An interview with one of the leaders of the "personhood" movement, which aims to outlaw abortion in the U.S. starting with Tuesday's vote in Mississippi
Jennifer Mason, a 28-year-old mother of three, has been an anti-abortion activist for 12 years. She serves as the communications director for Denver-based Personhood USA, a national organization founded by her husband that backs Mississippi's ballot initiative to declare that life begins at conception. The group, which was originally formed to support similar, failed initiatives in Colorado in 2008 and 2010, hopes to get such measures passed across the country. By decreeing that a fertilized human egg is a person with full rights, the Mississippi amendment would outlaw all abortions except those necessary to save the mother's life; critics contend it would also ban birth control pills. Despite vigorous opposition from Planned Parenthood and other abortion-rights advocates, most observers expect the initiative to pass when Mississippi voters go to the polls Tuesday.
The following interview with Mason is the first Friday Interview, a new weekly series of Atlantic Politics Channel Q-and-As. The interview has been condensed and edited.
Q: What's your response to the concern that this measure would ban some types of birth control, including not just the morning after pill but also IUDs and birth control pills, which sometimes work not by stopping eggs from being fertilized but by preventing fertilized eggs from implanting in the uterine wall?