Why do Beauprez and Gardner support personhood at the federal but not the state level?

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Bob Beauprez.

Bob Beauprez.

​On 9News' "Balance of Power" show Saturday, Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez confirmed his continued support for a federal personhood law but said he doesn't support a state personhood amendment.

In so doing, Beauprez aligned himself with U.S. Senate candidate Cory Gardner, who's withdrawn his support for a personhood amendment in Colorado but is still a co-sponsor of federal personhood legislation.

The simple question reporters should ask both these candidates is, "What's the difference?" The simple fact is, there is no difference.

If either were passed, the impact in Colorado would be identical: a total ban on abortion, even in cases of rape and incest, as well as an end to the legal sale of some forms of contraception. That's what happens, among other things, when you give fertilized eggs (otherwise known as zygotes) legal rights.

But this fact didn't stop Beauprez from telling 9News' Political Reporter Brandon Rittiman Saturday that "we have to draw the line" at a state personhood "amendment."

Rep. Cory Gardner (R).

Rep. Cory Gardner (R).

Rittiman: Early on in the primary, Democrats pushed back on you for supporting, while you were in Congress, a federal version of personhood. And you're admittedly a pro-life guy. How do you reach out to a middle-ground female voter who feels that this is her rights that you're messing with?

Beauprez: "Well, let's be very clear. I am a pro-life Catholic. I voted that way. I've got a pro-life voting record. I believe that life begins at conception. But I also believe, as does my good friend and my Archbishop, who used to be in Denver, Archbishop Charles Chaput… [who said] a “The personhood amendment, and that’s where we have to draw the line, the personhood amendment might have identified the right issue, but the very wrong solution”

Back in March, Rittiman asked Beauprez if he ever supported personhood, which would ban all abortion in Colorado.

Beauprez: "No. I got a hundred percent pro-life voting record, as you probably know, so I'm very much pro-life. But personhood as my dear friend and my Archbishop Charles Chaput, our previous archbishop here in Denver, said 'that's not the way to do it."

After critics pointed out that Beauprez supported federal personhood legislation in 2005, Rittiman followed up by asking the Beauprez campaign about it. Beauprez's spokesman told Rittiman that Beauprez stood behind his answer.

As Rittiman reported, "[Beauprez’s spokesman Dustin Olson] says [Beauprez’s] answer to 9NEWS was meant to convey that he has not supported it at the state level."

The question left hanging is, why would Beauprez (and Gardner) support personhood at the federal level but oppose it in Colorado when the results here would be the same?

22 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Moderatus says:

    Why do Democrats support health care reform at the federal level but not the state level? You go first.

    • Ralphie says:

      I support it at any level.  Why are you so fucking ignorant that you feel the need to stereotype people?

    • ct says:

      WTF does that even mean?   

      The issue that Rep Gardner has to deal with is his long time well documented support for a position that the majority of Colorado voters find reprehensible, and have multiple times.  Rep. Gardner supports crimalizing many forms of birth control and taking away a woman's Constituional right to make her own medical decisions.  Its that simple and get use to hearing it, over and over and over again.  

      PS: sorry your guy got so resoundingly spanked in the Primary, boy howdy were you ever so very wrong on all that, huh? 

    • FrankUnderwood says:

      Huh???  Most of us Dems applauded Governor Romney when he ran the pilot program for Obamacare in Massachusetts.  (Then, of course, he ran away from it.)  Like Ralphie, I support health care reform at any level.

    • BlueCat says:

      Why do Rs tie themselves in knots trying to erase their former support for pretty much everything in ACA, straight from their think tanks? Because they have only one guiding principal. Opposing everything Obama supports, even when it's their own policies he's supporting. Just change policies and deny you were for whatever before you were against it. Outside of that and screwing  everyone except the top 0.1% they don't believe in anything. Wait. Bigotry. They have very firmly held bigoted and racist beliefs. I shouldn't short change them

  2. Archdruid says:

    Democrats do support health care reform at the state level.

    • Duke Cox says:

      Indeed, we do. At any level…as has been said…

      Remember…Moderanus is an imbecile. If one of his postings made sense , it would indicate a tear in the space-time continuum, or a shift in the dimensional balance between worlds…some sort of reality bending event…

      He really is that stupid…

  3. FrankUnderwood says:

    So will support for personhood at the federal level but opposition at the state level undermine support for Gardner and BWB amongst the state's rights folk?  Just wondering.

  4. Davie says:

    So basically, Moddy's position is that a woman's health decisions rightly belong between her (R) Senator and her (R) Congressman.

  5. dwyer says:

    This is what I understand the legal differences to be:

    1) Abortion rights are determined by federal constitutional decision in Roe v. Wade.  State law can not override the federal constitution. Personhood amendments at the state level will have no immediate effect.  If the state amendment were to pass, it would be challenged on constiutional grounds and go quickly up to the Supreme Court. If SCOTUS heard the case, they could affirm the rulling in Roe v. Wade or they could overturn the ruling.  If SCOTUS overturned the ruling, it most likely would return the issue to the individual states.  THEN  and only then, if Colorado had passed the personhood amendment,  would abortion and the specific "anti-implantation" birth control measures be outlawed.

    2) A variation on this  would occur with the federal personhood amendment, IF it were to pass into law, then it would be challenged in the courts and go quickly to SCOTUS.  If SCOTUS affirmed Roe v. Wade, then the personhood legislation would be voided because federal law does not trump a constiutional decision.  However, if SCOTUS were to overturn Roe and return the issue to each state, then ONLY those states that had passed a personhood amendment would outlaw all abortion and the aforementioned birth control measures.


    • Ralphie says:

      Don't you think that's exactly what the personhood people want?  Another shot at Roe v. Wade with THIS court?

      • dwyer says:

        Yes. Someone posting here, and I don't remember who, worked on the personhood campaign in Colorado and said that is exactly what the people collecting names for the petition wanted.   I just outlined the different paths to this court.

        To argue that either the federal legislation or a colorado passed personhood amendment would automatically outlaw abortion is not accurate, UNLESS one also assums that there would be no constitutional challenge.  

        • Jason Salzman says:

          It's fair to speculate about how a court might respond to a bill or proposed amendment after it becomes law. So good on ya for taking us through this, Dwyer.

          But in discussing a proposed law, or evaluating whether we (or Gardner or Coffman) should support it, we have to assume it will do what it says it will do. It's the proposal on the table. Is it a good idea?

          Journalists should report that Gardner/Coffman support the changes that would be mandated by federal personhood legislation. It doesn't matter that the legislation, if passed, could be changed/derailed by the courts.

          • dwyer says:

            You are right, Jason, But, it is important to point out the legal context because scare tactics have, I think, lost their impact over the years.  Most people I know just dismiss this particularly argument.  One can only "cry wolf" so many times. The first real political campaign to "outlaw abortion" was in 1994 and the republicans won Congress….but there has been NO vote on the issue since then, in Congress.   People who care pay attention to the issue know this.  I don't know if most  republicans look at these statements and know they are just campaign rhetoric.  I do think it is important when reporting the positions on personhood to put it into context.  On the face of it, these measures are in conflict with the Constitutional decision in Roe v. Wade and that should be reported.

            However, there could be a very real consequence, not to the personhood issue, but if Beauprez should win the governor's office and the repubs take the Colorado senate..we could begin to see some of the real restrictions on abortion  introduced  (as has happened in many other states) and depending on what kind of margin the dems have in the Colorado house,  some measures might pass. 

            • dwyer says:

              IMHO, I don't think that Gardner/Beauprez would support these measures if they thought for a moment the legislation had a snowball's chance in hell of becoming law.  

              • mamajama55 says:

                They would support personhood, if only to satisfy their most fervent base. Both these candidates still get money from Colorado Right to Life – just small amounts in comparison to what they receive from oil and gas or tech or Republican funds.

                • dwyer says:

                  I will repeat my pledge.  If the republicans in the House schedule a vote and actually vote on the Personhood amendment, I will never post here again.


                  For the record, neither gardner nor beauprez is currently supporting personhood on the state level.  

                  So, I don't know to what you are referring.

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