Second Poll: Colorado Personhood Amendment Likely to Lose

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 25, 2010   |   8:15PM   |   Denver, CO

A second poll shows Amendment 62, the personhood amendment that would ban all abortions in the state if upheld in court, will likely lose when voters head to the polls next week.

SurveyUSA conducted a poll or 540 voters from October 19-21 for the Denver Post and 9-NEWS and the survey has about a 4/2 percent margin of error.

The poll shows just 20 percent of Colorado residents support Amendment 62 while 56 percent say they are opposed to it. Another 25 percent of Colorado voters were still undecided, even as early voting began in the state.

A SurveyUSA poll conducted earlier in the month found 15 percent of Colorado voters planned to support the personhood amendment while 35 percent opposed it. A large 50 percent were undecided at the time.

The new results show opponents of the measure gaining more undecided voters than proponents.

Backers of the amendment will have to gain support from most of the undecided voters and persuade some of the opponents of the measure to switch positions.

With this November’s voting on the amendment marking the sixth in the last 15 years on the issue of abortion, Colorado voters could be fatigued from the debate on the issue and some voters could be rejecting the amendment on that basis alone.

Colorado voters defeated Amendment 48, the first attempt to pass a personhood amendment, in 2008 on a 73.5-26.5 percentage point margin.

Organizers hoped the amendment would fare better this time around in what is shaping up to be one of the most pro-life election environments in more than 15 years. However, the polling results make it appear that won’t be the case.

The pro-life community in Colorado and nationwide continues to be split on the strategy behind the personhood amendment.

As was the case last time, some pro-life groups oppose the amendment because they say it will head to the Supreme Court, which will strike it down and add to the pro-Roe v. Wade case law upholding unlimited abortions.  Instead, they say a better strategy is supporting pro-life Senate candidate Ken Buck and replacing pro-abortion President Barack Obama — paving the way for new Supreme Court justices who could overturn Roe.

The Catholic Church has not endorsed the measure and groups like Colorado Citizens for Life, National Right to Life, Eagle Forum and Americans United for Life oppose it. Other pro-life groups have endorsed personhood for unborn children but have not spent time or money supporting the amendment.

Personhood Colorado and Colorado Right to Life are co-sponsors of the personhood amendment — which other groups were unable to get on the ballot in California, Missouri, and Nevada for the 2010 election campaign.

The 2010 version of the amendment is different but 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.

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.”