Kathryn Lopez

As supporters of the initiative were accused yet again of waging a war on contraception, it could be argued that the real force intent on control in such matters actually consists of the liberal sisterhood with megaphones, and the current presidential administration. Wielding under-the-radar regulatory directives, the pro-choice brigade can be quite productive. Take, for instance, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, suing on behalf of Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina because of recent government regulations that would force the religious educational institution to cover contraceptives, sterilization and forms of abortion in its employee health-insurance plans.

Beyond political and legal strategy, Christopher Tollefsen, co-author of "Embryo" observes: "This amendment was about whether every human being, including the youngest, deserved full moral and legal protection, a condition that could be called 'personhood.' If it moves debate in that direction, I think it was valuable."

So what exactly is a person, anyway? We have answers, whether we always acknowledge them or not. Scientifically. Biologically. Emotionally. A veil was lifted on an infamously unconstructive debate when sonograms became commonplace in the lives of pregnant women. It's why activists work to help crisis-pregnancy centers raise money for more such windows into the womb. It's why having conversations about who and what we value must be had out in the open, with a little less demonization and more debate about related choices we make, from the most intimate to the financial and yes, political.

I agree with those who say women won a victory in Mississippi. Because, somewhere, beyond misleading victory gongs, there's a little more honesty about humans and human rights. A little victory in defeat.

Kathryn Lopez

Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, writes a weekly column of conservative political and social commentary for Newspaper Enterprise Association.