Colorado's Personhood Amendment

Colorado has 18 initiatives on the ballot this year, one of which is the dreaded Amendment 48, the Personhood Amendment. The Amendment reads:

"As used in sections 3, 6, and 25 of Article II of the state constitution, the term 'person' or 'persons' shall include any human being from the moment of fertilization,"

In other words, a fertilized egg would be deemed a person. The Denver Post, in an editorial today, urges voters to reject it.

The three sections mentioned are part of the state's Bill of Rights that protect our rights to life, liberty and property. Simply put, Amendment 48 asks that society grant a free-floating fertilized egg the same protections we enjoy as living Americans.


The Amendment is an effort to defeat Roe v. Wade. Amendment 48, on its own, will be a powerful motivator for evangelicals to come out and vote. But it could also energize pro-choice voters.

Just another reason to vote(in addition to the ones I just wrote about here) Colorado is a hard state to predict this year.

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    I think there's a lot of scope for. . (5.00 / 4) (#1)
    by LarryInNYC on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 08:59:56 PM EST
    creative mischief in this kind of law.

    For instance, does Colorado have a child seat law requiring any child under the age of 4 to be in the back seat in an approved child restraint?  'Cause there could be an awful lot of tickets issued to pregnant drivers. . .

    They must stop driving (5.00 / 0) (#12)
    by coigue on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 09:15:28 PM EST
    and if they need medication, it had better be approved for infants.

    Good one! (none / 0) (#3)
    by Key on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 09:01:23 PM EST
    Yeah, that's the kind of absurd thing I wrote about in my post.  Guess you posted yours while I was writing mine.

    Okay, then.... (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Key on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 09:00:08 PM EST
    so would such a fertilized egg also qualify as a dependent for tax purposes?

    I suppose parents could also sign the egg up for a CHIPS program.  And perhaps get an increase in welfare payments?

    What about a lifetime learning tax credit for music a parent buys to play for the egg?  Never to young to get started on teaching kids music.

    What other "benefits" could such a classification potentially yield?

    What are the most absurd "benefit" you can come up with, to show just how absurd it is to call an embryo a person?

    I haven't seen or heard or read... (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 09:05:06 PM EST
    ...one single ad, either for or against this.  

    One can only hope that there are enough reasonable voters out there who understand this is an ill-conceaved, poorly thought out, problematic iniavtive drafted by a 19 year old religious fanantic.  I think there are.

    Oh, and the initiative process needs to be reworked or repealed.  The State is not well served with the next generation of Coors telling us that unions are bad or BigGambling pushing higher limits.  These issues should be decided by our legislators.  Surely we pay them to do more than kick reporters in the knee.

    Damn (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by lambert on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 09:11:27 PM EST
    I thought they were talking about corporate personhood -- as in abolishing it.

    Which would be about the most pro-life measure I can imagine, come to think about it.

    Deport them! Deport them! (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by LarryInNYC on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 09:12:29 PM EST
    If they haven't been born, then they must be here illegally.  Deport them and their criminal invasion furriner parents too!

    Joking aside, it's an interesting question.  Because, presumably, the point of conception would also have to be considered for purposes of citizenship, right?  If a child were conceived in the United States but then traveled pre-natally, as a fully human person, to another country and was born there it wouldn't be fair for them not to be a citizen, would it?

    So really all people would have to do is visit the US and have a baby somewhere between seven and ten months later to claim it was conceived in the US and should be granted citizenship.

    lol, Embryo Embassy (5.00 / 0) (#15)
    by Teresa on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 09:21:29 PM EST
    PS. (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by LarryInNYC on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 09:13:47 PM EST
    Of course, Colorado state law would have no bearing on a federal issue like birth-right citizenship.

    Smells like 2004 (none / 0) (#11)
    by coigue on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 09:14:28 PM EST
    anti gay marriage law in Ohio.

    I no like it.

    Yeah, it's about bringing pro-life voters (none / 0) (#34)
    by Realleft on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 09:03:24 AM EST
    to the polls.  What referenda do Dems have to bring people to the polls?

    I dunno (none / 0) (#37)
    by coigue on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 08:28:37 PM EST
    I don't know what they are doing in Colorado. It's not my state.

    Colorado is a pro-choice state (none / 0) (#14)
    by andgarden on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 09:20:28 PM EST
    see here.

    I don't think this is gonna pass.

    Then again, as the great Coloradoan (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Cream City on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 10:01:38 PM EST
    and former Congresswoman Pat Schroeder says:

    "Back in the 70's and 80's we thought we had won the 'war' for women's equality.  Now we know we just established a beachhead and every day there are folks undermining it."

    She says it about the new book by Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney -- a must-read for some of us.  But the title is so telling this year about much that we will see on ballots, not only in CO but elsewhere as well:

    Rumors of Our Progress Have Been Greatly Exaggerated.


    yeah... (none / 0) (#20)
    by coigue on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 10:06:11 PM EST
    we have a parental notification law to vote on this time in CA.

    wow! (none / 0) (#19)
    by coigue on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 10:04:48 PM EST
    silly me...I thought it was filled with disaffected Utahans forming their own little polygamist compounds.....and a few liberalized REI-loving cities.

    Colorado's personhood amendment (none / 0) (#21)
    by arguewithmydad com on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 10:12:57 PM EST
    If a fertilized egg is a person in Colorado, shouldn't the parents receive a deduction from state taxes for this "person"?  

    Why bother being born? (none / 0) (#22)
    by NealB on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 10:25:58 PM EST

    Bit OT (none / 0) (#23)
    by WakeLtd on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 10:49:42 PM EST
    I was checking out some stats on Alexa yesterday. Wow, TL down 37%. Hard to imagine why.

    Not really (none / 0) (#28)
    by MKS on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 11:40:19 PM EST
    Same as April....There was a spike in late May/early June.....

    Been steady since with an uptick recently...  


    Not what the stats there say (none / 0) (#29)
    by Cream City on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 12:01:25 AM EST
    I just looked it up.

    We're higher than we were (none / 0) (#30)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 12:55:08 AM EST
    before the primaries and the same as during the primary months except for spikes during debate and primary nights and the month of May when Hillary dropped out. Here's the chart.

    What's decreased are the number of comments. Once the group of commenters that found TL and stayed because they liked having a civil place to discuss the primaries started hurling insults at Obama and his supporters after he became the nominee, they were no longer welcome here. I don't care what side people are on, but personal attacks and insults are not allowed.

    So traffic and page views are up, comments are down. But people are still spending an average of 3 1/2 minutes per visit on the site (compared with less than 1 minute on the bigger sites) so it's all good.


    way off topic (none / 0) (#31)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 12:57:07 AM EST
    and I've answered, so get back on topic please.

    Speaking of Coors, does this mean that (none / 0) (#24)
    by Blowback on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 10:50:05 PM EST
    any pregnant mother could be arrested TWICE for drinking? Once for her & embryo, I assume it is illegal for a pregnant mother to drink (health reasons for fetus), AND also for feeding alcohol to a minor? (Goes for pot too?)

    You know, all kidding aside (none / 0) (#25)
    by befuddledvoter on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 11:05:20 PM EST
    I was thinking about the potential for criminal charges if this ever came to pass.  Drinking alcohol could be child endangerment, same with smoking (anything.)  I think the implications as to state control of a woman's behavior far exceed the pro-choice/pro-life issue.  I think it is about ultimate control of a woman.

    and if she was driving............................ (none / 0) (#26)
    by Blowback on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 11:26:12 PM EST
    she could be arrested 3 times!

    Of course. It already has happened (none / 0) (#27)
    by Cream City on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 11:34:13 PM EST
    in my state and other states, even without such a law.  And women have been jailed until they come to term, to keep them from drinking, smoking pot, shooting up, etc.

    Wow, some people here really don't realize how bad it is already.  


    So, I'm wondering (none / 0) (#32)
    by LadyDem on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 01:28:55 AM EST
    if a fertilized egg is a citizen, how will it use the touch screen voting machine?  Will some political entity listen at mom's belly and interpret how it wants to vote?  

    And will it's vote cancel out the mother's?  

    This whole right-wing scenario is like something out of The Handmaid's Tale.

    I don't think an egg can vote yet. It's underage. (none / 0) (#33)
    by Blowback on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 01:43:15 AM EST
    18 years? It can't drink or drive, either. TG

    Injecting religion into law (none / 0) (#35)
    by nellre on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 11:21:39 AM EST
    Injecting religion into law leads to silly laws.
    Remember the blue laws? Some were funny!

    Calling two cells a person would be funny if it did not have such an impact on women's rights.

    Amendment 48 Is Anti-Life (none / 0) (#36)
    by DianaHsieh on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 12:15:35 PM EST
    Thank you for speaking out about Amendment 48!

    You might be interested to read an issue paper recently published by the Coalition for Secular Government: "Amendment 48 Is Anti-Life: Why It Matters That a Fertilized Egg Is Not a Person" by Ari Armstrong and myself. It's available at:


    We discuss some of the serious implications of this proposed amendment, including its effects on the legality of abortion, birth control, and in vitro fertilization.  And we offer a strong defense of abortion rights based on the biological facts of pregnancy.

    Diana Hsieh
    Founder, Coalition for Secular Government