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April 15, 2015 10:02 AM UTC

Say no to Personhood--again

  • 13 Comments
  • by: No on 67

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

POLS UPDATE: Statement from Cathy Alderman of Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado:

A recent bill, SB15-268, “Offenses Against Unborn Children,” would broaden Colorado’s definition of “person” to include an “unborn child at every stage of gestation from conception until live birth.” We are concerned that any law creating fetal “personhood” will impact access to abortion services in Colorado, as well as open a door to allowing prosecution of pregnant women.

Over the last few years Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado has worked with lawmakers to pass laws that punish crimes against pregnant women and their unborn fetuses. In 2013, the Colorado General Assembly succeeded in passing the Crimes Against Pregnant Women Act, which allows for a felony charge in the first degree for unlawful termination of Ms. Wilkins’ pregnancy. This is an addition to charges of attempted murder and use of a deadly weapon. In this case, the accused attacker is facing upwards of 100 years in prison if convicted of all the charges. There is no “gap” in Colorado law for punishing this horrific crime.

And from Karen Middleton at NARAL Pro Choice Colorado:

What happened to Michelle Wilkins was awful, and like all Coloradans our hearts go out to her and her family. We support pregnant women who are the victims of crime, and we support holding criminals accountable under our laws.

But SB 268 isn’t the answer. Under the guise of establishing fetal homicide, Senate Republicans have introduced a bill that will result in establishing fetal ‘personhood’ and outlaw access to safe and legal abortions in the state of Colorado.

SB 268 is a very dangerous proposal for Colorado women and their health. It undermines Colorado law, which is the gold standard for protecting pregnant women. Colorado’s law is carefully balanced, unlike other states where fetal homicide laws have been used to prosecute pregnant women and even put them in jail.

—–

Like us, you have probably heard about the horrifying attack suffered by Michelle Wilkins of Longmont. She was violently assaulted by another woman who attempted to steal her unborn child. The alleged perpetrator of this awful crime has been charged with multiple counts of felony criminal behavior, including attempted first degree murder and first degree unlawful termination of pregnancy. If convicted, the assailant will spend the rest of her life in prison.

Michelle Wilkins’ attack is a heartbreaking situation. We are deeply saddened for the loss she and her family have suffered. Rightfully the public outcry for justice is great. 

However, there are some who want to use this tragedy for political gain to attack access to safe abortion services in Colorado. Yesterday, anti-abortion extremists in the Colorado legislature introduced a bill, SB-268, “Offenses Against Unborn Children.” The legislation seeks to create new criminal charge of fetal homicide, which would result in a new definition of a “person” in Colorado law to include an “unborn child at every state of gestation from conception until childbirth.”.  In other words — creation of “personhood.” 

This bill goes against Colorado values. Colorado voters have wisely rejected “personhood” time and time again. They understand creating “personhood” in Colorado law is dangerous and could criminalize Colorado women and their doctors, who need access to safe abortion services. This past November   voters overwhelming rejected the personhood Amendment 67 on the ballot by 64%. Furthermore, SB-268 could put women who have suffered their own loss of a miscarriage or stillborn birth at risk of being prosecuted. SB-268 is a very dangerous proposal for Colorado women and their health.

With our serious and punitive laws in place, Colorado does not need “personhood,” as SB-268 seeks to create. Colorado’s legal system already has the tools to respond and punish criminals who attack pregnant women.  

In 2013, the Colorado General Assembly passed legislation known as “Unlawful Termination of Pregnancy.” The bill included different degrees of charges when someone attacks a pregnant woman causing her to lose her pregnancy, including a first degree class 2 felony, which carries the sentence of 32 years in prison. This charge and the sentence given for it will be in addition to all others, which in the case of the Longmont attack could result in a sentence of 112 years. This law was written using a carefully balanced approach, with the goal of creating strict and harsh protections for pregnant women who are victims of crime, while also protecting Colorado women’s reproductive rights. 

Today, we need your help to protect Colorado women and their reproductive rights. 

Please sign this petition to tell Colorado legislators who are considering this legislation, SB-268, to create fetal homicide that this is not in line with Colorado values and that it could harm Colorado women and their health

We support pregnant women who are the victims of crime, and we support holding criminals accountable under our laws, but using tragedies to politicize and limit access to safe abortion care services is wrong.  

Comments

13 thoughts on “Say no to Personhood–again

  1. NOT TRUE. SB268 specifically protects abortion rights. 40 states have this law. Stop politicizing and start protecting PEOPLE like Aurora Wilkins.

      1. I am not a Ryan Call shill. I speak for no one and no one speaks for me. I’ve just been too busy to argue with people that no one can ever convince.

        1. So the House boys finally figured out this account’s password? . . . 

          (My first guess would have probably been “password,” except that would have given the previous owner credit for too many syllables.) . . . 

          . . . . “1234,” maybe?

      1. 18-1-506(2)

        FOR PURPOSES OF A PROSECUTION OF A CRIME DESCRIBED IN SUBSECTION (1) OF THIS SECTION, NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL APPLY TO:

        (a) AN ACT COMMITTED BY THE MOTHER OF HER UNBORN CHILD;

        (b) A MEDICAL PROCEDURE PERFORMED BY A PHYSICIAN OR OTHER LICENSED MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL AT THE REQUEST OF A MOTHER OF HER UNBORN CHILD OR THE MOTHER’S LEGAL GUARDIAN; OR

        (c) TO THE LAWFUL DISPENSATION OR ADMINISTRATION OF LAWFULLY PRESCRIBED MEDICATION.

        is what would be argued. I think fairly, although it would be better to include language calling out abortion. Many other states don’t.

        1. Sorry for the chain post.  It’s also not particularly different language than that excepting medical procedures from prosecution for unlawful termination of pregnancy, the charge against Dynel Lane in the absence of this legislation. (See CRS 18-3.5-101 et. seq.)

            1. Opposing a bill is not freaking out, Modster. Freaking out is more your thing. In fact you people have an entire network devoted to freaking out 24/7, usually over unsubstantiated memes floating around the crazy uncle internet zone. It’s called Fox “News”. There’s the War on Christmas freak out, the War on white Christian males freak out, the Sharia law freak out, the no go zones freak out, the gay marriage will destroy the institution of marriage freak out, the why do Dems hate rich people freak out, the their taking away all of your guns freak out, the why do Dems hate America freak out, the why does our President hate America freak out, the our President isn’t a Christian freak out, the freak out over everybody having access to decent health care, the freak out over basic science, the freak out over so much as mentioning “climate change”, the freak out over teaching American history warts and all, the freak out over considering that Red Skins and Savages might be a tad offensive as team names, the freak out over teaching teens anything about the human reproductive system except “don’t”, the freak out over family planning and women being in control of their family planning decisions or getting equal pay for equal work. The list of rightie freak outs is pretty much endless and fact free.

  2. The usage “mother of her unborn child” in the bill is not grammatical.  Someone cut and pasted without putting too much thought into the result.

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