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February 11, 2016 11:33 AM UTC

BREAKING: Personhood activists launch municipal abortion-ban initiative in CO Springs

  • by: Jason Salzman

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Abortion-RightsIn a move that could make the complex life of being a Republican even more complicated, Personhood USA has announced plans to place an abortion-ban measure on the ballot in Colorado Springs, where a domestic terrorist killed three people at a Planned Parenthood clinic at the end of last year.

“The people who reached out to us in Colorado Springs don’t want any violence, including abortion, there,” Personhood USA spokeswoman Jennifer Mason told me, adding, as I wrote in an RH Reality Check post this morning, that the campaign was planned before the shooting occurred.

Planned Parenthood’s announcement that it will re-open the clinic next week “confirmed” the decision to undertake the initiative, which will mirror (at the municipal level) one of Colorado’s three failed state-wide measures that would have banned all abotion, even for rape, Mason said.

Personhood organizers are just beginning the legal process and paperwork required to place the initiative on the ballot, but they expect to have it completed within the next two months, Mason said.

So it’s not clear when the measure will appear on the ballot, if at all, but the signature-gathering effort alone will likely further push choice issues into election campaigns–sparking competition among Republicans competing for anti-choice primary voters and helping to define Republican and Democratic candidates up and down the ballot in November.

Could the measure push GOP turnout in Colorado Springs, a hotbed of evangelical churches? I have no idea, to be honest, but you have to think the electoral downsides of the latest personhood campaign, taking place in the wake of a massacre that taints the anti-choice cause, will hurt Republicans in the end on Election Day.


8 thoughts on “BREAKING: Personhood activists launch municipal abortion-ban initiative in CO Springs

  1. And they can then promote the initiative as necessary for the public safety…….as in protecting the general public from the anti-choice community's wacky followers like Robert Dear. Create the problem and then offer a "solution."

    P.S. This will probably pass at the local level. All that will do is guarantee lots of billable hours for civil rights lawyers who will present the bill to the taxpayers of Colorado Springs after the ordinance is declared unconstitutional.

    That’s what happened at the state level back in the 1990’s with Amendment Two. The taxpayers paid for that, not the homophobic bigots who placed that on the ballot.

    1. WE WILL TELL YOU what your personal religious beliefs will be (emphasis intentional).

      Seriously, these people need to read Article II,  Section 4, of the Colorado Constitution in regard to religious freedom.

    2. On the home court of Tabor, any spending on legal defense will require shutting off the street lights and ignoring municipal road repair ….

      … Oh, wait?!? 

  2. Has anyone gone back to look at the election records for the previous Personhood referendums? I know they were rejected overwhelmingly statewide, but do not know if it would have passed in the more limited confines of Colorado Springs.

    I think the campaign would be one MORE way to get Republicans on the record for their position, clarifying whether they are more social activists or Chamber of Commerce sorts, with each one angering some part of the Republican coalition. I'm pretty certain Mayor Suthers would rather have his city known for something OTHER than this sort of referendum.

    1. Politico posted a map of Colorado 2014 election results  for ballot measures by county. El Paso rejected Personhood, but by a much narrower margin (50.7 to 49.3) than most Colorado counties rejected it. Douglas County, for example, rejected Personhood by 60.3 to 39.7%.  Colorado in general rejected Personhood by about 65 – 35%.

      Undoubtedly, the Springs evangelicals will crusade to get this ballot measure on the ballot, and will probably get enough signatures to do so. My guess is that it will still fail in the general, by as narrow a margin as the 2014 initiative did.

      If it did succeed, it would be up against a Constitutional challenge – can the Springs institute a home rule law which contradicts state and Federal laws? I don't think so. (Not intended to be legal advice wink)

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