Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant recorded a phone message that’s being sent to thousands of South Mississippians in hopes they’ll sign a petition to get an antiabortion amendment on the 2011 state ballot.
The call has been going to homes in South Mississippi this week on behalf of a group known as Personhood Mississippi, which supports an amendment that would define life in the state Constitution as beginning at “the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent thereof.” To get the measure on the 2011 ballot, the group must collect nearly 90,000 signatures by Feb. 12.
Personhood Mississippi’s headquarters is a desk and shelf in organizer Les Riley’s basement in Pontotoc. A tractor salesman and father of 10 living children, Riley said the effort started about a year ago and now has about 1,000 volunteers. He is confident the group will meet the deadline. About 70,000 have signed already, Riley said.