DESOTO COUNTY, MS (abc24.com) - You can't change a culture with just one election. That's the message from the group "Personhood USA" the day after an amendment that would have banned abortion in Mississippi failed.
Almost 60% of voters said no, but supporters told abc24.com the fight is far from over. Personhood USA has a national reach. The group is sponsoring similar amendments in several other states and said this is one issue that will go before Mississippi voters again.
"As many elections as it takes to ensure that every human life is recognized as valuable," said Jennifer Mason, a spokesperson for the group. "We're committed to seeing that happen. The people of Mississippi are really energetic and ready to come back and fight this battle again."
For now, Mississippi won't be the first state to outlaw abortion.
"I hate that it failed," Derrick Faulkner told abc24.com.
The Personhood Amendment, or Initiative 26, failed in a big way, by almost 130,000 votes.
"I guess we'll just have to try for it again whenever the next vote comes up," said Faulkner.
Supporters of the amendment want to define life as beginning at conception and start a national crusade to overturn Roe V. Wade. This was setback, but almost a dozen other states will hold similar votes in 2012 and 2014.
"We have amendments on the ballot already in Oregon, Montana and Florida," said Mason. "We have efforts in many states right now. I think it's 11 in all."
"They have to sponsor it more, really put the word out, use more flyers, and more commercials," said Faulkner. "Everything to try to get it passed."
Some said Initiative 26 failed because it didn't allow for exceptions.
"It was much too broad," Tim Anderson told abc24.com. "They need to look at that and probably redefine it a little bit better for people."
But Personhood USA doesn't plan to change the wording in the future. Mason said they'll stick with defining every human being as a person, leaving some voters to wonder if the results will change.
"I honestly don't see it passing," Pete Bacon told abc24.com.
"You just have to wait and see," said James Stewart. "Let the mood of the people speak. They do it at the voting boxes, that's another opportunity where we'll get to see."
The White House is praising the amendment's defeat. A spokesperson for the president calls the vote a victory for women and families. Those with Personhood USA say even though they lost, they gained attention from the election and think that will help them going forward.
Mississippians collected more than 100,000 signatures to put Initiative 26 on this year's ballot. They'll have to do that again if it's included in a future election.