Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, running a distant second in the GOP presidential race heading into today’s big competitions in Texas and Ohio, has announced his support for the Colorado Human Life Amendment.
“This proposed constitutional amendment will define a person as a human being from the moment life begins at conception,” Huckabee said in a statement, according to a Denver Post report.
“With this amendment, Colorado has an opportunity to send a clear message that every human life has value. Passing this amendment will mean the people of Colorado will protect the sanctity of life from conception until natural death occurs,” he said.
Huckabee also has expressed support for a similar amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Pro-life activists in Colorado now are in the process of collecting the 76,000 petition signatures they will need to put their proposal on the 2008 election ballot. The state Supreme Court previously approved the format of the proposal for the ballot.
The plan would grant personhood to the unborn from the moment of fertilization, meaning state and local laws protecting any individual life would be applied to the unborn. It targets a loophole the U.S. Supreme Court created when it issued the original Roe v. Wade abortion opinion.
The opinion said: “(If the) suggestion of personhood [of the preborn] is established, the [abortion rights] case, of course, collapses, for the fetus’ right to life is then guaranteed specifically by the [14th] Amendment.”
Several other states are pursuing the same arguments, either through legislative efforts or, such as in the cases of Georgia and Colorado, through a process that would allow citizens to move forward with protections for the unborn.
The Colorado plan would amend the state constitution in three places to redefine the term “person” to include those who are yet unborn.
Kristi Burton, a spokeswoman for Colorado for Equal Rights, said the work on the signatures is well under way. She told the Post she spoke with Huckabee recently when he was in Colorado Springs for a visit.
“Having national pro-life leaders such as Huckabee taking notice is an amazing boost to our petition-gathering efforts,” she said.
Huckabee previously told WND in an exclusive interview he’s convinced life begins at conception, and he worked on a state constitutional amendment in Arkansas toward that end.
“I believe that we should protect human life, the foundation of our civilization. It defines us as much as anything does, as to how we treat and how we even view another human life, as to whether it has intrinsic value or worth or whether it does not,” Huckabee told WND early in the campaign.
Abortion industry leaders such as Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado are opposed to the plan.
Such personhood arguments started gaining momentum after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the procedure known as partial-birth abortion can be restricted.
Groups including Focus on the Family noted it was the first court opinion in years that actually supported abortion restrictions and said it was a moral victory, while others, including the America Life League, countered that the court ruling actually would not prohibit a single abortion, just a way of doing them.
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