Colorado Voters Soundly Defeat Personhood Ballot Measure Affecting Abortion

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 5, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Colorado Voters Soundly Defeat Personhood Ballot Measure Affecting Abortion

by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 5
, 2008

Denver, CO ( — Colorado voters were decidedly opposed to Amendment 48, a ballot proposal that would have amended the state constitution to define the beginning of human life as occurring at conception.

The measure could have affected the status of legal abortions in Colorado and could also have played a role in affecting bioethics laws related to human cloning and stem cell research.

In the end, Colorado voters defeated Amendment 48 by a 73.5-26.5 percentage margin with 57 percent of the vote counted.

The defeat of Amendment 48 wasn’t a surprise given polling data beforehand that showed it trailing badly.

A Rocky Mountain News/CBS4 survey released last week found the measure losing 68 to 27 percent. Opponents of the measure indicated they opposed it strongly and supporters of Amendment 48 were split as to whether they strongly supported it or backed it somewhat.

Pro-life groups were been divided on the proposal, with some favoring it and others worrying about a negative impact on the efforts to overturn Roe v. Wade if it gets challenged in court and the Supreme Court strikes it down.

The Denver Post newspaper opposed the amendment in an editorial but came under fire for attempting to make the case that life begins at implantation rather than conception.

“Medical and scientific experts set the start of pregnancy at the point a fertilized egg attaches itself to the uterus," the paper contended.

However, that’s not the case.

Dr. Jerome Lejeune, an internationally-known geneticist credited with discovering the cause of Down syndrome, told the U.S. Senate in 1981 that scientists agree human life begins at conception.

"Modern biology teaches us that ancestors are united to their progeny by a continuous material link, for it is from the fertilization of the female cell (the ovum) by the male cell (the spermatozoa) that a new member of the species will emerge," he said.

"Life has a very, very long history but each individual has a very neat beginning: the moment of its conception," the famed scientist added.

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