Colorado Personhood Ballot Initiative Overwhelmingly Defeated
In a strong victory for reproductive rights, the Colorado ballot initiative Amendment 62 was defeated by an overwhelming margin of 2-to-1 on Tuesday night. The measure (PDF) sought to amend the state constitution so that "the term 'person' [would] apply to every human being from the beginning of the biological development of that human being."
If the initiative had passed, it would not only have put a woman's right to an abortion in danger but also threatened the legality of oral and emergency contraception, IUDs, in vitro fertilization clinics, and stem cell research. NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado clarified in its press statement, "Amendment 62 is a dangerous and deceptive ballot proposal that seeks to extend legal and constitutional rights to a woman's fertilized eggs. It would ban all abortion in Colorado, including in cases of rape, incest or when a woman's life is at risk."
The proposed measure went even further than Amendment 48, which was defeated in the 2008 elections by 73 percent, and declared a fertilized egg to be a person who enjoys all constitutional rights "relating to inalienable rights, equality of justice, and due process of law."
The Fetal Personhood Amendment to the Mississippi Constitution is scheduled to be on the Mississippi 2011 ballot. A judge in Hinds County, Mississippi recently ruled against the ACLU and Planned Parenthood attempt to remove it from the 2011 ballot. The "Personhood Amendment," an anti-abortion initiative, from ballots next year, the Personhood U.S.A. movement -- founded by Keith Mason of Kansas and Cal Zastrow of Michigan, both members of Operation Rescue, an anti-abortion extremist group -- has nevertheless suffered defeat after defeat. In February 2010, the so-called "Personhood Initiative" suffered an overwhelming defeat after the New Hampshire House voted 219-122 against the measure. The initiative also failed to appear on Florida and Nevada ballots this year due to lack of signatures on the petitions supporting the measure. Anti-choice forces are split on the fetal personhood initiative, which has proven to be unsuccessful because it exposes that a large portion of the right to life groups would like to outlaw contraception.
Media Resources: Feminist Daily Newswire 2/18/10, 3/29/10, 10/28/10; NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado 8/31/10