Romanoff Calls Out Coffman on “Personhood”; Coffman Drops Support

UPDATE #2: Per Fox 31's Eli Stokols, Rep. Mike Coffman is now doing a Cory Gardner and kicking Personhood to the curb entirely — not just as a 2014 ballot measure.

GOP Congressman Mike Coffman is no longer supporting personhood, his campaign confirmed Tuesday, making him the second Republican in the last five days to disavow the movement to ban abortion — even in cases of rape or incest — that he’d previously supported. Coffman, R-Aurora, made his abrupt 180 on the issue public through his campaign just hours after his opponent, Democrat Andrew Romanoff, challenged Coffman to do so…

Cory Gardner Flip Flops

One more pair for Mike Coffman, please

…In fact, Coffman has never disavowed personhood until today. In 2012, he told the Denver Post he “will not be endorsing nor opposing any state or local ballot questions” because he’s running for federal office — which he’s doing again in 2014. But a 2012 article by the Colorado Statesman noted that Coffman “stands alone as a major Colorado politician in close election who has not withdrawn his previous support for the personhood amendment” and quoted two personhood backers praising Coffman for his stance.

Looks like "daddy needs a new pair of shoes":


UPDATE: Coffman's campaign manager responds, as Kurtis Lee of the Denver Post reports:

Coffman’s campaign manager, Tyler Sandberg, called Romanoff the “Czar of Sleaze,” comments that echoed Democratic U.S. Senator Michael Bennet from their bitter 2010 Senate primary, and noted Coffman did not support personhood in 2012 (it was not on the November ballot that year) and does not support this year’s proposal…

…In 2012, Coffman was consistently assailed by this then Democratic challenger, state Rep. , for supporting “personhood.” Often in debates two years ago, Coffman, who is pro-life, would deflect the criticism and insisted his candidacy was not focused on social issues.

That's nice of Tyler Sandberg to note that Coffman didn't support Personhood in 2012, since that's relevant and all. And what's with "Czar of Sleaze?" Is that really the best nickname they could come up with for Romanoff?


​In a press release and email blast to supporters this morning, Democratic CD-6 candidate Andrew Romanoff challenges incumbent Republican Mike Coffman on the suddenly reanimated issue of the "Personhood" total abortion bans repeatedly proposed in Colorado.

Most Coloradans understand the dangers of the "personhood" amendment. That’s why they’ve rejected this proposal every time it’s reached the ballot.

The amendment would criminalize not only abortion — even in cases of rape or incest — but also common forms of birth control. This initiative represents a clear violation of the U.S. Constitution, and it has no place in Colorado law.

We need a representative who recognizes that.

Unfortunately, Congressman Mike Coffman has supported the personhood amendment at every turn. He has described his opposition to reproductive rights as “unequivocal” and “unapologetic.”

After the jump, the Romanoff campaign's long list from today's release of supporting evidence that Coffman, or at least what we've come to refer to as "Old Coffman," is/has been a longtime supporter of the very same "Personhood" total abortion ban measures that have recently ensnared U.S. Senate candidate Cory Gardner. None of the information is new, of course; we and Democrats have taken note of Coffman's former ardent support for banning abortion even in cases of rape or incest in prior campaigns. But with the issue once again waylaying the campaigns of Colorado Republicans–much to Dick Wadhams' dismay–this may be the year that Coffman is finally made to answer for it.


Congressman Mike Coffman’s Record: Pro-Personhood, Against a Woman’s Right to Make Her Own Health Care Decisions

2012: Colorado Right to Life Hails Congressman Coffman as Pro Personhood. In 2012, Colorado Right to Life Vice President Leslie Hanks stated that Coffman’s pro-life positions, as reported on their blog, reflected the group’s candidate survey results. “Our blog reports on our candidate survey results,” Hanks said. “Congressman Coffman answered all our questions correctly to reflect he is a no exceptions pro life elected official who supports the personhood of the baby in the womb.” [Colorado Independent1/06/12]

2011: Congressman Coffman Co-Sponsored a Bill with Todd Akin to Redefine Rape. In 2011, Coffman co-sponsored the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortions Act, which would redefine a ban on federal funding for abortions to exempt only “forcible rape” and not “rape” generally. According to the Washington Post, the Act would make a version of the Hyde Amendment permanent. The Hyde Amendment, which had been renewed every year since 1976, prevented some federally-funded health care programs from covering abortions, with exceptions in cases of rape and incest, and when the life of the woman is threatened. However, under the language proposed by the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortions Act, rape becomes “forcible rape.” [HR 3 Co-Sponsors, 112th CongressWashington Post,2/01/11]

2011: Congressman Coffman Voted to Defund Planned Parenthood. In 2011, Congressman Coffman voted for a bill which would insert a section in the FY11 Continuing Resolution which would prohibit Planned Parenthood and its affiliates from receiving federal funding. The resolution would order the Clerk of the House to change H.R. 1473, the FY11 Continuing Resolution, to bar the use of the federal funds to go to Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc., or any affiliate. The bill passed 241-185. [H Con Res 36, Vote #271, 4/14/11; The Hill4/12/11]

2010: Colorado Right to Life Said Congressman Coffman Supported Personhood Amendment. According to Colorado Right to Life, Coffman was “on record supporting Personhood.” [Colorado Right to Life blog, 10/2/10]

2008: Congressman Coffman Supported the Personhood AmendmentIn 2008, Coffman responded to a Colorado Right to Life Candidate Questionnaire stating “Yes” in response to the question “Do you support the 2008 Colorado Personhood amendment effort to define “person” to include any human being from the moment of fertilization?” [Colorado Right to Life, Candidate Questionnaire, 2008]

  • Personhood Amendment Would Ban Many Forms of Birth Control. According to a 2008 Denver Post Editorial, the personhood amendment “goes far beyond banning abortion and many forms of birth control.” [Denver Post, 6/2/08]
  • Colorado Personhood Amendment would Give Fertilized Human Eggs the Same Constitutional Rights as a Living Person. In 2008, National Public Radio reported, “Amendment 48 would define ‘personhood’ as beginning at the moment of conception, giving fertilized human eggs the same constitutional rights as a person.” [National Public Radio, 10/31/08]

2008: Congressman Coffman Said he Supported “The Right to Life In All Its Stages” On his 2008 campaign website, Coffman said that he supported “the right to life in all its stages.” “In America we have a long tradition of promoting life as an unalienable right, and I will always be an unapologetic advocate for the right to life in all its stages,” [Coffman campaign website, 4/20/08]






22 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. DavieDavie says:

    Based on the coverage of the Gardner Personhood issue (absolutely no mention of his support in 2013 of the federal personhood amendment), I can hardly wait to see the coverage in tomorrow's DP by either Kurtis Lee or Lynn Bartels — probably will just get a quote from Katy Atkinson to the effect that "Romanoff campaign issues another press release critical of Mike Coffman".

  2. Gilpin Guy says:

    Kurtis Lee will probably spin it as the fault of the Affordable Care Act like everything else he writes about.

    • gumshoe says:


      Hey, Kurtis. We get it. You're African-American and feel you have to lean right in all your stories. But you go overboard and are a diservice to the journalism profession. Do some research for once. 

      • JeffcoBlueJeffcoBlue says:

        Woah! I'm no Kurtis Lee fan, but let's be careful about making judgments like that as to why his stories lean right. I agree that they do lean right, and that he needs to do his research more.

        I'm not saying you're a racist or anything, let's just not attack motives where they concern race without good cause.

    • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

      Kurtis Lee has actually done some decent reporting. Occasionally, he even prints a correction.

  3. Gilpin Guy says:

    Romanoff was smart to step up on this issue at this time.

    While everyone is talking about Gardner's flip flop remind them that Coffman is just as if not more radical.  This is good politics and helps set the narrative that Coffman is outside the mainstream of his district on social issues.  Romanoff is definitely a better fit with the constituents of CD 4

  4. IndyNinjaIndyNinja says:

    CD6 – Romanoff/Coffman
    CD4 – Garnder/Buck/et al.

  5. Gilpin Guy says:

    This is where Gardner screwed his fellow Republicans by keeping a bright focus on their social extremism and flip flops.  It brings up Coffman's flip flop on immigration as well as his support of the rights of rapists.  The economy needs to go south in a hurry to give them something else to talk about.  Republicans rooting against America.  Who knew?

    • DavieDavie says:

      Good point.  All GOPers have in response is the complaint that it's the Dems running a "social issues" campaign while GOPers are focussed on jobs, jobs, jobs.

      But as much as GOP leadership tries to enforce "ix-nay on stupid ape-ray comments", the rank and file just can't help themselves, nor can the Cory Gardners and Mike Coffmans of the GOTP run fast enough away from their consistent record of voting against their current or hoped-for future constituents' rights.

      • BlueCatBlueCat says:

        And of course there's the inconvenient fact that it's the GOTPers who have given such high priority, right after the endless dog and pony show over repealing Romneycare, to abortion, contraception, personhood, gay marriage, voter suppression laws, creationism (a religious teaching) in public schools, public funds for private religious schools, etc. while economic issues have remained at the bottom of their priority lists. Can't really claim that's all the Dem's fault.

        The only interest they've shown in economic issues is to be against anything that would help working people such as raising the minimum wage (which polls very high) extending unemployment benefits (which polls high) or supporting equal pay for equal work (which the women they say they want to attract support). 

        This should be helpful to Dems who are in states and districts where these social issues can be used to advantage. It also allows Dems to say that GOTP priorities are wrong since they really have been spending so little time on economic issues except to block polices favored by most Americans.

        Who knows? Maybe it won't be as bad as projected. Pretty sure Colorado Dems will be better off than most in any case. Just like in 2010.

  6. SocialisticatProgressicat says:

    I'd like better name calling, please.  Maybe some alliteration.  Howabout the Commissar of Contemptibility.

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