A proposal in Colorado that would decimate the foundation for the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe vs. Wade abortion ruling by declaring “personhood” for every unborn baby from the moment of conception has passed its second state test.
Officials said the language in the constitutional amendment proposed by
Colorado Equal Rights has been given tentative approval by a state board. It was the second review for the proposal under the complicated procedures Colorado demands for initiatives.
Colorado Equal Rights spokesman Mark Meuser told WND that he’s confident of ultimate victory.
“We wouldn’t be doing it if we didn’t think it could happen,” he told WND. “History shows if we are able to give our vision to evangelical Christians and Catholics, and show them that vision, they will turn out and this thing will pass.”
While Colorado voters have over the years elected a number of liberal leaders, and the statehouse currently is occupied by majority Democrats, they also have voted the other way at times. It was about 10 years ago when voters statewide approved by a significant margin a plan to ban the granting of special rights for homosexuals.
The will of the people, however, eventually was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in an opinion that said such arguments are over “civil rights” instead of “special rights.”
Meuser said analysts often call Colorado a “purple” state, instead of “red” or “blue” for a political leaning, because of its penchant from swinging randomly.
Colorado voters in the past three times running banned state funding for abortions, but also refused to adopt other abortion limits.
If the amendment would be approved by voters, the change would take effect at the point the U.S. Supreme Court would overturn Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 opinion that found that the U.S. Constitution’s right to privacy provision included a right to abortion.
“We’re defining when personhood begins,” Meuser said. “In this state, there would be no abortions.”
The “hole” in Roe v. Wade that the organization is targeting is the little-publicized comment from Justice Harry Blackmun, author of the 1973 opinion, in which he noted, “[If the] suggestion of personhood [for the unborn] is established, the [abortion rights] case, of course, collapses, for the fetus’ right to life is then guaranteed specifically by the [14th] Amendment.”
Abortion proponents already are gathering their ammunition.
“What if a pregnant woman needed chemotherapy?” Jacinta Montoya, director of Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights, asked the Rocky Mountain News. “We don’t know all the consequences.”
Meuser said there’s no significant conflict, and in medical situations that would put a mother’s life in danger, the amendment would have doctors try to save both lives – mother and unborn child, just as they would try to save two victims of any life-endangering situation.
The ruling from the state means the initiative meets Colorado’s “single-subject” rule, but abortion activists are expected to appeal to the courts, and it could be months before the supporters could begin work on collecting the 76,000 signatures of registered voters that would be needed.
But Meuser told WND that the larger vision is more than just abortion in Colorado.
“Our goal is to take this all the way to the Supreme Court, and argue the personhood of the preborn baby. When we were writing this, we wanted to have a singular focus so that nobody is confused,” he said.
“We want to force the argument that has been avoided for 34 years by the U.S. Supreme Court,” he said.
Georgia, Montana and Mississippi also are in various stages of similar proposals, he said.
Noting Colorado was the first state to legalize abortion, due to the work of ex-Gov. Dick Lamm, then a state lawmaker, Meuser told WND, “We should be the first state to turn around and acknowledge our mistake and grant personhood to the unborn.”
The proposal would read:
Be it Enacted by the People of the State of Colorado: SECTION 1. Article II of the constitution of the state of Colorado is amended BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW SECTION to read: Section 31. Person defined. AS USED IN SECTIONS 3, 6, AND 25 OF ARTICLE II OF THE STATE CONSTITUTION, THE TERMS “PERSON” OR “PERSONS” SHALL INCLUDE ANY HUMAN BEING FROM THE MOMENT OF FERTILIZATION.
Meuser said his work is being endorsed by a number of pro-life organizations.
“We’re in the process of talking with all the groups, letting them know what the vision is and how we plan to go about it,” he said.
He said the plan would leave little recourse for the abortion industry if successful.
“I’ve read that decision multiple times. I’ve listened to the actual oral arguments. I’m very familiar with the loophole that was created in Roe v. Wade. We’re attacking it. Why have we waited 30 years to attack the weakness the enemy showed us?” he said.
The new definition of person specifically would be applied to sections 3, 6, and 25 of Article II of the state constitution.
Those sections confirm that all “persons” have certain natural, essential and inalienable rights, including “the right of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties,” that courts of justice shall be open to every “person,” and no “person” shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.
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