Opponents of a personhood amendment held a rally at the Denver State Capitol Building on Tuesday. Amendment 67 would expand the definition of a person to unborn children, and extend legal protections to them. Opponents say it is just another attempt by extremists to outlaw abortion.
The ballot question for the amendment states “Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution protecting pregnant women and unborn children by defining "person" and "child" in the Colorado criminal code and the Colorado wrongful death act to include unborn human beings?”
The rally drew people from across the political spectrum, most decrying the overreach of anti-abortion activists. Anti-abortion groups have long held to the belief that life begins at conception, and that the rights of the fetus are as important, if not more so, than the woman carrying the child. They also hold to the belief that their beliefs override those who are pro-choice on the matter, and have sought to re-criminalize the medical procedure ever since it came into practice.
But some supporters of the measure think it will be helpful in further punishing criminal acts against pregnant women. "It's not about abortions, it's making sure that babies like my son get justice," said Heather Surovik, who lost her pregnancy at eight months when a drunk driver hit her in 2012. "My intent is to protect babies from acts of violence."
Unfortunately for Surovik, and others like her with good intentions, anti-abortionists have latched onto the question as a means to end a woman’s right to choose. Even major party candidates, like Cory Gardner, have supported such measures.
Colorado is a pro-choice state, however, and major candidates normally won’t do well opposing such measures. Gardner may be an exception since he normally represents the eastern plains, but with a bid for the US Senate this year, openly supporting such a controversial measure will certainly not help his cause.
The measure itself will almost certainly fail, as most Coloradoans believe that it is the woman’s right to choose for herself what is best for herself, her body and anything that goes on in it. Until Colorado becomes a theocratic state, that seems unlikely to change.