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feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

August-07-12

Colorado Personhood Signatures Submitted

On Monday the Colorado Personhood Coalition submitted 112,121 signatures to the secretary of state, surpassing the 86,105 signatures required to get its anti-abortion initiative on the ballot in November. The signatures must be verified by state officials by September 5th. This will be the third consecutive time Colorado will have a personhood initiative on the ballot in the general election. In 2008, it got 27 percent of the vote, and in 2010 it got 30 percent of the vote.

According to the Daily Beast, Planned Parenthood said on Monday on the local Colorado news: "For the third time in the past consecutive general elections, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains today vowed to defeat the so-called personhood initiative. 'Personhood' amendments ban all abortion, specifically for victims of rape and incest. Personal, private medical decisions would be taken out of a woman's hands, and controlled by politicians and the government -- These decisions are best left to a woman, her family, and her faith."

Abortion-rights supporters argue that personhood amendments would not only strip women of their constitutional right to safe and legal abortion, but would also outlaw forms of birth control and threaten in-vitro fertilization. No state has passed a personhood measure thus far. According to NARAL Pro-Choice America (PDF), 14 state legislatures introduced 26 personhood measures in 2011. Last week Personhood USA, a national personhood organization, filed a petition with the US Supreme Court to appeal the Oklahoma Supreme Court's unanimous decision to block a personhood ballot initiative in April. The Oklahoma court said the amendment is "clearly unconstitutional."

Media Resources: US Politics Today 8/6/12; The Daily Beast 8/6/12; The Denver Post 8/6/12; Feminist Daily Newswire 87/31/12


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