Group Submits Signatures for Colo. 'Personhood' Amendment

August 7, 2012 — The Colorado Personhood Coalition on Monday said they have gathered enough signatures to put a so-called "personhood" amendment on the state's November ballot, the Denver Post reports.

The measure would amend the state constitution to say that protections of life "apply equally to all innocent persons" and would "prohibit the intentional killing of any innocent person." According to proponents, it would not ban certain forms of contraception, in vitro fertilization or medical treatment for a pregnant woman with a life-threatening condition, nor would it criminalize spontaneous miscarriage (Draper, Denver Post, 8/6).

The group said it collected 112,121 signatures; 86,105 were required.

The ballot initiative is the third attempt to pass such an amendment in Colorado. In 2008, 27% of residents voted in favor of a personhood amendment, and 30% of voters approved a similar measure in 2010 (Pesta, "Women in the World," The Daily Beast, 8/6).

Opponents are working to defeat the measure. The NO Personhood coalition, including Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, the Interfaith Alliance of Colorado and the Colorado Association for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights, has already spent $2 million fighting such amendments in the past two elections.

Emilie Ailts, a coalition spokesperson and NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado executive director, said personhood initiatives are "a colossal waste of time and funds that could go to women and children who don't get good prenatal and postnatal care" and that they "disregard the needs of women and children who are alive and unhealthy today" (Denver Post, 8/6).