language before attempting to collect the 72,352 signatures needed to get on next year’s ballot: 

The initiative would protect a prenatal person regardless of whether or not the prenatal person would live, grow, or develop in the womb or survive birth; prevent all abortions even in the case of rape, incest, or serious threats to the woman’s health or life, or when a woman is suffering from a miscarriage, or as an emergency treatment for an ectopic pregnancy. The initiative will impact some rights Nevada women currently have to access certain fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization. The initiative will impact some rights Nevada women currently have to utilize some forms of birth control, including the “pill;” and to access certain fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization. The initiative will affect embryonic stem cell research, which offers potential for treating diseases such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, and others.

The decision has left Personhood USA, the national group behind the Nevada initiative, undecided on what to do next. Said Personood USA President Keith Mason:

"What this amounts to is the judge forcing us to carry the opponents’ talking points in the summary of the bill. We do not agree with that at all, and we’re making the decision of whether to refile the measure with new language or appeal to the Supreme Court."

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