The world will watch today as Mississippi votes on a “personhood” amendment that begins protection at fertilization. It, in short, gives the status of a human being to a zygote. This could have a profound and negative impact on birth control, in vitro fertilization and medical treatment of problem pregnancies, not to mention give birth to a host of legal entanglements. Anti-abortion extremists in many states, including Arkansas, are poised to push similar measures.

Mother Jones, too, notes that federal legislation with five dozen Republican sponsors is pending to attempt to do the same thing at the federal level. Noted: U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford is among the sponsors so far, though not Reps. Tim Griffin and Steve Womack.