Amendment 67: Colorado voters deciding 3rd ‘personhood’ measure

For the third time since 2008, a “personhood” amendment has made its way onto Colorado’s November ballot

Colorado voters are weighing a third attempt to extend rights to unborn children on ballots this year. But it’s not clear what exactly this year’s so-called “personhood” measure would do if it’s approved.

Personhood question tries again on Colorado ballot after 2 losses

By COURTNEY OAKES, Staff Writer

For the third time since 2008, a “personhood” amendment has made its way onto Colorado’s November ballot.

Atlee BrelandAmendment 67 would create a constitutional provision that would state that unborn children at any stage of development during pregnancy should be listed in Colorado’s wrongful death statues the same as any other “child” or “person.”

Colorado voters have soundly defeated similar — though not identical — amendments in 2008 and 2010. Known as Amendment 48 in 2008, voters rejected it 73.2 percent to 26.8 percent and the numbers didn’t change much in 2010, when then Amendment 62 went down to defeat by a 70.53 percent to 29.47 percent margin, while not enough signatures were collected to get it on the 2012 ballot.

Supporters of the new version of the amendment — which is backed by Personhood USA, a pro-life organization that was able to get more than enough signatures to get it on this year’s ballot — say that it would protect pregnant women and unborn children by threatening criminal and civil liability to people who violate it. Because it doesn’t define what an “unborn human being” is, the amendment would also effectively end the practice of abortion, many forms of birth control and stem cell research in Colorado and challenge the majority decision of Roe vs. Wade.

According to Personhood USA, the push behind this version of the amendment is in part tied to the case of Longmont resident Heather Surovik, who was eight months pregnant on July 5, 2012, when she was struck in her car by a drunk driver, Gary Sheats, a multiple-time drunk driving offender. The accident injured Surovik and killed her unborn son, Brady, but no criminal prosecution was possible because Brady is not considered a person by current Colorado Criminal Code.

“This will be the first time that an amendment of this nature will be on the ballot in Colorado. This is a very different take on a sort of personhood amendment,” Jennifer Mason, a spokeswoman for Personhood Colorado, told the Washington Post last October.

A similar proposal — dubbed Measure 1 or the North Dakota Human Life Amendment — has passed through the North Dakota House and Senate and will be referred to the people of that state for a vote this November.

The personhood amendment has been a major point of contention in the race for senate, as Republican Cory Gardner’s announcement that he couldn’t support the amendment after working to pass previous versions was met with cries of hypocrisy from the campaign of Democratic incumbent Mark Udall.

Vote NO on 67 — a broad-based, bipartisan coalition of doctors, nurses and other health care advocates, religious and civil rights leaders, Latina, African-American and Asian-American groups and dozens of community organizations — said the amendment goes way too far in scope as to allow governments to intrude on the personal lives and health choices of women.

“The wording of Amendment 67 is so broad and far-reaching that it would make any abortion a crime in Colorado, including in cases of rape, incest and when a mother’s health is at risk,” spokeswoman Cara DeGette said in a statement. “It would make pregnant women and their doctors subject to criminal investigation, including when a woman has a miscarriage. It would even restrict access to common forms of birth control, as well as banning in-vitro fertilization treatment for women who want to have families.”

There’s no shortage of opposition to Amendment 67, as the Vote NO on 67 campaign currently is backed by a laundry list of 72 organizations and a slew of politicians, while newspapers including the Aurora Sentinel, Denver Post, Durango Herald and Pueblo Chieftain have written endorsements against the amendment.

Amendment 67’s passage would have no budgetary impact other than those in the future that may come from the prosecution of violators in criminal cases.

Coming soon

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  • stevenertelt

    Colorado Personhood Amendment Won’t Stop Abortions, Won’t Protect Pregnant Women http://www.lifenews.com/2014/10/13/colorado-personhood-amendment-wont-stop-abortions-wont-protect-pregnant-women/

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    • Josh Craddock

      I wonder how much Planned Parenthood pays Steven Ertelt to misinform voters and use their talking points to attack Amendment 67…

      • stevenertelt

        What a shame that you are unable to actually defend the amendment as a valid way of stopping even one abortion and have to resort to personal attacks to smear someone who can easily point out that it will not save a single baby from abortion, that it would put women who have had abortions in jail and that it won’t be upheld and provide any protecting for women and unborn children like Heather and her baby. Are you not the least bit embarrassed that you can put forward a rational argument for it?

        • The supporters of the Colorado personhood amendment have actually prevented hundreds of abortions, saved hundreds of babies on their way to the abortionists table, and it’s documented. Now they seek to take their work a step further by seeking to codify the God given right to life of every innocent child in the law. And you attack the effort?

          You’d rather have a well regulated abortion industry in which you help write the rules for baby killing, and maintain an illusion of “saving some”. But you are a liar Steve. Abortionists skirt your murder regulations, (murderers cannot be expected to follow your baby killing rules) and in your court cases judges make incomprehensible rulings that never examine the issue of when life begins.

          Heather and her supporters want the debate to be about life, and the unalienable right to life, not admitting privileges, ambulatory surgical center rules, or whatever your next creative baby killing regulation is…

          And whether this Personhood effort succeeds, or some future effort succeeds, I pray that in the mean time they will wrest the issue from your blood-stained hands and give it to others, more worthy than you.

          • stevenertelt

            Doug, they may have saved babies through other means but the amendment hasn’t saved a single baby in part because it’s been defeated by a landslide each time.

            No, we’re not interested in just regularting the abortion industry. That’s the typical personal attack you use to try to make us appear less than pro-life when you simply are unable to defend the amendment as method of ending abortion. We want to end abortion and passing pro-life laws to save some babies while we work to save them all is actually closing abortion clinics and saving babies from abortion TODAY. The personhood amendment has seen hundreds of thousands of dollars go towards something that hasn’t even come close to passing or saving a single baby from abortion. Attack me all you want Doug because you’re angry I’ve pointed out the truth, that’s just the fact of the matter.

          • I’m sure your intentions were good Steve. But in actively regulating and cleaning up the abortion industry, you have taught a generation of RE-publican politicians that they can live alongside the abortionist in perpetuity. And for over 40 years they have. It is your strategy that has failed.

            When Personhood passes the fight we start will trigger the political confrontation you and the rest of the pro-life industry have avoided. A fight over the right to life, (which is inalienable despite what you and NRTLC say about 19 week old babies).

          • stevenertelt

            You’ve missed the whole point. We can either navel gaze until the day comes that we can end abortions or we can close clinics and save babies. We’ve chosen the latter.

            It’s not a strategy. The only politically feasible method of ending abortion is changing the Supreme Court. Your amendment will be overturned in court because SCOTUS is pro-abortion. It’s that simple.

          • SCOTUS is majority RE-publican Steve. And you say it’s pro-abortion? How did that happen? I agree that it’s not a strategy… At least not one that’s working.

            And your Texas abortion clinics are open again, and the right to life never came up in the reportage. But we’ve all become better educated on how you and NRLC believe abortion clinics should meet ambulatory surgical center rules.

            What a compelling argument; NOT!

            These things further make my point that your strategy is a loser, and that you and NRLC are nothing but pro-life industry opportunists, filthy lying lawyers & pro-aborts with some exceptions.

          • stevenertelt

            It happened because there is no way to predict how a SCOTUS judge will rule. We can only do our best and hope for the best. But note that the ONLY SCOTUS judges who are committed to overturning Roe are Republican-appointed while EVERY Democrat-appointed judge is pro-abortion.

            And the Texas abortion clinics were only closed and thousands of babies saved by laws YOU trash.

            Anyway, I’m done. You’ve proven you’re more interested in attacking pro-life people who are saving babies than actually saving babies.

          • Can you answer my question about chemical abortions Steve? Do you think there’s any difference? Does God think there is any difference?

        • S South

          You are the most self-serving king of the personal smear attacks, Ertelt. You’ve got a chip on your shoulder and carry a personal grudge against Personhood & K Mason. It’s been publically witnessed by many. How is your attack on A67 any benefit to the prolife cause at all? Way to go, encouraging people to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the proaborts.
          Very poorly played, man.

          • stevenertelt

            And again with the personal attacks rather than discussing the actual problems with the personhood amendment as presented in my article. I haven’t personally attacked anyone yet that’s what you’re hypocritically accusing me of doing.

            My article is a HUGE benefit to the pro-life cause in Colorado because it helps people understand that A67 will never save one baby from abortion nor will it protect pregnant women and unborn children from violence. Not encouraging anyone to stand with abortion advocates, but if all you can do is lie about me and attack me rather than actually offer a single defense of your amendment, that speaks volumes.

          • I’ve given you several defenses, you choose not to address them. So I’ll list them here:

            1. I’ll grant you that when Personhood passes it will likely be put on hold by a pro-abort judge: But the court case and the political fight will be about the inalienable right to life. Simple to understand you see. And when BIG moral issues are illuminated in the news, daily, many will hear about it and decide that life begins at the beginning. This will save babies.

            2. When Personhood wins politicians will take note, and once we build momentum marquee politicians will opportunistically sign on. We will teach them right from wrong, and they’ll choose right, even if only for expediency. This will result in abortion eventually becoming unspeakable, just as slavery is today. This will save babies.

            3. When Personhood passes many moms will hear about it. Some will choose not to kill their babies. This will save babies.

            But there’s a bigger issue than saving babies Steve. And it’s the issue you lost track of long ago. It’s called honoring God. you’re so focused on winning political victories to “save babies” you’ve become willing to sign on to the killing of some so you can win a particular argument. You have forgotten your first love. You have compromised on the lives of His children. I pray you will repent and find your way back to God. And that’s not a smear or a personal attack Steve. It’s a heartfelt warning delivered in love.

          • stevenertelt

            Doug,

            1. Pro-life issues are already debated every day and illuminated in the news. if you think the pro-abortion mainstream media is going to do us any favors when reporting on the amendment’s loss in court (and thanks for admitting it will lose in court, which is a guarantee) then you haven’t paid any attention to the current reporting on the amendment. It’s all about making pro-life people like like anti-woman, anti-birth control extremists. It will be the same thing when it loses in court (though it would actually have to be passed for that to happen, and there is no reason to think this year will be different). The debate you think will somehow change all of these hearts ad minds on abortion won’t happen. Any why wait for a loss in court to change hearts and minds. We ca do that and are doing that NOW with legislation that actually closes abortion clinics and saves babies.

            2. The personhood amendment is not winning and is driving pro-life politicians away from pro-life issues. Because the amendment has been such a failure and because it’s been used to falsely paint pro-life elected officials as anti-woman and anti-birth control, they’ve had to run away from it. Instead of being able to fight on ground that makes us look compassionate, they’ve had to go on the defense. (And it hasn’t helped that personhood people have totally trashed pro-life candidates like Cory Gardner and ken Buck). The personhood amendment has been a terribly drag on pro-life candidates and made it MUCH more difficult for them to win elections. To say that somehow it will rally elected officials it laughable.

            3. Personhood not only won’t be passed but it hasn’t even come close to passing. Those hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on efforts we all knew would never work could have been given to pregnancy centers that are helping moms find abortion alternatives today.

            I’m not going to address your last part. It’s shameful that becaue we disagree that you have to call people like me pro-abortion and anti-God. How about reading Ephesians on how Paul directs Christians to treat each other and quit bearing false witness. I obey and trust God every day with my pro-life efforts and don’t need to make false claims about your Christian faith because I think your amendment is wrongheaded. Try treating fellow Christians like me with the same respect.

          • All you keep saying is that we’re going to lose! Lose! Lose! And that standing up without compromise on the God given right to life makes us look bad, and extreme, and it could cost Corey the election.

            1. The news media will have no choice but to report on the court battle that would be the biggest story in the nation. We will take the Personhood argument to the Supreme Court and they will HAVE to watch and report. Of course there will be no arguments about ambulatory surgical center rules, so you and NRTLC may not tune in, but that’s OK.

            2. You and your haplessly lost RE-publican cohorts are allowing the adversary to re-classify abortifacients as “birth control”. Is your solution like Corey’s? To offer abortion pills over the counter to my daughter? Get behind me Satan!

            And another thing; it’s not just about winning or losing political elections Steve. It’s about doing right, and standing for right, even when it’s hard. One must not compromise on Gods eternal command just to get Corey Gardner elected.

            You have fallen so far as to not understand the battle. You lost the culture war years ago, and now you appear to be annoyed that hundreds of thousands of dollars have been diverted from the coffers of you and the other abortion regulators.

            Supporting legislation that codifies the legality of killing certain people is not pro-life Steve. It’s pro-abortion with exceptions. And that’s what you have become.

            You are a pro-abort, but you make some exceptions as approved by NRTLC & the RNC.

          • stevenertelt

            And all the amendment has done is LOSE! LOSE! LOSE!

            It’s highly unlikely that Amendment 67, or the Brady Amendment, will be approved at the polls because Colorado voters have made it very clear they are opposed to a personhood amendment.

            In 2008, a wave Democratic election year that saw the election of pro-abortion President Barack Obama (who ironically began his general election campaign in Colorado), the personhood amendment received just 27 percent of the vote. Amendment supporters tried again in 2010 and it failed by a similarly lopsided margin. Though 2010 was a banner year for Republicans, it received just 29 percent. The 2010 elections saw a 7 percent Republican shift from 2008, but the amendment only gained two percent — meaning it actually lost ground and underperformed in 2010 compared to how it should have performed given the increase in turnout of conservative voters.

            Amendment backers tried again in 2012 to get the personhood amendment on the ballot in 2012 but, by then, after two landslide defeats, even veteran pro-life activists began to see that the amendment stood no chance of being approved. Organizers failed to get enough signatures to get the amendment to qualify.

            It appears likely to lose again this year.

            Cory Gardner opposes abortion and abortion-causing drugs.

            I never said it was about winning elections. yet another false claim. It’s about ending abortion. The personhood amendment doesn’t end abortion.

            No reason to respond to anything else. You keep proving you’re unable to defend the amendment by doing anything other than lying about and attacking people. Not a very Christian attitude.

          • What do you think God thinks of chemical abortion Steve? Do you think he looks at it differently that surgical abortion?

          • I’ll ask again Steve: What is God’s opinion of chemical abortifacient pills being legal? What is your opinion? What is NRLC’s opinion? Please answer so the world can be made aware…

      • The bigger question Josh, is why would NRLC and Ertelt bother attacking A67? How does it hurt them? They say that deep down they believe in Personhood too. It’s just that they disagree with the tactic of pursuing it legally. If that’s really how they feel, you’d think they’d view the effort as misguided, but altruistic and benign.

        But for some reason they do not view it as benign. They obviously view it as a threat. And so they attack. I’m going to work on getting inside Ertelt’s head and figuring out what he’s thinking about…

      • One would think that the abortion regulators would refrain from affirmative attacks on Personhood efforts. Since Ertelt and other NRLC mouth-pieces claim to support Personhood personally, and just disagree with the tactic of pursuing it legally.

        But since they are compelled to dissuade pro life voters from supporting Personhood, they must not view it as a misguided but altruistic waste of time. We must continue to drill down on Ertelt to get to the heart of the matter…

    • Taking time to affirmatively attack Personhood Steve? Couldn’t you just let it go? You claim to believe in Personhood at conception, so it’s quite revealing that you spend time attacking efforts to codify it.

      Ertelt cites an article HE wrote and HE posted on HIS website. Poor form Steve. I’m sure you are aware of other articles written by other pro life industry hacks who’ve made a profession out of regulating abortion that you could cite, just to maintain an appearance of credibility. I’m just sayin’…

      And implying that you know what will happen when Personhood passes is overstating your pronosticative skills.

      As for a rational reason to continue: The day Personhood passes will be the day the whole country is forced to discuss the real issue of when life begins. (And Ertelt’s career of avoiding that issue will hopefully be over the next day).

      Win, lose or draw Steve, Heather and her supporters are standing for what’s right, while you merely stand for RE-publicans right or wrong. And you’re mostly wrong Steve.

      • stevenertelt

        It’s crazy that the ONLY method of defending the amendment you personhood supporters have is a personal attack. You have no response to the fact that is loses by a mile, no response to how it will be overturned in court, no response to how SCOTUS already said such language doesn’t ban abortions, etc. All you can do is act in an un-Christian manner and spew hate against me.

        And I don’t avoid the issue. Human life begins at conception and abortion needs to end today. I’ve said that for decades. Keep up.

  • Gwendolyn Kelly-Boyer

    agreed

  • Louis E.

    Any responsible reading of science understands that the hypothesis that there is a particular moment at which the life of a human individual begins has been conclusively falsified.