A controversial Mississippi ballot measure that would have defined human life as beginning at fertilization was defeated Tuesday.
The so-called "personhood" initiative initially was seen as another test of abortion rights, one that supporters hoped might be the vehicle through which the U.S. Supreme Court would revisit the Roe vs. Wade decision.
But the full wording of the measure as it appeared on the ballot -- to define every human being as a person "from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the equivalent thereof" -- gave even staunch abortion foes pause.
The state's Republican governor, Haley Barbour, told an interviewer last week that "the ambiguity of the wording is striking a lot of pro-life people here as concerning." He said Tuesday that he ultimately voted for it, but acknowledged it still faced a stiff fight.