Personhood measure certified for 2014 Colorado ballot

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Opponents of a Personhood amendment rallying on the steps of the Colorado Capitol in 2012.

DENVER — Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler announced Monday that a proposal to amend the state constitution to redefine “personhood”, a measure posed by pro-life activists as an effort to undermine abortion rights, will be on the November 2014 ballot.

The initiative will appear on the Nov. 4, 2014 General Election ballot as Amendment 67 and will ask: “Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution protecting pregnant women and unborn children by defining ‘person’ and ‘child’ in the Colorado criminal code and the Colorado wrongful death act to include unborn human beings?”

After a computer-generated sampling of the 140,049 signatures turned in by the proponents of the measure, Gessler’s office determined that there are an estimated 109,612 valid signatures, well above the 86,105 signature threshold to qualify for the ballot.

Colorado voters have twice rejected Personhood initiatives by large margins.

In 2008, anti-abortion activists put forth a measure that would have granted fertilized eggs all the rights of living humans, which would outlaw abortion at any point in a pregnancy.

The measure failed by a 73 to 27 percent margin.

The same advocates tried again in 2010. Voters again rejected it by a 3 to 1 margin.

“What part of No don’t they understand? The third time isn’t a charm and this same small group of proponents, who don’t represent the majority of Coloradans, needs to stop wasting our time and money,” said NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado Executive Director Karen Middleton in a statement.

But while Democrats are feigning outrage, they’re also licking their chops at having this issue back on the ballot during an election when Coloradans will be deciding whether to give Gov. John Hickenlooper and U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, both Democrats, a second term in their respective jobs.

The issue can be a thorny one for Republican candidates — a litmus test for voters in primary elections where candidates are looking to appeal to the party’s conservative base, and then a liability in general elections where moderate suburban women often determine the outcome.



  • Doug

    Mr. Stokols: I want to make you aware that there is no such term in embryology, fertility, obstetrics or any other medical / scientific specialty as “fertilized egg”. It’s either an egg, or it’s something else. And the answer as to what it is, is what Personhood proponents seek to establish.

    But I also want to thank you for pointing out what a difficult issue this is for RE-publicans who say they are pro-life, but are actually pro-choice with exceptions. Perhaps one day they will realize that it is the life issue that is the foundation of conservatism, and that they are no longer allowed to fake it!

  • Carl G. Oehling

    Please include the fact God considers it a murder. Elizabeth called the Holy Mother a mother in Luke 1. That means there was the God/Man-child Jesus in her belly. Would a Catholic vote to murder the baby in the virgin’s womb?

  • jordan

    Carl, The bible also says that it’s OK to beat slaves as long as they don’t die within a 24 hour period it’s not your fault.

    Carl, don’t use “fact” and religion in the same sentence. You are grasping at straws at this point.

    The immaculate inception is also a farce, you should do more historical reading on the topic. “Virgin” in Hebrew at the time of that writing had a different meaning… (just one example)

  • Rodolfo V Gonzales

    A baby is God’s gift of life and the propagation of our species. God didn’t make any mistakes. Babies result from copulation and the expression of love and joy between two people. God did not make the act of copulation for the express satisfaction of just one person in acts like incest, rape, domination or relegation to subservience. God gave both men and women a brain and each have their own minds, will and capability. Women are very capable of making decisions about their own body. IT IS NOT A CHILD UNTIL BIRTH! That decision NOT YOUR AND NOT MINE – NOT POLITICIANS – NOT PREACHERS OR PRIESTS THAT DECISION IS A WOMAN’S AND A WOMAN’S ALONE. IF IT IS AGAINST GOD’S LAW – THAT WOMAN WILL ANSWER TO HIM AND HIM ALONE! IN LOVE AND MARRIAGE THE MALE WHO PRODUCED THE SPERM MAY HAVE A RIGHT. IN ALL ALL OTHER INSTANCES, IT IS THE WOMAN’S PREROGATIVE ONLY!

  • Josh Craddock (@joshjcraddock)

    This is some of the most biased reporting I’ve ever seen. It doesn’t even mention the story of Brady Surovik that the whole campaign focuses on. Instead, it quotes Planned Parenthood and includes a photo of the amendment’s opposition. This is pathetic. Eli should be sacked.

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