Focus on the Family: Voters Should Support Amendment 48

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

Will Bob Schaffer get the memo?

Human life needs to be protected at every stage, beginning at the single-cell stage.

Colorado’s Personhood Amendment (Amendment 48), which defines life as beginning at fertilization, goes to voters in November.

“A founding principle of Focus on the Family – and a driving belief of Dr. Dobson’s – is that all human life is sacred and that life begins at the single-cell stage of human development,” said Carrie Gordon Earll, senior bioethics analyst at Focus on the Family Action. “Amendment 48 articulates this belief and challenges us to declare the inestimable worth of all members of the human family.

“The foundational message of Amendment 48 is clear: All human life has value. Colorado voters should support Amendment 48, and vote for it in November.”  

Kristi Burton, sponsor of the initiative, said: “It’s fact that life has been cheapened over time and Amendment 48, by defining an unborn child as a ‘person,’ can restore the dignity and respect unborn children have lost.”

Bob Schaffer has a long history of being on the far-right extreme of the anti-abortion movement. But recently he flip-flopped, opposing the amendment to define a fertilized egg as a person.

In 2000, Bob said:

Fact: From the moment of conception, this being is alive. It is not dead. In fact, the more science knows about fetal development, the more science has confirmed that the beginning of any one human life, biologically speaking, begins at the union of his father’s sperm and his mother’s ovum, a process called “conception.”

He goes on:

Let me begin to close by bringing us back to what we have failed to communicate to the nation, and where we have failed America in my judgment. We have not had the moral courage to stand up and say that the expense of ignoring the truth is death, misery, human degradation, and the loss of opportunity and dignity for millions of humans.

When people define freedom as an eight-foot bubble on your way to an abortion mill, it trivializes the protective bubble we really ought to be concerned about, which is the womb. What kind of society is it that makes free speech on a public sidewalk a crime, and then dismisses the silent screams of 1.2 million abortions performed this year as matters of privacy?

Bob, why are you dismissing the “silent screams?” Why have you cashed in your “moral courage” in exchange for winning an election? Is winning your Senate race more important than the “death, misery, human degradation, and the loss of opportunity and dignity for millions of humans?”

Would you be willing to tacitly condone what you consider to be murder in order to win an election?

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58 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. RedGreen says:

    Human life needs to be protected at every stage, beginning at the single-cell stage.

    human life, biologically speaking, begins at the union of his father’s sperm and his mother’s ovum, a process called “conception.”

    How does Bob manage to combine raging ignorance and dripping condescension in a single sentence?

    There’s still time for Bob to patch things up with these nuts. And he ought to do it in public. He’s making young Kristi Burton cry.  

    • BlueCat says:

      let those cells grow up, then execute them even if they are mentally challenged, or bomb them if they are in a country we’d like to occupy or torture them on the mere suspicion that they might be up to no goodeven if the torture results in death as it has in the recent past.  

      And I guess the Focus folks won’t object to being criminally investigated after a miscarriage or denied a beer (do they drink?) if they are women of child-bearing age, just in case they might have conceived in the past few days, or tried for murder if someone has evidence that they engaged in any unsafe behaviours during pregnancy and  then have a stillborn child. Because all of those things are possible once fertilized eggs are given full rights under the law.

    • ColoDem says:

      Why doesn’t an enterprising reporter simply ask Bob point blank how he intends to vote on 48?

      • RedGreen says:

        He said last week he doesn’t think it’s the right strategy.

          • RedGreen says:

            Sounds like it, according to the Rocky’s story about Schaffer’s appearance on the Caplis & Silverman show, where he discussed the amendment, but he wasn’t explicit. i suppose there’s a gulf between “doesn’t support” and “plans to vote no,” or “opposes.”

            Schaffer hadn’t taken a position on the personhood proposal until now, although the former state legislator and congressman has opposed abortion his entire career, calling it “murder.”

            He pointed out in his radio interview that Colorado’s three Catholic bishops also don’t support Amendment 48.

            “I think there are other strategies and tactics that get us far closer to advancing the cause of human life,” Schaffer said.

  2. redstateblues says:

    I can only imagine how much worse he’s going to get when he goes off to that far-off, evil place called Washington D.C. where they practice “Washington Politics” which is the most evil thing in the word besides abortio–er, taxes.

  3. dwyer says:

    Rule one for the Republicans: NEVER, EVER, vote up or down on abortion…NEVER.  spin, dance, lie, evade and avoid, but never VOTE.  

    The personhood amendment in Colorado, if passed, would not take effect until or unless Roe is overturned….this is precisely, however, the strategy that the Repubs/McCain are proposing: Overturn Roe and let each state decide.  So. if the

    the colorado  Repubs were honest, they would all be for the personhood amendment….it is their plan.  So, Kristi in pursuing her amendment is being very logical…..but, she does not understand the gameplan…

    focus on the family obviously either didn’t get the memo or doesn’t give a damm.  Either way, I respect fof’s integrity…

    I am delighted to see the Repubs and schaffer swinging in the wind…because someone took them seriously…way to go Kristi….

    She may turn out to be on the side of Truth, Justice and the American Way.

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      a PR driven image in the same light as the “Wag the Dog” movie.  A Cute young thing ala Joan of Arc listening to the voice in her head telling her to go forth and energize Republicans to vote.  As we’ve seen at the Olympics, you have to have the up close and personal touch if you are going to be believable.  Who would possibly believe this whole crock of crap if it was delivered by a bunch of sour old men telling us that God told them to interfere in other peoples lives?  It was very important to show this amendment as young and hip.  It is suppose to reinvigorate the flagging spirits of the true believers one more time to get the adulterer John McCain elected.  It’s all a hopeless quest but when you don’t have anything else to offer then trot out someone young to sell your garbage.

      • divad says:

        I have my doubts about that.  Kristi was home schooled and then went to a Fundie college. Not exactly the path to an good understanding of the World outside her little bubble.

        I really don’t think anyone, besides her already brainwashed fundie peers, would find her to be “hip”.  

        Her pitch might work on the already pre-sold true believers, but not so much with the rest of the reality based community.  

  4. DavidThi808 says:

    If this passes (unlikely), then does each fertilized egg I have in storage count as a deduction on my income taxes? It seems to me it would.

    And in that case, wouldn’t it encourage everyone to immediately put 100 fertilized eggs on ice to eliminate their income taxes?

    • ThillyWabbit says:

      And the storage costs would be child care expenses you could deduct as well.

      But if any of them fail to implant or should there be a power outage that causes them to thaw out, beware the death tax.

      • One Queer Dude says:

           But if any of them fail to implant or should there be a power outage that causes them to thaw out, beware the death tax.

          Don’t worry about the death tax.  Worry about Carol Chambers initiating a criminal investigation every time there was a power failure as to whether it was intentional, and therefore, infanticide.

  5. parsingreality says:

    How can they honestly not see the hypocrisy in such comments?  These are the same “Christians” that want executions and bemoan any government help to less fortunate individuals.

    At least the Catholic church is consistent….

  6. Republican 36 says:

    “Republicans are pro-life.  Democrats are for subsidized partial birth abortions.”

    On the same webpage he also said:

    “Republicans are the only guardians of the American Republic, our Declaration of Independence and the rule of law.  We are the stewards of liberty, and we have a moral duty to preserve the same America for which our parents gave their lives, and we must now deliver it to their grandchildren.”

    Except of course to those grandchildren terminated by forced abortions on Saipan and single cell babies protected by the Colorado Personhood Amendment.

  7. One Queer Dude says:

    Aren’t the folks at Hocus Pocus on the Family afraid they’re aiding and abetting the radical gay agenda by pushing for A-48?

  8. billkraich says:

    Republicans are supposed to be anti-regulation/pro-liberty, social conservatives are pro-life.  When a Republican is a social conservative they face a dilemma:  how to protect one’s morals while abiding to their political convictions.  Amendment 48 is where that person satisfies both.  Defining life at conception is not a regulation, because it does not prevent anyone from doing anything with their body, it only defines life.  

    A true social conservative will have no trouble voting yes on 48.  Anyone else, both Republicans and Democrats, must decide for themselves, if life begins at conception or at some other point.  However, one should make that decision based on what they know to be true, not based on how that decision will affected ones privilege of abortion.

    Another plus to Amendment 48 is that is up to the people.  The people of Colorado will decide when life begins – it will not be mandated by the feds, or imposed by legislators.  

    The only argument around 48 should be: “Life begins at inceptions true or false?” Not: “This will make abortions bla, bla, bla…..”

    • redstateblues says:

      one should make that decision based on what they know to be true

      You mean like scientific observation and facts?

    • RedGreen says:

      Since when do we put religious principles up for a popular vote?

      billkraich’s argument is disingenuous on every front. The amendment isn’t a straw poll over “when life begins,” it creates a law that demands the government treat a single cell as a person, with all the legal rights of a person.

      All sorts of things “begin at conception,” but we don’t confer full legal rights until they’re actually close to reality. I’m building a home in the mountains and have some sketches, the conception is wonderful! But my mountain home doesn’t get a water tap, it doesn’t get homeowner’s insurance, it doesn’t get a mailing address, I don’t get to register to vote there, and I can’t legally shoot an intruder — until it’s more than the germ of an idea.

      The notion we should approve a constitutional amendment without regard to its consequences? This isn’t moot court or a mock election. It would be dangerous to ignore the stated aim of Amendment 48’s backers — to outlaw abortions — because billkraich assures us it’s just a fun, crazy thought experiment.

      Don’t fall for this sophistry. It makes as much sense as A48’s attempts to foist a radical religious viewpoint on the citizens of Colorado.  

      • Danny the Red (hair) says:

        We pass too many laws without thinking through the consequences.

        Personally I think the amendment is unconstitutional–only the federal government has the right to define what is a human being (see 3/5th issue).

        Personally the issue for me isn’t life, plants are alive, brain dead people are alive, the issue for me is sentience–my soul is lodged in my mind–without it I am not me.

        • Sir Robin says:

          and in line with the beliefs of virtually all ethicists, human biologists, child psychologists…..and, well, everyone else who actually studies and spends time witnessing the development of a human being.

      • billkraich says:

        Legal rights come with life in America.  A fetus will not have the right to vote or be able to drink beer, unlike your previous comments asserts.  

        48 basicaly extends citizenship to the unborn in America.  If you not ok with that vote no 48.  

        • RedGreen says:

          A fetus will not have the right to vote or be able to drink beer, unlike your previous comments asserts.

          The previous comments assert nothing of the kind. Anyone can scroll up and read the previous comments to determine whether billkraich has an ounce of integrity or is happy to just make things up to bolster his sophistic argument. And then draw their own conclusions about every other point he makes.

          • PitStop says:

            Because the fetus still can’t vote until 18 or drink til it’s 21… or does that lower the drinking age to 20 and 3 months, since life now begins at conception?  

    • One Queer Dude says:

      all political posturing is off when it comes to a woman’s uterus

    • dwyer says:

      Abortion is a civil right. It rests on the Constitutional principle outlined in Roe v. Wade that personhood begins at birth, not conception.

  9. billkraich says:

    It is not necessary to question my integrity or declare my argument sophistic.  It is no less sophistic to compare conception to building a home.  The fact is this a messy issue, and 48 gets prolifers and prochoicers excited.

    For me I am against laws that regulate people’s rights to do anything.  However, I am not totally prochoice.  What ever you want to call a fertilized egg (person or not) abortion kills it – there is no getting around that.

    48 is not about abortion – just defining personhood.  I am trying to keep the conversation about defining personhood, not abortion, which is hard to do when 48 will have an impact on abortions.  I believe there is a lot of integrity behind my intentions.

    • redstateblues says:

      The government has killed untold thousands in the last 7 years in this war on terror, and alot of those people (not ones you need a microscope or an ultrasound to see) were real-life, breathing, talking children. I don’t hear any tears from the right for the Iraqi children whose houses were bombed and who lost their lives for no good reason. As soon as you start extending the same courtesy to poor and helpless children caught in warzones around the globe as you do to POTENTIAL children here in the US, we will stop calling you on your BS.

      • billkraich says:

        Are you saying personhood does not begin at conception because there was a war in Iraq, or are you saying personhood does not begin at conception because it would make abortions illegal?  Or are you saying things out loud that make you mad?  Like I said before, my conversation is about defining personhood.  The only logical argument against 48 so far, is from dwyer.  Changing the subject is poor debate.  Can anyone stick to the subject at hand?

    • RedGreen says:

      I didn’t mean to question your integrity, I meant to assert you had none.

      However, I am not totally prochoice.

      Trust me, no one wonders if you’re remotely pro-choice.

      What ever you want to call a fertilized egg (person or not) abortion kills it – there is no getting around that.

      There’s plenty getting around that because your premise is flawed. Medical science, the law, history, common sense and logic (not to mention most religions) do not consider a fertilized egg an organism, so it can’t be killed. Only when it has developed sufficiently to be viable, known as quickening, does the concept of “killing” even enter the picture. Amendment 48 seeks to impose a radical religious position on the state of Colorado and its laws and people.

      48 is not about abortion – just defining personhood

      Amendment 48 is all about abortion and any claim to the contrary is devious, underhanded and sneaky.  It is the epitome of sophistry. If you don’t understand that laws, even amendments to the state constitution, have consequences, or if you’ve missed the arguments made by Amendment 48’s backers about getting the law on the books in case Roe v. Wade is overturned, you’re just sloppy. If you do get it but argue to the contrary, there’s another example of your lack of integrity.

      • billkraich says:

        It is clear you do not agree with the language in 48.  However, I would like to know what religious doctrine explains fertilized eggs.  Also, I am pretty sure Medical Science says that cells are alive, and when the sperm and egg unite and create one cell it is alive.  I agree it has not developed into much beside the basics of cell anatomy but it is alive.  The question here is:  Is one cell, which will develop into a human to be considered a person under Colorado State Law?

        I believe, after the personal attacks, you mean to say:  “No, a developing human is not a person.”

        I can respect that, hell I can even agree with that.  Even Bob S. agrees with that.  You talk pretty tough RedGreen and there is little integrity in that.  There is also little integrity in attacking me when I have not stated were I stand this issue – I only wanted to discuss it.  It is unfortunate I could not express my point of view before I had to stave off attacks for wanting to discuss this in a rational matter.

        It is tough as nails to get rational debate out of you guys.  Feel free to post all the attacks you want, my part of this conversation is over.  

      • dwyer says:

        I am going along reading your arguments, which appear to be consistent, and then you write something which is crazy……

        “Only when it has developed sufficiently to be viable, known as quickening, does the concept of “killing” even enter the picture.”

        None of what you just wrote, RG, is true.

        “quickening” is a medieval myth…has no biological meaning, at all…..the embyro/fetus is always moving…at some point, it is large enough for the mother to feel the movement…inside her…..later, the fetus is large enough so that someone else can feel or see the movement by observing the women’s stomach….In the olden days, priests called this observation the “quickening”…it is a preception, not a reality…..

        Stopping the growth of the embryo/fetus at any point from conception forward can be considered “killing”….as can the destruction of any other cells…ie chemo “kills” cancer cells.   gangrene kills cells…

        The law allows the embyro/fetus to be destroyed at any time during the pregnancy…within certain parameters….no restrictions in the first trimester; state may regulate during the second trimester; individual state may prohibit during the third trimester….if exceptions are allowed for the life and health of the mother….

        That is it, buddy.  Viability means the lungs of the fetus are sufficiently developed that it can survive outside the womb and no longer needs to receive oxygen from the placenta….This is a biological fact…it has nothing to do with a so called “quickening”……capres??????

        • RedGreen says:

          I was using “quickening” loosely, but as a common law term, not a medical one. Justice Blackmun recognized its importance in abortion law and I was echoing that without putting a fine enough point on it. From the majority opinion in Roe:

          The few state courts called upon to interpret their laws in the late 19th and early 20th centuries did focus on the State’s interest in protecting the woman’s health rather than in preserving the embryo and fetus.  Proponents of this view point out that in many States, including Texas,  by statute or judicial interpretation, the pregnant woman herself could not be prosecuted for self-abortion or for cooperating in an abortion performed upon her by another.  They claim that adoption of the “quickening” distinction through received common law and state statutes tacitly recognizes the greater health hazards inherent in late abortion and impliedly repudiates the theory that life begins at conception.

          And of course you’re right, you can kill cells, cells die all the time, including fertilized eggs. Under Amendment 48, to kill a fertilized egg would have a vastly different meaning legally than killing cancer cells.

          • dwyer says:

            If Roe were to be overturned, and Amendment 48 had been passed in Colorado, then you are absolutely right, that killing a fertilized egg would have a vastly different meaning legally than killing cancer cells.

            However, the Supreme Court in reviewing common law and early state statutes repeated the common misconception about the notion of “quickening” ..which had been codified in common law.. “quickening” was the observation that life existed not that life had begun. …but men got it mixed up…quickening was NOT something coming alive, it was merely the observation of life growing big…… What the Court wrote “…impliedly repudieates the theory that life begins at conception.” is simply a misunderstanding of the biology…given the gender, the age, and the state of prenatal technology, it is an understandable misconception.

            It is important for this discussion because the Supremes, as do others, sough a biological way of determining when “life begins”…as way of “begging the question.”  There is no biological determinent,  which indicates that a “person’s life has begun.”  It is a matter of deciding, legally, what biological indicator will be used to bestow the rights of a person on this human entity.  Currently, we have made the legal decision that that life begins with the first breath….

            I want to move away from this discussion because Amendment 48 and the whole issue of abortion has tremendous political importance., and the biological discussion is distracting.

            Let me frame two situations:

            1) The Republican Party platform calls for a Human Life Amendment and has for 25 years.  Now, the Repubs have moved away from the Amendment (which has never been voted on, not even in committee) and argue for electing judges to the Court which will overturn Roe. Then, the argument goes, each state could make its own decision. Therefore, Amendment 48 puts this strategy to the test.

            If Repubs really believed in this strategy, they would be supporting Amendment 48. Overwhelmingly, they are not.

            So Schaffer, need to be confronted…on the hypocrisy.. Furthermore, they need to be challenged on exactly what they want from so-called conservative judges.  

            2) The Catholic issue: Lay  Catholics are in internal conflict  with their bishops, but because the laity have no power vis a vi the bishops, there is no way to resolve it and the conflict spills over into the political scene.  Briefly, the Constitution of the United States upholds the right to abortion. Catholics who work for or are elected to office must take an oath to uphold that Constitution. The Church says that catholics cannot support abortion rights.  The church also says that catholics cannot swear a false oath.

            The logical position for the Church would be to forbid any Catholic from swearing to uphold the Constitution of the United States as long as abortion is a right guaranteed by that Constitution. That means catholics could not hold public office, service in the military, pledge alligance to the flag, join the postoffice or the peace corps..or even become a naturalized citizen of the United States. BIG PROBLEM….so the Church does not degree that…Instead, it allows individual bishops to make decisions in their locale or diocese on how Catholics will proceed….This allows the bishops to play the so-called life card…which they do arbitrarily. In colorado, they played the life card against Kerry, not against Ritter…even though their positions were identical….It means that if Obama puts a Catholic on the ticket….the bishops or a bishop could refuse communion or otherwise publicly castigate that candidate because of Obama’s stand on abortion….and that could cost the democrats catholic votes……

            And less you think this is farfetched, I am listening to Caplis, right now, as he has and as he will for the next three months, four hours a day, five days a week….attack democratics and specifically catholics on this issue.without being effectively challenged…….

            • dwyer says:

              I appreciate your cogent arguments …. I just think that this abortion issue could be a political landmine…again for the

              the dems..and I would like to see it defused…

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