Colorado Supreme Court Approves Ballot Language for Abortion Amendment

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 14, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Colorado Supreme Court Approves Ballot Language for Abortion Amendment Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 14,

Denver, CO ( — The Colorado Supreme Court has affirmed the ballot language a group wants to place on the 2008 ballot that would restore personhood to human beings from the moment of conception. The measure has already sparked a heated debate over abortion as abortion advocacy groups have filed suit to prevent a vote.

The possible statewide constitutional amendment would define a human being and the beginning of life as starting at fertilization in three various parts of the state’s constitution.

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.

After weeks of review, the Colorado Supreme Court has just released a decision granting Colorado for Equal Rights permission to move forward. The pro-life group will now begin gathering the 76,000 signatures required to put this issue on the November ballot.

Despite two unanimous votes from the Title Board, abortion advocates appealed the ballot language on claims that it dealt with more than one issue. The Colorado Supreme Court ruled that the petition was, indeed, a single-subject issue and affirmed previous rulings by the Title Board.

"We fully expected this positive decision from the Colorado Supreme Court. We are pleased that they supported the Title Board’s previous decisions. Plans to begin our petition drive are underway," Kristi Burton, spokesperson of Colorado for Equal Rights, told in a statement.

Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains spokeswoman Lizzy Annison said her group and six others 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.

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."

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."

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 has said.