Amendment 48 – Outlaw Abortion

Called by it’s proponents the “Definition of a Person” it more accurately should be called the outlawing of abortion proposal.

An amendment to the Colorado constitution to define the term “person” to “include any human being from the moment of fertilization”; and apply this definition of person to the sections of the Colorado Constitution that protect the natural and essential rights of persons, allow open access to courts for every person, and ensure that no person has his or her life, liberty, or property taken away without due process of law.

But what this is in fact is an amendment that would outlaw not just abortion at any point, but even any birth control that occurs after the egg is fertilized such as the morning after pill.

Further info at Colorado Ballot – The misnamed Definition of a Person Initiative

Arguments Against

This will limit the ability of individuals to make private, personal choices about their lives and health. The measure will limit access to abortions and to prohibit medical care, including emergency contraception, commonly used forms of birth control, and treatments for cancer, tubal pregnancies, and infertility. The amendment may restrict some stem cell research that could lead to life-saving therapies for a variety of disabilities and illnesses.

This allows government interference in the doctor-patient relationship and could limit the exercise of independent medical judgment. The measure will restrict a doctor from using certain medical procedures and treatments. Furthermore, the measure will subject medical professionals to legal action for providing medical care to a woman of child-bearing age if it is determined to affect another “person.”

Arguments For

The measure may establish the legal foundation to end the practice of abortion in Colorado. The U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in the U.S. found that the unborn were not included in the word “person” as used in the U.S. Constitution. If each human life, from the moment of fertilization, is recognized as a person under Colorado’s bill of rights, Amendment 48 will provide support for legal challenges to prohibit abortions in Colorado.

Vote NO! Vote No

This is a question that does belong on the ballot (one of the few). But I think this is way more extreme than what the people of this state want. We should have a discussion of what point in the pregnancy we as a people want to say abortion is no longer allowed. And we should put it to a vote. But this proposal should be shot down.

In the meantime, we should all work to make sure abortion is not only safe, but rare. And that must include comprehensive sex-ed in our schools and making birth control available. Regardless of what we do, people will have sex (that’s why all of us are here) and while we should impress on our children to be responsible in when they choose to have sex, we also need to stress that they need to be responsible in how they have sex.

And if you believe that as soon as the egg is fertilized, it is a human being and anything that stops it from growing to term is murder, then you should vote for this amendment.

But keep in mind when you do, that the logical interpretation of this amendment is that a woman who takes the morning after pill has committed pre-meditated murder and will be facing a prison term of decades.

Ballotpedia

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42 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Libertad says:

    an abortion of choice rights.

  2. dwyer says:

    A Missouri law defined a person as beginning at conception and the Supreme Court declared the law unconstitutional because it was not compatible with Roe.  It will take me forever to find the citation, but I am working on it.

    The Republican strategy is not to have Roe overturned because the Court finds that a person existed from conception forward, but rather to overturn it on the issue of states’ rights. ..that the Court did not have jurisdiction to rule.  The Republicans and most of their religious allies  do NOT want to vote up or down on abortion…they want the issue to linger so that they can milk it for money and votes, indefinitely…..for that reason alone, I like the guts of this young woman promoting the ballot issue, she is calling their bluff..

    My understanding is that if the Amendment passes and Roe is subsequently overturned and the issue turned over to the States, then, and only then, would abortion in Colorado be outlawed.

  3. G Pulviczek says:

    …that they are being played for fools by the Republican Party establishment?  The R’s don’t want this amendment to pass.  They want it on the ballot to try to “get out the vote” of people who will then reflexively vote for R candidates.

    If abortion were ever actually outlawed, the R’s would lose this as a wedge / GOTV issue.

    And, yes, I realize this is a rhetorical question.

  4. Bondo says:

    I think this should be a clear cut one to reject. I’m not sure I even agree that it is good to vote on when we are willing to allow abortion. That isn’t something that should be decided by majority rule, it should be an individual right protected against majority intrusion.

    I’m not sure how much impact it would really have if it passed as it would likely face an immediate legal challenge and the court would be able to easily overturn it as unconstitutional, but that wouldn’t justify passing it.

    • DavidThi808 says:

      Yes it’s a moral choice, and a very very difficult one with no clear answer and everyone having a different opinion.

      Yet many of our laws are moral choices including illegal drugs and even no public nudity. And on these questions people differ.

      Because it is such a difficult moral choice and because it is so very important to so many people, it by definition is a political decision that should heavily involve the voters of the state.

      • dwyer says:

        It is precisely those moral decisions which should NOT be decided by the voters of the state.  A civil right should never be subject to majority rule.  That is the very essence of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights….see my previous 800 postings on this issue.

        • DavidThi808 says:

          Yes, civil rights should be in the constitution. But they get there via the ballot box.

          And for the question of abortion, it’s not a yes/no question, it’s how far into the pregnacy is it legal. And medical advancements impact that.

          This is a question we as a society need to discuss and via the ballot box find the point at which it will be legal. I don’t say compromise or consensus because what ever point we do vote in, many will be fundamentally at odds with it.

          But I do think we need to determine this via the democratic process.

          • Progressive Promoter says:

            David, I feel sure you don’t really believe that women have abortions in the 9th month just because “they feel like it.”  Late abortions only happen in the most tragic of circumstances–and there are only a couple of doctors in the whole country who perform them  for serious reasons.  Would you deny a woman with an aggressive form of cancer life-saving but toxic chemotherapy if she were diagnosed at the beginning of the third trimester of pregnancy?  Do you think it’s good public policy to force a couple who learn their baby will be born without a brain to wait until 9 months of gestation is up before the inevitable happens?  Don’t get me wrong–I’d never compel the women in these awful situations to have abortions.  But I sure as hell think it’s none of the government’s business to interfere in these painful, personal family decisions.   And I think you must agree with me in your heart of hearts.

            • DavidThi808 says:

              My point was to bring up exactly what you said – you would support a law that said no abortions in the 9th month except for those extraordinary cases. I agree.

              But we’re now having to draw a line somewhere because we agree that there is a point at which it is not ok, depending on the situation. And that’s not for you or me or a court to hand down – that’s for us as a society to work out.

              • Mr. Toodles says:

                In fact, he said:

                But I sure as hell think it’s none of the government’s business to interfere in these painful, personal family decisions.

                Sounds to me like he does not think a law should be passed, and I totally agree with him. As progressive promoter points out these instances are rare and used out of necessity. Adding a layer of bureacracy should be antithetical to anyone who thinks the right to your own body with out government intervention is absolute.  

          • dwyer says:

            If you mean the process to amend the federal constitution, I could not agree more.  It would be within the framework of legislative debate on the amendment where such discussions should occur. There are no amendments, either pro-life or pro-choice, introduced in Congress. The amendment process is decided by legislative vote, the people’s representatives vote.  It is not a direct ballot issue.

            If you mean that every state should decide the issue for itself, then I disagree.  Right now, the right to obtain an abortion in the first trimester are uniform across the fifty states because the right is secured by the Roe decision of the Supreme Court. It is a civil right. I disagree with the states’ rights argument because it would eliminate an individual civil right and turn it into a matter of states rights.

            Not all civil rights come from the ballot; some come from Supreme Court decisions.  For example, Miranda and the right to an attorney in criminal cases are uniform civil rights across the fifty state and derive from a Supreme Court decision.  The right to obtain prescription contraceptives is uniform across the fifty states and comes from a famous Supreme Court decision. Interracial marriage or the right to marry someone, regardless of that person’s race, ethnic background or religion, is a uniform across the fifty states and comes from a Supreme Court decision…  Anyone who thinks that that particular right could be secured by the ballot is blessed to have little or no contact with old white people, mainly from the South….

            I think that if one could offer proof of having watched  Law and Order for ten years, including reruns, one should be awarded a law degree.  EVen if only for the purposes of this blog…I do NOT want to start another inane discussion of what is in the federal Constitution and what is not…please.

            • dwyer says:

              There are no amendments currently introduced in the United States Congress on this issue.  But, the United States Congress is one place where such an amendment process could begin.

            • DavidThi808 says:

              While I think abortion should be legal (and rare), I also think Roe v Wade should be overturned and the decision settled in the legislative process (state or federal).

              My reasoning is at Overturn Roe v Wade

            • Progressive Promoter says:

              Gotta echo Dwyer here: For some people, interracial marriage is an immoral decision.  For some people, using birth control is morally incorrect.  These are civil rights secured through Supreme Court decisions, just as Roe established for women to have control over their own lives.

              For that matter, there are racists who believe African-Americans should be second-class citizens because of  hideous notions of “moral inferiority.”   Just because there are people who view it as a moral issue doesn’t mean it should be a political decision.  

              Furthermore, isn’t legislating a ban on later abortions a solution looking for a problem?  In theory, it’s fine with me that Roe articulates a ban on 3rd trimester abortions with exceptions for life and health of the mother.  But nobody in their right mind would have a 9th month abortion unless there was a huge problem–it’s an expensive, complicated procedure that most have to fly across the country for.  Since it’s not happening, what’s the point of passing laws governing it?  

              I agree these are difficult decisions.  Never having been confronted with these choices, I’ve never occupied where the rubber meets the road, so to speak.  But if I were, I think I’d want to weigh the options privately with my close family and our doctor, and not have to worry about the legal implications of those choices.

  5. Gilpin Guy says:

    would be a better definition of the initiative.

    The only purpose of this initiative is to excite those who celebrate Sarah Palin’s unwed pregnant teenage daughter as a model of sexual behavior because she “chose” to stay pregnant.  It would take a whip to get them to the polls if the initiative was about protecting and educating our daughters so that they could grow up to become women before they became mothers.  It’s a garbage amendment and it’s supporters are cynical anti-women frauds.

  6. redstateblues says:

    It’s obvious. Even Bob Schaffer is against it.

  7. It would outlaw many forms of contraception as well as abortion to save the life of the mother.  This is a position only the most radical anti-choice activists can be comfortable with.

    If you believe that abortion to save the life of the mother is the right moral choice, vote No on 48.

  8. Arvadonian says:

    of a poll I once saw:

    When does life begin:

    1) When sperm meets egg

    2) Point at which the fetus can live outside the womb

    3) Moment of Birth

    4) At age 40

    The age 40 response won overwhelmingly….

  9. BlueCat says:

    push the decision to the Supremes and get Roe v Wade overturned. The silly little twit who supposedly is the one responsible for this may be sincere but, if she  really doesn’t, everyone else knows it’s far too broad with far too many bizarre potential consequences to survive five minutes without challenges that will send it through the court system.  

    I wonder if the backers are also praying for McSame to win and a non-far right justice or two to die really soon.  I wonder if they expect better luck than they had with that deluge of biblical proportions that failed to materialize for Obama’s acceptance speech. Let’s make it a moot point by voting ‘No”.  

    • Gecko says:

      You call McCain, “McSame”.

      Does that mean I can again call Obama, “Hussein”?

      I mean fair play and all, it is his god given name. Right?

      McSame is really just a jab at a war hero.

      • BlueCat says:

        Don’t know which non-sequitur to start with here. What anything you said, Gecko, has to do with ANYTHING being discussed here is beyond me.  Guess you’ve really got nothing, huh?

      • Middle of the Road says:

        If Bluecat were calling him “Sidney” why then yes–you should, by all means, also call Obama by his middle name.

        McSame (I’ll just pretend you don’t understand and explain this to you) is used to link McCain to Bush, since he has voted with him 90% of the time during the Bush administration. Not a maverick. Just more of the same.

        A war jab would go something like this (just for compare and contrast purposes):

        “Wow, McCain couldn’t fly a plane for shit which explains why he got his ass shot down. Talk about an incompetent dumbass.”

        Now, that would be a jab at a war hero.

        See how that works?

        Glad I could be here for ya, buddy.  

      • ClubTwitty says:

        someone who sold out whatever integrity he had to win a prize, embracing the man and the policies he once disdained.  It has noting, nothing, nothing to do with his service.  And I suspect that you know that, but having nothing else of value to point to, its all you can embrace about John Sidney McSame.

  10. Progressive Promoter says:

    Couldn’t resist!

  11. Lone Wolf McQuade says:

    Bad piece of potential law anyway you look at it.

    • Just to inquire, since we’ve got a lot of new seeming conservatives here…

      Are any of you in general anti-abortion with exceptions?  And if so, does the absurdity of this bill change your opinion of how abortions are provided (i.e. not done as a normal hospital procedure but exiled to clinics…)?

  12. freshair says:

    Just say, “NO!” to Amendment 48 – the only state in the union to propose an assault on women. This too extreme.

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