A new campaign to legally define embryos as people began yesterday in Colorado. The state Title board approved wording of a proposed initiative that is similar to Amendment 48, which was defeated in the 2008 elections by 73 to 27 percent. According to the Associated Press, supporters announced yesterday that they will begin collecting signatures to place the initiative on the ballot.
Amendment 48 (see PDF) was a personhood initiative that 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”. Personhood initiatives not only put a woman’s right to an abortion in danger but also threaten oral and emergency contraception, IUDs, and in vitro fertilization clinics.
The proposed initiative (see PDF), “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.”
Colorado Governor Bill Ritter signed a bill (see PDF) in April that legally defines ‘contraceptive’ and ‘contraception’ as “a medically acceptable drug, device, or procedure used to prevent pregnancy.” The bill was intended to prevent future legal challenges similar to the Amendment 48 campaign in the 2008 election cycle.