Kids Voting: Amendment 62 defines life as beginning at conception

By Cassandra Lopez

Amendment 62 was proposed in an attempt to legally define a person in the Colorado Bill of Rights.

The ballot question will ask voters to determine whether the Colorado Bill of Rights should be amended to define a person as starting at the beginning of biological development. In other words, should the Colorado Constitution be amended to include the beginning of a human life as conception, with all rights granted?

The amendment clearly would define the rights that each individual will be granted from conception. These rights include inalienable rights and due process and equality of justice, rights provided in the federal Constitution as well as the Colorado Bill of Rights.

Inalienable rights provide people with right to life and liberty, the right to possess and protect property, as well as to enjoy and defend life. Equality of justice and due process, with small variations, ensure that the courts will adhere to the law and treat all individuals with equal importance, without discrimination. In this case, the courts would be legally bound to treat people of all ages, including a fetus, as they would any other individual.

The legalities behind this amendment, as well as religious convictions, have voters on opposite sides. Those in support of Amendment 62 argue that a fetus, no matter how small, is entitled to all the same rights as adults, or the already born.

“A child’s right to life begins at conception, not at birth. From conception, all children are people,” said Pam Tebow on a personhood support website, Life Cite News.

They also argue that defining a person as beginning at conception would protect a fetus from being intentionally harmed. Intentional harm would encompass abortion or injury inflicted on an expecting mother. They believe the unborn have inalienable rights and that the courts are obligated to protect them.

Those in opposition of Amendment 62 argue the law would be “stretched” and there would be no legal method to determine at which point the law has been used to its fullest extent.

“This is not about the morality, the right and wrong; this is about upholding the Constitution, and a woman’s constitutional right to choose,” said Beatrice Madison, president of the NAACP on the opposition site NO62.

The opposition also argues it would be too difficult to differentiate between intentional harm and unintentional harm, such as a medical professional treating a patient without knowledge of a pregnancy, resulting in harm to that unborn baby. They also argue Amendment 62 impedes on the essential rights of women.

According to CNN Politics Poll Ticker, 80 percent of Colorado’s registered voters are in opposition to the amendment.

In the past, amendments similar to Amendment 62 have failed, not only in Colorado, but on a national scale.

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Cassandra Lopez is a senior at Fruita Monument High School and is reporting on election issues for The Daily Sentinel in conjunction with Kids Voting of Mesa County.



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