by Steven Ertelt
March 19, 2008
Denver, CO (LifeNews.com) — Members of the Colorado state legislature have endorsed a statewide personhood initiative that would provide legal protection for unborn children, including from abortion. They put their signatures on petitions that would help qualify the measure for the November ballot.
The constitutional amendment endorsing personhood for unborn children could pave the way to prohibiting abortions.
Colorado for Equal Rights needs 76,000 signatures by May 13 and Kristi Burton estimates the group has obtained 40,000 signatures thus far.
On Monday, State Sen. Greg Brophy Wray signed his name to the petition and told 7NEWS, "Clearly its always the right time to take the stand for the sanctity of life."
Should the measure make the ballot, Jody Berger of Colorado Planned Parenthood told the television station her group would absolutely oppose it.
"It is an extreme law that goes too far. People recognize that, Berger said.
Pro-life advocates in Colorado are split on the idea and the Colorado Catholic Conference released a message last month saying it has not endorsed the idea.
Catholic Conference executive director Jennifer Kraska told the Denver Post that Pueblo Bishop Arthur Tafoya, Colorado Springs Bishop Michael Sheridan and Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput are in a tough position.
She indicated they support the principle behind the personhood amendment, which recognizes unborn children as persons under law from conception on, but she said they have concerns over the strategy.
Kraska indicated they are worried that the Supreme Court, which has a pro-abortion majority, would declare the amendment unconstitutional and it would further entrench the Roe v. Wade decision allowing virtually unlimited abortions.
"We commend the goal of this effort to end abortion. Individual Catholics may choose to work for its passage," Kraska said. "At the same time, we recognize that other people committed to the sanctity of life have raised serious questions about this specific amendment’s timing and content."
Colorado for Equal Rights organizer Keith Mason told LifeNews.com at the time that "over 274 churches have signed on in support of personhood, over 856 petition gatherers across Colorado are working hard to make a difference."
He said Colorado for Equal Rights has raised over $110,000 and that it had gathered 30,000 signatures to that point.
The personhood amendment states "(t)he term ‘Person’ or ‘Persons’ shall include any human from the time of fertilization."