Defeat of Personhood Bill in Colorado Sparks National Movement for Initiatives

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

Defeat of Personhood Bill in Colorado Sparks National Movement for Initiatives

by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 5
, 2008

Denver, CO ( — The backers of the personhood measure that fell to a 3-1 defeat in Colorado aren’t taking the loss personally. In fact, the sponsors of Amendment 48 say they’re using the experience the gained in trying to define unborn children as human beings at conception and taking it to other states.

The Colorado Personhood Amendment was defeated at the ballot box but organizers tell the "victory" in the landslide defeat is the start of a new movement to replicate the ballot measure elsewhere.

Cal Zastrow, a Michigan-based pro-life advocate who headed up a similar measure in his state, is the co-founder of a new group called Personhood USA, we will oversee the ballot measures in over a dozen states.

He told that now is the time for "pushing for the recognition of the God given right to life for all innocent persons. Persons are humans beings from the moment of fertilization."

"Personhood USA will emulate the steadfastness of William Wilberforce, in that we will continue to advocate for the pre-born regardless of polls or winning or losing elections," he added.

Keith Mason, one of the Personhood Amendment organizers, says his group plans to take the measure to every state where citizens can put proposals on the ballot and to submit them over and over again until they win.

"If we fail to get enough votes to affirm personhood, we will use it as a baseline and try again, educating while we do, and keep trying until we succeed," he told

Win or lose, Mason believes the efforts help educate the public about the beginning of human life and foster more respect for unborn children.

"Personhood has changed the abortion debate. Now we are asking, ‘When does human life begin?’ The opposition can not and will not answer this question, but we can. And when we answer that question, we win," Mason said.

In Colorado, pro-life advocates were divided on the personhood amendment and some pro-life groups did not lend their support to the measure.

They’re concerned the ballot proposal would be overturned in court and the Supreme Court would eventually use it to strengthen the case law favoring Roe v. Wade.

They say they ideologically support the goal but believe the focus should be placed on changing the Supreme Court so Roe v. Wade can be overturned. Then, any state can approve a personhood measure and protect unborn children from abortion.

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