Defining the Fetus

One of the most detrimental things to the pro-choice groups is the incessant need of the anti-choice groups to define, redefine, and define again when, exactly, life begins.  This happens on large and small scales all over the country, all the time, and it’s happening in Colorado right now on the state level.

From the Daily Woman’s Health Policy Report:

On Thursday, Colorado Secretary of State Mike Coffman (R) certified that a proposal to define a fertilized embryo as a person and extend to it rights and protections under the Colorado Constitution had enough valid signatures to be placed on the November ballot, the AP/Google.com reports. Supporters of the initiative, including the group Colorado for Equal Rights, submitted 130,000 signatures to place the initiative on the ballot, well in excess of the 76,000 required under the law, Coffman said. Coffman’s office examined a random sample of 6,500 signatures, or 5%, and determined that 103,000 signatures were valid. According to Coffman’s spokesperson Rich Coolidge, the sampling method to determine whether signatures are valid was established by a state law (Elliott, AP/Google.com, 5/29).

The initiative is seeking to amend the state constitution to define “any human being from the moment of fertilization” as a “person” for purposes of the state’s constitutional provisions “relating to inalienable rights, equality of justice and due process of law” (Daily Women’s Health Policy Report, 5/15). Opponents of the initiative — including the coalition Protect Families, Protect Choices – have said the proposal is “vague and deceptive” and could lead to restrictions on abortion, hormonal contraception and in vitro fertilization. The measure will appear as Amendment 48 on Colorado’s general election ballot.

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