Once you define a fetus or embryo as a person

There will be a fetal personhood amendment on the ballot in Colorado next year, RH Reality Check reports.

Personhood Colorado has tried three times to pass some kind of fetal “personhood” amendment in Colorado, which would effectively outlaw abortions. Those previous measures failed by a margin of 3 to 1 in 2008 and 2010, and did not receive enough valid signatures to appear on the 2012 ballot.

But this year it got enough valid signatures to get on the 2014 ballot.

The so-called Brady Amendment, or Amendment 67, was initiated by Heather Surovik, who was struck by a drunk driver when she was eight months pregnant. She lost her fetus, which she had planned to name Brady. Surovik writes on her website that she wanted Brady to be legally recognized as a person so that the driver could be prosecuted on homicide charges.

“Homicide is an act that can only be perpetrated against a person,” Cathy Alderman, vice president of public affairs at Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, told RH Reality Check. “Once you define a fetus or embryo as a person, you pit the rights of a woman against her pregnancy. … We recognize that a pregnancy is part of a woman.”

If only everyone did.

Personhood USA is backing Amendment 67, and it is also appealing the 2012 ruling that its own personhood amendment did not have enough valid signatures, Personhood USA spokesperson Jennifer Mason told RH Reality Check.

Personhood USA’s amendment language specifically defines a “human being” as “a member of the species homo sapiens at any stage of development.” Amendment 67, on the other hand, has language about “protecting pregnant women and unborn children” which vaguely defines “unborn human beings” as a person or child.

“This amendment is unique because it recognizes the personhood of babies like Brady and doesn’t go out of its way to affirm abortion,” Mason said. When asked whether the amendment would affect access to safe abortion care, she said, “It’s a very interesting question before the legislature. … If babies in the womb are people who deserve protection, what’s the difference from other babies?”

Oh gee, yes it is interesting, especially for women who want to stop being pregnant.




  1. Anthony K says

    It’s a very interesting question before the legislature

    “Interesting” is like “provocative”.

    They both mean “OMFG I AM SO FUCKING CURIOUS ABOUT THIS ISSUE IT’S SUCH A FUCKING AMAZING MINDFUCK HOW DID ANYONE EVER LIVE BEFORE I THOUGHT SUCH MINDFUCKING THINKS AS I AM THINKING RIGHT NOW but not curious enough to read the volumes that have already been thought and written about this issue so please indulge every simplistic ‘gotcha’ I think I’m the first to come up with.”

    Dense language, this English is.

  2. arno says

    While the idea that a fetus is a person is blatantly absurd, even pretending it where so still does not actually justify outlawing abortions, I’d argue. It may have an impact on what methods of abortion are admissible, though. Given that being an organ donor requires consent demonstrates that even after death, a persons boldiy autonomy is still seen to outweigh the need of another person to access the first persons body to survive. So it would them that clearly we have the same rights when alive – i.e. removing a “person-fetus” from your body is well within anyones rights.

  3. Amy Clare says

    Wow… it’s incredibly sad what happened to this woman, and I’m sure she is experiencing terrible grief as it was a wanted pregnancy, but should her experience be allowed to dictate law that will affect millions of other women? Initiating this amendment just seems like personal vengeance and I thought that was something the law was supposed to guard against?

  4. johnthedrunkard says

    Oddly, the Bible itself makes a clear distinction between the status of a fetus and a woman. Causing a miscarriage is absolutely NOT equivalent to killing a person, if one is claiming to be ‘Biblically Guided.’

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