Thursday, December 22, 2011

Personhood issue moves a step closer to ballot again

Posted By on Thu, Dec 22, 2011 at 9:04 AM

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For the third time, extreme pro-lifers are planning to put an initiative on the Colorado ballot asking voters to give zygotes and fetuses the same rights as people.

The so-called "personhood amendment" is being considered by the Colorado Secretary of State as Initiative 46. Wednesday, it made a major stride toward the ballot when the Secretary of State's office decided that its language did not violate the state's single subject rule as opponents alleged.

Proponents still have a long road ahead of them to get their question on the ballot, not the least of which will be petitioning if final approval from the Title Setting Review Board is granted.

The personhood amendment has been badly beaten in Colorado twice, and a similar measure was recently turned down by voters in Mississippi. But the strategy of proponents appears to be putting the initiative on the ballot year after year and hoping that low voter turnout or a sudden conservative surge in voting might tip the scales.

Meanwhile, opponents of the measures say that get-out-the-vote efforts are exhausting their resources since personhood initiatives pop up repeatedly.

Here's a word from Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains:


Statement by Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains’ CEO and President Vicki Cowart about challenge to Personhood Colorado’s Title Review Board Hearing concerning 2012 citizen-driven Ballot Initiative

DENVER — “Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains is disappointed in today’s decision by the state Title Setting Review Board to unanimously motion in favor of Personhood Colorado’s push to place a so-called ‘personhood’ amendment on the 2012 ballot. Today’s effort will make it Personhood Colorado’s third attempt since 2008.

“Opponents of the measure challenged Personhood Colorado’s presentation to the Title Board, stating that their proposal is not consistent with the state’s single subject clause for citizen-driven ballot initiatives. Planned Parenthood agrees with this claim. While we believe that the outcomes of 2012 proposed measure would be just as dangerous as the previous two attempts, the new language in the 2012 measure appears to create a plethora of new problems that will require additional legal analysis.

“The new language undoubtedly touches on multiple subjects, which would fly in the face of the Colorado Constitution. In fact the 2012 proposed measure, arguably, goes much further than the ballot measure Colorado voters defeated in the 2008 and 2010 elections.

“While Personhood Colorado believes it has addressed the concerns of Colorado voters and answered questions of past attempts, the new ballot language actually poses more questions and greater legal ambiguity. This new language is merely a smokescreen for Personhood Colorado’s real agenda, which is to restrict a woman’s ability to make personal, private medical decisions about her own body.

“Planned Parenthood, in conjunction with the coalition group that defeated Amendment 62 in the 2010 election, is determined to defeat Personhood Colorado’s third attempt to take health care options away from women.”

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