Colorado Abortion-Personhood Amdt Gets OK to Move Ahead by Title Board

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 5, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Colorado Abortion-Personhood Amdt Gets OK to Move Ahead by Title Board

by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 5
, 2009

Denver, CO ( — A second effort to get residents of Colorado to endorse a measure that would grant legal personhood to unborn children has received a go-ahead from state officials. Three state lawmakers voted to allow the state ballot proposal to move forward despite complaints from abortion advocates.

Pro-abortion groups had claimed the personhood amendment does not meet the required single subject rule and that the language of the measure is misleading.

The offices of the Colorado Attorney General, The Secretary of State, and Legislative Legal Services voted 3-0 against both claims today.

Leslie Hanks, a pro-life advocate who is behind the measure, explained that this year’s version differs from the 2008 proposal, Amendment 48, that Colorado voters strongly rejected last November on a 3-1 margin.

"Our decision to use the words ‘the beginning of biological development of a human being’ as opposed to ‘the moment of fertilization’ allows us to protect all human beings, even those originating from asexual forms of reproduction," Hanks said.

Gualberto Garcia Jones, who is also promoting the proposal, told that changes were suggested by members of the Title Board to the draft submitted by Legislative Legal Services and he welcomes the changes.

"The language suggested by the Title board reinforced our most fundamental civic principle," he noted. "While the state has no authority to grant inalienable rights, it has the obligation to protect them, and we believe the 2010 Personhood Amendment language accomplishes that."

The Title as designated and fixed by the board now reads, "An amendment to the Colorado Constitution applying the term ‘person’ as used in those provisions of the Colorado Constitution relating to inalienable rights, equality of justice, and due process of law, to every human being from the beginning of the biological development of that human being."

In 2007, the Colorado State Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision upholding a similar ruling by the Title Board.

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

Pro-life groups were been divided on Amendment 48, 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.

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