Colorado Pro-Lifers Submit Signatures for Next Personhood-Abortion Amendment
by Steven Ertelt
February 15, 2010
Denver, CO (LifeNews.com) — On Friday, some pro-life advocates in Colorado submitted signatures for a second try to get state voters to approve a personhood amendment that could affect abortion and bioethics issues. The amendment defines unborn children as persons starting at conception, but it may never go before state voters.
Personhood Colorado leaders announced they plan to submit 79,817 petition signatures to state election officials.
The total is just 3,770 signatures more than 76,047 required, which is five percent more signatures than required. However, some observers suggest the amendment may not make the ballot because not all signatures come from valid Colorado voters and some may be duplicates.
The group had a 79 percent signature rate on its approximately 131,000 2008 petitions and a similar rate this time around would have the amendment falling about 13,000 signatures short of qualifying it for the 2010 ballot.
Should state officials qualify the amendment, Colorado voters would consider the amendment for the second time after first voting against it by a 73-27 percent margin in 2008.
That 3-1 defeat doesn’t deter Keith Mason, one of the organizers of the second petition campaign.
"I think it sends a message to the rest of the country that we’re going to keep fighting until we win," he says.
The differences between the 2010 and 2008 versions of the amendment are minor, with language changed to say a person is a human being "from the beginning of the biological development of that human being" in lieu of "from the moment of fertilization."
Led by Dianne Irving, a faculty member at Georgetown University known for her expertise in bioethics issues, the change was made to include all unborn children, including test tube babies.
Now that the petitions have been given to the Secretary of State, the office has 30 days to verify the signatures. Should they not have enough, organizers will have an additional 15 days to submit more.
The 2008 version of the amendment, and this one, did not have the support of many pro-life groups such as Focus on the Family or the state’s Catholic bishops. They say the effort will certainly be overturned by the courts and that a better way to stop abortions is to change the courts so Roe can be overturned.
The amendment reads: "Section 32. Person defined. As used in sections 3*, 6**, and 25*** of Article II of the state constitution, the term "person" shall apply to every human being from the beginning of the biological development of that human being."
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