‘Unborn human beings’ question makes 2014 ballot

For a third time, Colorado voters will have a chance to decide if an unborn child should be declared a person.

That’s because the same group that placed similar ballot measures before the voters did so again Monday.

According to the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office, the same group that got measures onto the ballot in 2008 and 2010, Personhood Colorado, had turned in enough signatures of registered voters to get a measure onto the ballot in November 2014.

The group turned in more than 140,000 signatures, with nearly 110,000 of them proving to be of valid voters, the office said.

Similar efforts to declare an unborn child a person failed by more than 70 percent of the vote in the two times Coloradans considered it. Similar ballot measures have failed in other states.

News that it had qualified for the ballot drew immediate reaction from the Colorado chapter of the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League.

“What part of, ‘No,’ don’t they understand?” asked NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado Executive Director Karen Middleton.

“The third time isn’t a charm, and this same small group of proponents who don’t represent the majority of Coloradans needs to stop wasting our time and money.”

Unlike previous measures that would have declared an unborn child a person, this one takes a slightly different tack.

It would add “unborn human being” to the state’s criminal code, particularly laws dealing with crimes against pregnant women.

“In the interest of the protection of pregnant mothers and their unborn children from criminal offenses and neglect and wrongful acts, the words ‘person’ and ‘child’ in the Colorado criminal code and the Colorado Wrongful Death Act must include unborn human being,” the ballot question is to read.

During this year’s legislative session, lawmakers approved changes to that code, adding sentencing enhancers to crimes committed against pregnant women that result in the death of their child.

Lawmakers, however, added specific language to the new law, which went into effect in July, expressly prohibiting it from being interpreted as giving rights to unborn children or outlawing abortions.



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