Colorado Supreme Court approves anti-abortion ‘personhood’ ballot initiative
The Colorado Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that a proposed anti-abortion amendment to the state’s constitution could be placed on the 2012 ballot.
Planned Parenthood had filed a complaint to keep the proposed amendment off the ballot, claiming the initiative was misleading to voters because it did not explain the full intent of the amendment.
“The unanimous decision by the Colorado Supreme Court proved that there is no question that this is a single subject issue and ready to go before the voters,” said Garcia Jones of Personhood Colorado. “Once again, Planned Parenthood has frivolously attempted to stand in the way of the people’s right to petition, just as they stand in the way of truth, and in the way of the right to life of every preborn child.”
The amendment would state that a human being is defined as a member of the species homo sapiens at any stage of development.
The amendment would set up a legal challenge to Roe v. Wade, which upheld a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy until the fetus is viable outside the womb, by completely prohibiting a woman from terminating her pregnancy, even in cases of incest or rape.
A similar constitutional amendment was defeated by Colorado voters in 2008 and 2010.
“Our perseverance in Colorado is in response to the lifelong battle we wage against abortion,” Jones said. “We will not rest, until every born and preborn child is protected by love and by law.”
Critics of the previous amendments claimed that it would do more than just outlaw abortion. They said it would also affect common birth control methods, the treatment of ectopic pregnancy, in vitro fertilization treatment, and stem cell research.
But group added language to the amendment to address those concerns. The amendment now states that “only birth control that kills a person shall be affected by this section” and that “medical treatment for life threatening physical conditions intended to preserve life shall not be affected by this section.”
Personhood Colorado volunteers have until August 6 to collect 85,853 valid signatures from Colorado voters. The amendment is sponsored by radio host and Pastor Kevin Swanson and Rosalinda Lozano of Rachel’s Vineyard.
In December, a Nevada state judge rewrote a similar personhood ballot measure after ruling it was misleading because it did not explain the full extent it would have on Nevada law.