Colorado Board Sides with Personhood Proponents, Approves Proposed Amendment Language

DENVER, Colo. — 12/22/2011 — The Colorado Secretary of State’s Title Board voted Wednesday night allowing Personhood Colorado’s proposed personhood amendment to proceed. In a 3-0 decision, the board dismissed a challenge filed by Planned Parenthood and the ACLU. This is the third such challenge filed by the pro-abortion coalition in an attempt to block a Colorado personhood measure based on the requirement that ballot initiatives be limited in scope to a single subject. The decision is the third straight victory for the Colorado right to life advocates.

Personhood Colorado submitted new language for 2012 reading: “In order to affirm basic human dignity, be it resolved that the right to life in this constitution applies equally to all innocent persons.” The amendment defines “person” as applying “to every human being regardless of the method of creation” and “human being” as “a member of the species homo sapiens at any stage of development.”

The amendment language also clarifies the effects of enacting a personhood measure. In keeping with the prohibition on killing innocent persons, the new section will specify that only birth control and assisted reproduction methods that kill developing preborn human beings would be affected.

Spending much of the last two election cycles battling misinformation propagated by personhood opponents, the drafters of the amendment also cite the fact that spontaneous miscarriages and “medical treatment for life threatening physical conditions intended to preserve life” would not be affected by the enactment of a personhood measure. The latter is defined as including but “not limited to treatment for cancer, ectopic and molar pregnancy, twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, and placenta previa.”

Organizers will have 180 days from the date the format of the petition is approved to submit 85,853 signatures required for ballot access.

“The Colorado Title Board is to be applauded for their discernment,” said Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D., Director of Personhood Colorado. “Constitutions guarantee many rights, generally with numerous effects, but each is a single principle of law. This amendment simply affirms the most basic of all human rights—the right to live–for all people including the youngest and most vulnerable members of our human family.”

On Monday, Personhood Arkansas submitted the Arkansas Personhood Amendment to the state’s Attorney General, and on Wednesday, Personhood Ohio submitted the required number of initial petition signatures with an amendment protecting the rights of all persons. Both include similar language clarifying the true effects of personhood.

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