Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour says he's not sure how he'll vote on the state's Personhood Amendment next week. Verbate by way of Think Progress:
BARBOUR: I believe life begins at conception. Unfortunately, this personhood amendment doesn't say that. It says life begins at fertilization, or cloning, or the functional equivalent thereof. That ambiguity is striking a lot of pro-life people here as concerning. And I'm talking about people that are very, outspokenly pro-life. [...]CHUCK TODD: How are you voting on it?BARBOUR: Really I haven't decided. If you would have asked me when this was first proposed, I would've said A, the legislature would've passed it 100 to 1. And B, I believe life begins at conception and therefore I would be for it. I am concerned about some of the ramifications on in vitro fertilization and [ectopic] pregnancies where pregnancies [occur] outside the uterus and [in] the fallopian tubes. That concerns me, I have to just say it.
Think Progress notes that there's a difference between fertilization and conception, and that fertilization can be defined several ways.
It's worth noting, too, that Governor Barbour is term-limited out. The odds-on favorite to replace him, Republican Lieutenant Governor Phil Bryant, is co-chair of the campaign to pass the Personhood Amendment. The Democrat running for governor, Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree, also backs the amendment.
Adding: Rachel points out Governor Barbour's remarks on Fox, below, where he said that he wished the anti-abortion crowd had just asked the state legislature to declare that life begins at conception. And then he was asked if federal law allows a state to ban abortions as the Personhood Amendment would. Governor Barbour:
It does not overrule Roe vs. Wade. We are subject to the Pre-emption Clause of the U.S. Constitution, the Supremacy Clause, that federal law is superior here. The proponents, I think, are hoping that this will be a bridge to a Supreme Court case. But frankly, some of the opponents are afraid of that because they think this is not going to be a winning case, that they can get a better case than this.
He's right about what the Personhood campaign wants -- check out their post on getting a case to the Supreme Court.