Colorado Abortion Advocates File Lawsuit Against Proposed State Amendment

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 9, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Colorado Abortion Advocates File Lawsuit Against Proposed State Amendment Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 9,

Denver, CO ( — Abortion advocates in Colorado have filed a lawsuit against the measure with the Colorado Supreme Court saying it would mislead voters if it appears on the 2008 ballot. Last week, a three member title board representing the Secretary of State gave the ballot initiative final approval.

The possible statewide constitutional amendment would define a human being and the beginning of life as starting at fertilization.

Its backers hope that would challenge Roe v. Wade and ultimately result in full legal protection for unborn children from that point forward and the effect of banning all abortions in the state.

However, pro-abortion activists have opposed the language claiming the amendment does not cover a single subject as required by state law but affects three sections of the state constitution. They also have labeled the language confusing and misleading.

Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains spokeswoman Lizzy Annison says her group and six others have banded together in filing the lawsuit.

Annison told AP that initiative supporter Mark Meuser told the title board that the measure has to do with personhood for unborn children and stopping abortion but she says the language the board approved changes the definition of a person under the state constitution.

Meuser, an attorney, told AP he has not yet read the language of the lawsuit.

During the title board hearing, Cathryn Hazouri, the director of the Colorado chapter of the ACLU, said the fact that advocates of the amendment and members of the board referred to an unborn child as a fetus was an indication the wording is deceptive.

"We are not talking about a fetus. It is a fertilized egg," the Denver Post reported her telling the board. "If you gentlemen don’t know the difference, how do you expect the average Colorado voter to understand?"

Deputy Secretary of State William Hobbs said the board doesn’t decide if an amendment is legitimate but only if the language is legal and good enough to go before voters.

Dan Domenico, of the attorney general’s office and a member of the board, also said the panel did not "have the authority to reject a measure because we can’t predict all its effects … or because voters might not consider all the implications."

Colorado for Equal Rights, a group backed by a pro-life teenager and Meuser is behind the amendment.

The language the board approved defines "the term ‘person’ to include any human being from the moment of fertilization as ‘person’ is used in those provisions of the Colorado Constitution relating to inalienable rights, equality of justice and due process of law."

Meuser’s group now has to collect 76,000 signatures over the next six months to get it on the ballot, but the lawsuit could put a halt to those efforts.

Abortion advocates promise to wage an intense war against the ballot proposal if it appears before state voters.

"The proponents of this initiative have been clear. Their intent is to destroy the landmark Roe vs. Wade decision which legalized abortion," Planned Parenthood president Vicki Cowart told the newspaper.