SOUTHAVEN, MS (abc24.com) - When does life begin? It’s a fundamental and controversial question on the ballot in Mississippi and there is a lot of national interest in the answer.
Voters were deeply split on Initiative 26, the so-called Personhood Amendment. The outcome of this vote could have a wide ranging affect on the entire country.
"I voted yes for amendment 26," said voter Angela Devault.
"I voted no," said another voter, Jeannette Gordon.
The long lines at the DeSoto Civic Center were a clear indication people wanted their opinions known.
"My whole basis of coming here today was making sure I was heard," said voter Michael Pugh.
Does life begin at the moment of fertilization? That was the question put before voters with Initiative 26, but many said the outcome will be about much more.
"I'm totally pro-life but there are a lot of circumstances that would also cause me to vote no because it's just not a cut and dry situation,” Gordon told abc24.com.
"You read the facts and you go to your bible to read what God says. This is murder, when you kill these little babies it’s murder,” said Devault.
"Once you get the government interfering with someone's personal body then you're crossing all kinds of lines,” said Pugh.
The faith community is also weighing in.
"Obviously rape is a horrible thing but lets not make it any worse than it already is by murdering an innocent child," said Nathan Moore, the Youth Pastor at the Calvary Baptist Church in Horn Lake Mississippi.
Moore hopes the national spotlight on Mississippi will help set the tone for the entire country.
"Nationally, people think Mississippi is backwards and Mississippi is a bunch of conservatives, religious wackos, but my hope is that Mississippi will set the tone for the rest of the nation,” Moore told abc24.com.
Six other states could vote on similar measures in 2012.