The North Dakota House of Representatives has passed the first personhood amendment in the United States, 57-35. Read more
Rep for Pro-choice Group tells grieving mother 8 pound 2 ounce baby was not a person; mother files ballot initiative in response
Denver, CO – 01/29/13 – Democrats and Planned Parenthood representatives defeated HB 1032 yesterday, an abortion-neutral bill that would have made fetal homicide punishable by law. Heather Surovik shared her story with the House, showing pictures of her unborn son who was killed when she was hit by a drunk driver. In response, abortion advocates testified that Heather had merely ‘lost a pregnancy’ and accused her and Republican House Representative Janak Joshi of trying to protect human eggs.
“Their comments were hurtful. I couldn’t keep myself from crying,” Surovik commented. “I testified about my son’s life, and the car accident and repeat DUI offender who took him from me, and in response, I was told that Brady’s life didn’t matter. While the Fraternal Order of Police and the Colorado District Attorney’s Council endorsed this bill, Planned Parenthood and House Democrats seemed pleased to defeat the bill that would have meant justice for victims of violent crimes.”
Heather Surovik was leaving her final prenatal appointment when she was struck by a drunk driver, who was on his fifth DUI. When she awoke in the ICU, she learned that her 8 pound 2 ounce unborn son, Brady, had not survived the accident. Later, she learned that because Brady was not yet born at the time of the accident, the driver could be charged with destroying her vehicle, but not with killing her son.
Immediately following the hearing of the defeated HB 1032, Heather filed an amendment to the Colorado Constitution calling for fetal homicide laws to at last be applied to unborn victims of violence in Colorado. Once the amendment is approved, volunteers will begin collecting signatures to put The Brady Project on the 2014 ballot.
Personhood Colorado announced their support of the amendment at a press conference yesterday. “The House members who voted against HB 1032 must have been extremely cold-hearted,” added Jennifer Mason, spokesperson for Personhood Colorado. “Under current Colorado law, drunk drivers who kill unborn babies can get away with murder. This is absolutely wrong, and it is shocking that House Democrats and abortion lobbyists would be so extreme that they will not allow the legal recognition of any unborn child under any circumstances.”
The Denver Post quoted a Planned Parenthood representative who claimed that they were grateful to the lawmakers who had voted against the fetal homicide bill.
Personhood Colorado files new amendment for unborn victims of violence
Denver, Co. – 01/28/13 – Immediately following the legislative defeat of H.B. 1032, Heather Surovik and Personhood Colorado filed an amendment to ensure that all victims of homicide are considered persons.
The Brady Project was created after Heather’s son was killed by a drunk driver, who was already a four-time offender. Surovik and her family were told that although Brady was near delivery, the driver could not be charged with vehicular homicide because under Colorado law her baby was not considered a ‘person’. Heather and Brady’s case is just one of many in recent years that disallowed prosecution for the baby’s death, including car accidents and shootings.
HB 1032, which was endorsed by The Fraternal Order of Police as well as the Colorado District Attorney’s Council, would have enabled prosecution for homicide in the cases of violent crimes against unborn babies.
Heather Surovik explained, “Since the legislature has failed to protect victims of violence in Colorado, we the people need to act immediately. In Colorado, there is a case of unsolicited fetal homicide nearly every year. In most other states, there would be justice for those victims, and it is time for Colorado citizens to demand justice as well.”
A new website, www.thebradyproject.com, hosts a video of Heather explaining the joys of her pregnancy with Brady and the circumstances of Brady’s tragic death.
“The current laws in Colorado do not go far enough,” continued Surovik. “The law says that Brady wasn’t a person, and as a result, the drunk driver who killed my son was not charged with homicide. Brady was eight pounds, two ounces. Brady was a person – his life was worth defending,” Heather continued.
The amendment was filed today and is expected to be heard by a Legislative Committee Hearing in two weeks.
Moments ago, Colorado HB 1032 introduced by Janak Joshi, was voted down in committee. The bill was completely abortion neutral but pro-aborts couldn't help themselves. They lied and said it was personhood. Even when the committee is stacked with pro-aborts, truth is simply a luxury that abortion advocates can't afford.
Personhood Colorado held a press conference after the committee vote to announce a new personhood initiative. The initiative will recognize in the criminal code that the unborn are persons. Here's the operative language of the citizens' initiative:
IN THE INTEREST OF THE PROTECTION OF PREGNANT MOTHERS AND THEIR UNBORN CHILDREN FROM CRIMINAL OFFENSES AND INJURIES, THE WORDS “PERSON” AND “CHILD” IN THE COLORADO CRIMINAL CODE AND THE COLORADO WRONGFUL DEATH ACT MUST INCLUDE UNBORN HUMAN BEINGS.
The Colorado Personhood Coalition has filed suit in Denver today, after an unjust dismissal by the Secretary of State’s office.
An unsuccessful lawsuit from Planned Parenthood shortened the petitioning time by about 60 days, giving the Colorado Personhood Coalition fewer petitioning days than any other Colorado ballot initiative. In spite of this, the Personhood Coalition collected over 112,000 signatures, about 30,000 more than signatures collected in 2010.Other initiatives were also granted a 15 day curing period to make up lost or invalidated signatures, which the Colorado Personhood Coalition was denied. After turning in far more than the number of signatures required for ballot placement, the Secretary of State’s office determined that the amendment could not appear on the ballot, discounting over 6,800 registered voters’ signatures.
“The Secretary of State’s actions unconstitutionally deprived us of our fundamental right under the State and Federal Constitutions to the initiative process which is core political speech,” explained Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D., legal analyst for Personhood USA. “After being denied the same timeframe that every other initiative received, and denied the opportunity to appear on the ballot, we have filed a writ of mandamus to ensure that our rights are recognized and the hard work of our volunteers is not dismissed.”
The Colorado Personhood Coalition’s language is different than any other in the nation, addressing a myriad of issues in detail that have never before been explored, including birth control, IVF, miscarriage, and rape.
The full language is available at http://personhoodco.com/amendment-text/.
“Our nearly 1,500 volunteers worked incredibly hard,” commented Susan Sutherland, Director of the Colorado Personhood Coalition. “Despite the odds, we did the work and got the signatures. We deserve to be on the ballot, and we will not quit until every signature is counted and ultimately, every innocent human life is protected in Colorado.”
Colorado Personhood Coalition to Challenge Colorado Secretary of State’s Determination on Personhood Signatures
Denver / August 29, 2012 / The Colorado Personhood Coalition has announced plans to challenge the Colorado Secretary of State’s determination on valid signatures.
The Colorado Secretary of State determined that the Colorado personhood amendment has fallen 3,700 valid signatures short of qualifying for the ballot.
Upon review of the discarded signatures, the Colorado Personhood Coalition has determined that in many cases, entire petitions were discarded despite valid signatures and valid affidavits.
1-40-118 C.R.S. allows 30 days to file a protest. The Colorado Personhood Coalition has engaged election law specialist Shayne Madsen of the Jackson Kelly law firm.
“The law states that we have 30 days to file a challenge, and we fully intend to do so. Based on the Secretary of State’s 5% sample, we are have calculated that we will be able to recover the signatures necessary to appear on the ballot,” explained Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D., legal analyst for Personhood USA. “This disqualification is by an extremely narrow number, and as we have seen thousands of valid voter signatures discarded unnecessarily, we will be filing a challenge to ensure that every Colorado voter’s voice is heard, and that every signature counts.”
The proposed amendment states “(1) Purpose. In order to affirm basic human dignity, be it resolved that the right to life in this constitution applies equally to all innocent persons. (2) Effect. The intentional killing of any innocent person is prohibited.” The amendment goes on to detail the effects that the amendment will have on issues such as birth control, in vitro fertilization, medical treatment for the mother, and miscarriage. The full text is available at www.personhoodco.com.
Over 100,000 signatures were collected, and petitions were circulated by nearly one thousand five hundred volunteers.
“Other 2012 Colorado ballot initiatives had nearly two months longer than we did to collect signatures,” continued Garcia Jones. “Because of a frivolous lawsuit from our opponents, we were denied the full petitioning time, yet we still collected over 112,000 signatures. After an amazing effort on the part of our volunteers, this narrow disqualification is something that we believe will be reversed. We did the work, we gathered the signatures despite a significant loss of time, and we will fight to ensure that every valid signature is counted.”
Early this Month Colorado again proved that it was ready to take a stand for personhood and the protection
of human life. The Colorado Personhood Coalition, led by Susan Sutherland, has gathered enough
signatures from the citizens of Colorado to put a personhood measure before voters. While the Coalition
only needed 86,000 signatures, amazingly, it gathered over 112,000 signatures.
This is the third time since 2008 that a “Personhood Amendment” has been placed before the people
of Colorado. In 2008, Colorado For Equal Rights gathered 103,000 signatures to put a personhood
amendment on that year’s ballot. The ballot initiative lost. In 2010 Personhood Colorado turned in over
95,000 signatures. The measure was defeated again, but the margin was smaller. This year, with far
more signatures than before, we are hoping to turn this around and see the amendment passed.
NO Personhood has vowed that they will work to see the measure defeated in Colorado again this
year. Even if the amendment is defeated, we will not stop moving forward until we see Colorado, and
America, acknowledging the humanity, the “personhood”, of every human life, whether from the
genesis of conception or the very last moments of their natural life. Rosalinda Lozano, a ballot initiative
sponsor said, “Life is precious at every stage of human development.” We heartily agree and are willing
to wrestle with current cultural trends to the end.
Continue to agree with us in prayer that God will move on the citizens of Colorado and the conviction of
culture will change to protect life. Colorado was among the first to legalize abortion. We would love to
see God use her as one of the first to protect the lives of thousands of innocent babies.
Personhood USA is encouraging their supporters to attend the “Stand Up for Religious Freedom – Stop the HHS Mandate!” rally. The national event was organized as a response to the Obama administration’s decision, requiring all employers, including religiously affiliated organizations holding moral objections, to provide free contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs through their health plans.
The event will take place this Friday, March 23rd in over 130 cities across the United States including Denver, Colorado. Protesters will gather at 11:30am at the Colorado state capitol building. A complete list of locations is available online at http://standupforreligiousfreedom.com/locations/.
In January, under the leadership of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the Health and Human Services Department unveiled a rule, requiring contraception and abortifacients to be covered as part of a list of “preventive services for women” under Obamacare.
After intense political pressure, President Obama backtracked, shifting to require insurance companies to cover the associated costs. The move has been received by the religious institutions as an accounting scheme, allowing insurance companies to pass the costs on to the employers, and ineffectual, as it still requires them to offer services considered immoral.
“Christian hospitals, universities, service organizations and other conscientious objectors should not be forced to offer abortion in their healthcare policies. The 1st Amendment is clear in protecting our religious liberties from government intrusion,” said Keith Mason, President of Personhood USA. “The time has come to stand up to this egregious infringement of governmental authority. We must speak out against to this violation of personal conscience and draw a line in the sand for the sake of the preborn.”
Who: Personhood USA, Personhood Education, & the broad coalition of Pro-religious liberty supporters
What: “Stand Up for Religious Freedom – Stop the HHS Mandate!” Rally and Protest Event
When: Friday, March 23rd, 2012, 11:30am in Denver, Rallies will begin at Noon
Where: Denver, Colorado, West Steps of the State Capitol Building; Complete list of cities available online at http://standupforreligiousfreedom.com/locations/
Preborn children may soon enjoy protection from violent crime in the state of Colorado. On Monday, the Colorado House gave final approval to HB 1130, the state’s proposed fetal homicide law. The bill now heads to the state Senate where Democrats outnumber Republicans 20 to 15.
Opponents argue that the bill would confer, upon the preborn, the status of legal personhood. Meanwhile, supporters counter that the current criminal code is insufficient in charging violent criminals in cases such as Laura Gorham’s. Gorham lost her 34 week old preborn son in a hit-and-run in Denver in late 2010.
35 states currently have a version of the federal Unborn Victims of Violence Act on the books, leaving Colorado as just one of 15 states without such a measure. HB 1130 would apply the current criminal code equally to every member of our species, including preborn children.
“If the commission of any crime codified in this title or Title 42, C.R.S., is the proximate cause of death or injury to an unborn member of the species homo sapiens, the respective homicide and assault charges for that death or injury may be brought contemporaneously with the underlying charges,” it reads.
Personhood USA Legal Analyst Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D. commented on the developments:
“Federal law and 35 states, including California, protect the preborn from crimes which result in their injury or death, but dogs and cats currently have more legal protections in Colorado than preborn children. And yet, Planned Parenthood is lobbying to block these commonsense protections for preborn children and their families. HB 1130 is abortion-neutral. It is a simple, straightforward statement that gives our elected officials the tools necessary to prosecute violent crimes committed against an expecting mother which results in harm to her child.”
“The Fraternal Order of Police supports HB 1130. The Colorado District Attorneys Council supports HB 1130. But Planned Parenthood, an organization that makes hundreds of millions of dollars from abortion, does not. In lobbying against HB 1130, Planned Parenthood has shown their true colors, demonstrated that they are an extremist organization, and exposed their unwillingness to support justice for the preborn and their mothers who have suffered a terrible loss.”
“The Colorado House has our gratitude and should be congratulated for furthering the cause of equal justice under the law.”
The Colorado Personhood Coalition will host three separate press conferences throughout the state on Wednesday and Thursday to announce the launch of the 2012 Colorado personhood petition drive. The events will take place at 2pm on Wednesday in front of the Glenwood Springs Planned Parenthood facility, 10am on Thursday in Colorado Springs in front of the west Planned Parenthood facility, and 2pm on Thursday in Denver in front of the Planned Parenthood abortion mega-center. Over 3,000 volunteers will begin circulating the Colorado personhood petition upon arrival on Wednesday.
Last week at the Colorado Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, Planned Parenthood lost their bid to halt the personhood petition effort.
“This victory at the Supreme Court is further confirmation that it is only a matter of time before the equal rights every human being are recognized under Colorado law,” said Personhood Colorado Director Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D. “With that in mind, we will be taking the fight directly to Planned Parenthood, putting them on notice that the days of aborting Colorado’s preborn babies are nearly over.”
The 2012 Colorado Personhood Amendment has been revised from the 2008 and 2010 personhood ballot initiatives to address voter’s concerns with the issues of contraception, miscarriage, in vitro fertilization, and life-saving medical care. The new and improved measure will detail that only methods of birth control and assisted reproduction that kill a person will be affected, that “spontaneous miscarriages shall not 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.” Medical treatment is defined as including, but not limited to “treatment for cancer, ectopic and molar pregnancy, twin-to-twin trandsfusion syndrome, and placenta previa.”
Planned Parenthood has also recently come out in opposition to Colorado’s Fetal Homicide bill which would provide protections for the preborn. The measure would apply the current criminal code equally for all people, born and preborn. The bill, which has the support of Colorado Right to Life, the Christian Family Alliance, the Fraternal Order of Police, and the District Attorney’s Council could be voted on as soon as Thursday.
“The Colorado Fetal Homicide Bill has the wide, bipartisan support of nearly every major group on both sides of the abortion debate,” continued Garcia Jones. “Planned Parenthood cannot even bring themselves to support a popular and uncontroversial measure protecting children whose mothers have chosen to bring them to term. Their opposition is further evidence of the radical anti-life agenda of the leading opponents of personhood. Planned Parenthood’s concern is not with helping women or children, but rather with protecting their bottom line.”
Who: Colorado Personhood Coalition
What: Press Conference Announcing Petition Drive Launch
When: Wednesday, March 14th, 2pm in Glenwood Springs;
Thursday, March 15th, 10am in Colorado Springs;
Thursday, March 15th, 2pm in Denver
Where: Glenwood Springs Planned Parenthood, 50923 Highway 6,Glenwood Springs, CO 81601;
Colorado Springs Westside Planned Parenthood, 3480 Centennial Blvd. Colorado Springs, CO 80907;
Denver Stapleton Planned Parenthood, 7155 E 38th Ave, Denver, CO 80207
Springs, CO 80907;
Denver Stapleton Planned Parenthood, 7155 E 38th Ave, Denver, CO 80207
Denver, Colo. — Planned Parenthood filed an appeal on Monday, challenging a ruling from the Colorado Secretary of State Title Board in favor of Personhood Colorado. The 2-1 decision from the board allows a proposed state constitutional amendment, applying the right to life equally to human beings of every age, to proceed to petition.
This is the second such challenge from the pro-abortion group at the state Supreme Court. In 2008, Planned Parenthood filed suit in an attempt to stop a personhood measure from reaching the ballot. The Court dismissed their assertion that the amendment violated the single subject rule which limits citizen-led initiatives to a single issue.
“This appeal is a frivolous attempt to put the brakes on our right to petition on behalf of the preborn,” said Personhood Colorado Director Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D. “The Court has previously ruled that guaranteeing the rights of a class of human being is a single issue, and we expect a similar ruling this year.”
The new proposal lists the effects of its enactment including that only methods of birth control and assisted reproduction that kill a person will be affected.
The amendment also details that “spontaneous miscarriages shall not be affected by this section” and “medical treatment for life threatening physical conditions intended to preserve life shall not be affected by this section.” Medical treatment is defined as including, but not limited to. “treatment for cancer, ectopic and molar pregnancy, twin-to-twin trandsfusion syndrome, and placenta previa.”
The measure further specifies that children conceived through rape or incest shall not be killed for a crime committed by the biological father of the child.
“The charges of single subject violation and vagueness are absurd,” continued Garcia Jones. “Colorado personhood amendments have previously defined constitutional rights as applying to every human being from the moment our lives begin. This proposal does the same thing, and also clears up any ambiguity of what that would entail as applied.”
Planned Parenthood’s 2010 annual report shows 329,455 abortions committed and $487 million dollars in tax-funded income, an increase of over $120 million from the previous year.
“Obviously, this is not about legal ambiguities,” said Garcia Jones. “This is a group, with a vested financial interest in continuing the destruction of innocent life, interfering with the democratic process. It is a naked attempt to protect their pocket book.”