Sunday, November 25, 2007

Rocky Mountain NewsHome News Business Sports Entertainment Living Outdoors Opinion Multimedia Your Space Jobs Autos Homes Classifieds Shop Local Nation World Weather Traffic Education Politics Obituaries Special Reports Columns & Blogs Tech & Telecom Money & Markets Airlines & Aerospace Real Estate Energy Health Care Retail Skiing & Tourism More Business Special Reports Columns & Blogs Broncos Avalanche Nuggets Rockies Rapids College Fantasy Sports Racing Olympics Golf More Sports Rocky Preps Special Reports Columns & Blogs Movies TV Music Art & Architecture Theater Dining Nightlife Books Fun & Games Events More Entertainment Special Reports Columns & Blogs Health & Fitness Fashion Food Home & Garden More Living Special Reports Columns & Blogs Mountain Activities Escapes Hunting & Fishing Skiing & Snowboarding Camping Hiking More Outdoors Special Reports Editorials Letters to the Editor Speakout Poll Archive Special Reports Columns & Blogs Photo Archive Photo Galleries Video Audio & Podcasts Special Reports Front Page Gallery Your Photos Your Votes Polls
Shoppers on your mark, get set … tell us how it isJoin the discussion | RockyTalk Live
Buffs appear to be on solid footingRead the column | Bernie Lincicome
Lubick deserves loyalty from CSU.Read the column | Dave Krieger
Bargains are in the minds of the bleary-eyedRead the column | Bill JohnsonHome › News › Local News
No-holds-barred abortion battle
'Personhood' amendment could ban some birth control, stem-cell research
By Lisa Ryckman, Rocky Mountain News (Contact)
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Related StoriesPrayer as teen led to campaign for unborn
More Local NewsBonds of war
Town's response brings people together after boy's death
Two suffer burns in Thanksgiving Day fires
Story Tools
Email this Print this Comments Change text size Subscribe to print edition iPod friendly Share this site Digg Newsvine Map my newsA©2007 Yahoo! Inc.Data ©Navteq,TeleAtlasIt's known as the "Definition of a Person" in Colorado, the "Ultimate Human Life Amendment" in Mississippi, the "Paramount Right to Life Amendment" in Georgia and the "Personhood Amendment" in Michigan.

In each case, the measure would change the state constitution to define a fertilized egg as a person entitled to constitutional protections of inalienable rights, justice and due process. And in every case, it's part of a no-compromise anti-abortion strategy that has created a deep divide between those state groups that want a direct attack on Roe v. Wade and those that prefer National Right to Life's incremental approach.

But abortion-rights supporters and opponents agree that Colorado's "personhood" amendment would outlaw abortion and potentially have much broader effects.

Toni Panetta, deputy director of NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado, called the amendment the "latest volley in the death by a thousand paper cuts by anti-choice activists."

She said the amendment potentially could outlaw any form of birth control that makes the uterus a hostile environment, including intrauterine devices and the "morning after" pill, as well as other oral contraceptives.

Colorado Right to Life spokesman Bob Enyart said he thought it also could mean an end to embryonic stem-cell research. "The goal is to stop the killing of unborn children by reasserting the personhood of the unborn," he said.

But Kristi Burton, the 20- year-old head of Colorado for Equal Rights, the group behind the initiative, refused to speculate on what might happen.

"The goal is simply to define when life begins," she said this week after the State Supreme Court cleared the way for the measure by accepting the argument that it fit the definition of a one-issue initiative. "We'll see where it takes us."

Political road ahead

At least for the next six months, the amendment will take Burton and her supporters into the churches they plan to use as bases to collect the 76,000 signatures needed to put it on the November 2008 ballot.

It will probably get there, said independent political analyst Eric Sondermann, but he predicted that it won't play well in a state where more than 60 percent of adults support abortion rights.

"This one is a frontal assault on the right to choose," he said. "Every poll and analysis I've seen shows this is a pro-choice state. If you go at the very core of the right to choose without any exception, it's going to be a very tough political row to hoe."

The measure represents a hard-line strategy by abortion opponents to overturn Roe v. Wade by zeroing in on what they consider a loophole in the landmark 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that established abortion rights.

"The (state of Texas and others) argue that the fetus is a 'person' within the language and meaning of the 14th Amendment," Justice Harry Blackmun wrote for the majority. "If this suggestion of personhood is established, (Roe's) case, of course, collapses, for the fetus' right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the (14th) Amendment."

The hope by anti-abortion groups is that such an amendment would be challenged up to the U.S. Supreme Court, which would uphold it, thereby affirming the "personhood" of the fertilized egg and effectively undoing Roe.

But the strategy has created a rift between state groups and National Right to Life, which prefers to be more subtle.

"National Right to Life is more in favor of the incremental approach, and they don't want people like us and people in the states to even do human life amendments," said Brian Rooney, an attorney with the Thomas More Law Center in Ann Arbor, Mich., which gives free legal help to groups pushing "personhood" measures. "They believe it's not the right time. But we believe it's never the wrong time to do the right thing. The incremental approach has not stopped one abortion from happening."

Colorado voting history

To abortion-rights activists, approach is irrelevant, Panetta said. "It doesn't matter whether they take on Roe in its entirety or chip away at the rights," she said. "Both attempts deny women the right to choose and access to safe medical care."

An amendment similar to Colorado's is still alive in Georgia and Mississippi, but it died in the Montana legislature, failed to get enough signatures in Michigan and was tossed out in Oregon, where Thomas More attorneys have filed a lawsuit.

In recent years, Colorado voters haven't been supportive of measures that limit abortion access. In 2006, backers of a proposal to ban late-term abortions failed to turn in signatures to place the measure on the November ballot.

About 60 percent of voters in 2000 rejected Amendment 25, a measure to delay abortions 24 hours while women perused information on medical risks and other options.

If Colorado voters were to pass a "personhood" amendment, they would be doing something that Justice Blackmun himself refused to do: pinpoint the moment life begins.

"When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus," he wrote in Roe, "the judiciary, at this point in the development of man's knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer."

Proposed Initiative 36

Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado Constitution defining the term "person" to include any human being from the moment of fertilization as "person" is used in those provisions of the Colorado constitution relating to inalienable rights, equality of justice, and due process of law?

* Supporters say: The amendment would be challenged in court and make its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which would use it to overturn Roe vs. Wade.

* Opponents say: The amendment is misleading because it fails to state its main goal, which is to outlaw abortion. It would open a Pandora's box of legal problems by giving fertilized eggs the right to access Colorado's courts.

Subscribe to the Rocky Mountain News
Posted by JohnSWren on November 24, 2007 at 6:22 a.m. (Suggest removal)
When does a woman become a mother, and her child gain equal rights?

When the child draws its first breath? When it is conceived? When it can defeat its father in physical combat?

Who decides? In our representative form of government, in the long run it is our elected representatives. The League of Women voters has said your voice counts most in electing them at your neighborhood caucus. One vote can often make the differnce in nominating candidates and passing resolutions.

Resolutions on both sides of the question are sure to be offered across the state February 5 at the 6000 or so meetings with neighbors at our Colorado caucus.

To have a voice and to be part of the decision, you must register with the political party of your choice by December 5. To learn more Google “Colorado caucus.”

Posted by Theoldguy on November 24, 2007 at 9:25 a.m. (Suggest removal)
This is an obvious far reaching quest by the anti-abortion folks simply because the claim that a fertilized clump of cells has the same human rights that a full term human has goes beyond reason. A fertilized human egg has to go through a "proof of viability test" to become a human being. The fertilized egg must first become stronger that its uterine environment after traveling along the fallopian tubes that may, or may not, be conducive to fertilized egg travel. Some of these passages are genetically inferior of may have been damaged by disease or chemicals. This isn't even considering the genetic make up of the two parents' genes which may have far reaching compatibility issues. There are so many variables to an egg becoming full term, or not, that it goes far beyond a simplistic answer being produced by this remedy. Sticking to the wishes of this group one can imagine that a spontaneous abortion would be a crime of the mother.
Knowing that this is an emotional issue, is it wise to let others set the standard? Many less knowledgeable people will be expected to decide this issue. Are the four named states really a repository of in depth knowledge that supports the wishes of the other 46 states?

Posted by Iceman on November 24, 2007 at 10:34 a.m. (Suggest removal)
"We'll see where it takes us."

Regardless of your stance on abortion this is reason enough to oppose the measure. If proponents of a proposal aren't fully aware of the legal impacts, intended or otherwise, there's no way it should be supported. I say this based on years of legal analysis of legislation from an impartial perspective. This isn't just an argument opponents of the measure can and should make - it could be a disaster for pro-life supporters if this measure triggers a flurry of unintended problems that turns public sentiment against such proposals in the future.

Posted by gloriapoole on November 24, 2007 at 10:50 a.m. (Suggest removal)
A human being with human DNA and human cells is human and should be defined as "person" and human for the sake of Constitutional protection. The medical professions, particularly obstetrics, and neonatology defined the moment of life as the moment of fertilization long ago. The reason the Judiciary pretends not to know that, is the love of money that The Bible warns against. [I Timothy 6:10 *] Of course, that only makes the Judiciary branches look foolish and out of touch with truth. And it makes clear the fact that propaganda is the tool of the devil still.

Abortion is death to an innocent human being. That is fact. It is also premeditated because the killers prepare their instruments and their "operating room" that is often not much better than a back-office room of the preborn assassin's work place. There is much testimony that abortionists do not follow standard operating room procedures nor do they have admitting privileges to hospitals for emergency care of the women they butcher. It is also medical fact that millions of women who aborted were rendered sterile and have deep, abiding sorrow and regrets because of that.
The premeditated, purposeful destruction of innocent human life is NOT a right. GOD's commandment is "thou shalt not kill" [Exodus 20:13], and JESUS said, "even so it is not the will of your FATHER which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish." [Matthew 18:14]
GOD willing there are more good people in U.S. than wicked, and they will know the truth and vote the truth. It is the right thing to do to outlaw all abortions as soon as possible. It is also the right thing for all those millions of women who were deceived to repent and turn away from such evil, for the sake of your relationship to GOD ALMIGHTY, and the peace of your soul.
I write this as a Registered Nurse of many years who worked in Operating Rooms. I refused to participate in medical killing or call that a "right" and got fired for it, and then was fired again for protesting with words the killing of innocents in hospitals, that is supposedly a First Amendment liberty. However, it is written, "be not deceived. GOD is not mocked. For whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."[Galatians 6:7] Those in this nation who have purposely, year after year, voted to continue the mass murders of millions of innocents who were created in the womb by GOD, are going to have to face GOD on HIS JUDGEMENT DAY and h--- is waiting for them. Those who sat by and did nothing to help the innocents, those who actively shredded and murdered innocents, those women who signed the lives of their innocents away on a deceitful "informed consent", those accomplices to evil who stood and handed instruments of death, will also have to give an account before GOD.
signed gloria poole {RN} licensed as Gloria Poole Pappas, RN in Colorado

Posted by rogercopy on November 24, 2007 at 11:05 a.m. (Suggest removal)
Why do abortion opponents continue to act as God? The 10 commandments tell us that we should have no other God before Him. In judging and condemning those who support a person's right to control their own body, abortion foes are acting as God, instead of allowing him to do it himself. What human has the right to act as judge and executioner over another human? Opponents should live their own lives and allow God to judge those who would "murder" unborn children. To act on behalf of God and judge someone here on Earth is blasphemy.

Furthermore, why aren't all these abortion foes helping out in Darfur? Many already born babies are dying everyday. Could it be that their righteous dogmatic nature propels them to be our "moral police"? It's hypocritical and sinful for abortion opponents to be so unbalanced in their quest to save lives. It reveals their purpose to be furthering their religious/political agenda, rather than actually saving lives.

Posted by Joanna on November 24, 2007 at 11:59 a.m. (Suggest removal)
So, when does it end. Cancer cells are alive too? Do we protect them? They are part of the human body, so god must want them there, right? Isn't it desecrating human life to remove part of our god-given body?

Will the voters have a solution for all these babies that will be born? Who takes care of them? Face it, we already have enough "parents" who don't do their we force women who don't want to have a baby to deliver a child. Then what?

And I am SO SO SO tired of the BS lines about women who've had abortions who are permanently damaged. That's crap. They've been brainwashed by those around them.

I don't like abortion. I think there are far better forms of birth control, such as abstinence, birth-control pills, IUDs, and other tried and true methods. But I once found myself in a position where I had to make a decision. It was actually quite easy. I protected the one child I had and I protected myself. I had an abortion, because that's what I needed to do to begin becoming a productive member of our society. I got off drugs, graduated from college, worked 2 jobs to pay for it all, and raised my son to become the fine young man he is today.

Oh, yes. It was my choices and my fault that I found myself in the position I did. It was also my choice to pull myself up by my bootstraps and fix things.

Notice all the CHOICES I made? Who are you to tell me I was wrong?,1,4569441.story?coll=la-headlines-frontpage&ctrack=2&cset=true


Post a Comment

<< Home