National Partnership for Women & Families

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Colo. Voters Reject 'Personhood' Amendment for Second Time

Colo. Voters Reject 'Personhood' Amendment for Second Time

November 3, 2010 — A Colorado ballot initiative -- Amendment 62 -- that would have established state constitutional rights for fertilized eggs was defeated Tuesday by a three-to-one margin, the same spread as in a 2008 vote on a nearly identical measure, the Denver Post reports (Draper, Denver Post, 11/3). Seventy percent of voters rejected Amendment 62, which would have defined a person as existing "from the beginning of biological development" (Moreno, AP/Washington Examiner, 11/3).

Opponents of Amendment 62 argued that it would have outlawed abortion services and emergency contraception, as well as certain treatments for infertility, miscarriages and tubal pregnancies. A coalition of more than 70 groups opposed to the initiative -- including Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado and New Era Colorado -- said they successfully educated voters on the possible consequences of the measure. The "No on 62" campaign raised $578,000, nearly 10 times that of supporters. The campaign organized a series of public forums featuring lawyers, pastors, physicians and women who had experienced rape, miscarriage or infertility.

Supporters of the initiative said their campaign was successful because it raised awareness of their cause. Personhood Colorado spokesperson Jennifer Mason said, "We're excited to try again next election" (Denver Post, 11/3).