Inconsistency mars Post’s Personhood editorials

(Pretty much ridiculous – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Vince Carroll, Denver Post editorial board.

Vince Carroll, Denver Post editorial board.

At the heart of Thursday’s Denver Post editorial supporting State Sen. Bill Cadman’s personhood bill is the argument that Colorado needs a new law to penalize people like Dynel Lane, who faces over 100 years in prison for her horrific attack on Michelle Wilkins, who was pregnant and lost her fetus.

But just last year, The Post argued that existing Colorado law, specifically addressing crimes against pregnant women, was sufficient for cases like Wilkins’.

The 2013 Crimes-Against-Pregnant-Women law balances severe penalties for crimes harming fetuses with the preservation of abortion rights and the protection of pregnant women from criminal investigation.

Here’s what The Post said last week in its editorial endorsing Cadman’s bill:

A 2013 law made it a felony to unlawfully terminate a pregnancy, but it is a Class 3 felony with a sentencing range of 10 to 32 years unless the mother dies — when it becomes a Class 2 felony. The Class 3 felony is utterly inadequate.

But when The Post opposed last year’s personhood amendment, the newspaper argued that even a “horrific incident” did not justify a new law because “the state legislature already made the necessary statutory fix.” Here’s what The Post wrote last year:

The horrific incident laid bare a gap in Colorado law that did not allow authorities to charge the drunken driver with anything for the loss of Brady [an eight-month-old fetus].

The Yes on 67 campaign attempts to capitalize on this circumstance, saying the amendment is needed to protect pregnant mothers from violence. Proponents conveniently ignore the fact that the state legislature already made the necessary statutory fix.

It’s because of this 2013 “statutory fix” that Lane faces the 100-year prison term, because the 2013 Crimes-Against-Pregnant-Women law allows charges to be added on top of one another, over and above the Class 3 felony.

The severe penalties of Colorado’s 2013 law were apparently good enough for The Post last year, but now the statute is suddenly inadequate? What gives?

Clearly, both Cadman’s bill and Amendment 67 are attempts to take advantage of nightmarish incidents to pass different versions of “personhood.” Colorado’s 2013 law, considered the gold standard in balancing women’s rights with criminal justice, was a good argument against Amendment 67, as The Post understood at the time.

Newspaper editorials are supposed to be consistent and above-the-fray, so you’d expect The Post to point again to the 2013 Crimes Against Pregnant Women law and argue against Cadman’s personhood bill. But, alas, no, and the logic of the inconsistency escapes me.

8 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. JeffcoBlue says:

    Does anyone still subscribe to this fish wrap? Good post, Jason.

  2. Big Time says:

    Yeah – this is the DP that endorsed Cory “I don’t support Personhood” Gardner, after all. 

    I suppose there’s a certain “consistency” in being as “consistent” as Gardner on Personhood. 

  3. Bokonon says:

    Perhaps the Post has done some market research into its remaining subscribers and decided to pivot on issues like this, and pursue political conservatives.  

    Or maybe the editorial board has decided to pursue an agenda all on their own.

    I am not sure which reason for this blatant flip-flop smells worse.  I suppose they also think the public has a short memory and can’t sense political games.  After all, this is the same gang that gave us the Cory Gardner endorsement

    But I already cancelled my subscription to the Post for a variety of reasons (decontenting and cuts in quality, obnoxious syndicated columns on the editorial page, etc.)   Clearly, they aren’t aiming what’s left of their product at consumers like me.

  4. Davie says:

    I think the loss of balancing voices like Alicia Caldwell has terminally tilted the editorial board to starboard.

    But on the good side, they added a couple of smart and funny comics today, which is pretty much all I subscribe for these days…

  5. Zappatero says:

    Reactionary wingers will always have a voice at the Post. It may not always be up front, but it’ll be there when needed most.

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