DENVER DAILY NEWS
Backers of Amendment 62, known more commonly as the “personhood amendment,” will hold a rally and press conference on the west steps of the state Capitol Tuesday to encourage voters to trash their Blue Books and “seek accurate information about the amendment.”
However, opponents of the personhood amendment maintain that the initiative is deceptive and dangerous.
Jennifer Mason, communications director for Amendment 62, said the so-called Blue Book by the Legislative Council is rife with inaccuracies and outright lies. Amendment 62 states: “the term ‘person’ shall apply to every human being from the beginning of the biological development of that human being.”
“The Blue Book is replete with lies about Amendment 62, and it was paid for with our tax dollars,” Mason said in a press release. “Since the Legislative Council trashed our amendment with deceptions, we are asking voters to trash their Blue Books, treating them like the garbage that they are, and to seek accurate information about the amendments.”
Meanwhile, opponents of the amendment released a radio ad in Northern Colorado over the weekend blasting the amendment.
Foes say the amendment is deceptive and dangerous and would give legal rights to fertilized eggs under the state constitution. The NO on 62 Campaign said in a press release that the amendment would ban abortion in all cases, even for victims of rape or incest and when a woman’s life is at risk.
But proponents of Amendment 62 said the language in the Blue Book is neither fair nor impartial. They say there are “several falsehoods” stated in the Blue Book about their initiative, including controversy surrounding the definition of a “person” as the “beginning of the biological development,” which is the main goal in the initiative’s aim to ban abortion.
Other complaints from proponents include statements in the Blue Book from opponents that women would be denied health care for certain emergency procedures — such as for miscarriages — if Amendment 62 is backed by voters this fall. Proponents are also concerned that the Blue Book includes language from opponents suggesting that the measure could subject doctors and nurses to legal action.
Proponents had filed a lawsuit against the state for a “biased” analysis of their measure. But Denver District Judge Robert Hyatt threw out the challenge, ruling that the plaintiffs did not have jurisdiction to intervene in advance of a general election. He ruled that the language of the Blue Book is a legislative function, not a decision to be made by the courts.
Opponents said in a press release that if the amendment passes, emergency contraception could be banned, even for victims of rape or incest; and many commonly used forms of birth control could be banned, including the pill.
NO on 62 also said the amendment could result in a ban of in vitro fertilization and other assisted reproductive technologies.
Amendment 62 backers, however, say the opposition has it wrong.
In an op/ed submitted to the Denver Daily News, Dennis Hoshiko, Personhood Amendment 62 Northern Colorado campaign coordinator, wrote that if the amendment passes:
» Contraception won’t be banned. Barrier methods of contraception that prevent the union of sperm and the egg (fertilization) won’t be prohibited since neither a sperm nor an egg by itself is a human being;
» In vitro fertilization won’t be banned. Current in vitro practices will have to be reformed, but the procedure itself would not be prohibited. Instead, scientists will have to develop ethical alternatives to the mass production and extermination of human beings that currently occurs at fertility clinics;
» Human embryonic stem cell research will be banned. Using human embryonic stem cells for research will be prohibited. Using umbilical and adult stem cells doesn’t require the creation and destruction of human beings for medical experimentation and treatments and such procedures actually work compared to using embryonic stem cells that has never worked.
But Dr. Andrew Ross, a general OB/GYN in Denver, an opponent of Amendment 62, said if passed the amendment could turn women’s wombs into potential crime scenes.
He described Amendment 62 as an attack on physician-patient relationships. He also shared his and his wife’s personal experience with a tragic miscarriage.
“Shortly after we were married, my wife became pregnant,” Ross said. “Between six and eight weeks of pregnancy, the heartbeat we had seen on ultrasound disappeared. This is a sad scenario I see regularly in my practice, and medical studies show that one in three women will experience a miscarriage in her life. If Amendment 62 passes, this becomes an unexplained death and would require a coroner’s report. My wife’s uterus becomes a potential crime scene, and her medical treatment would be delayed.”
Untrue, Mason said.
“There’s no way Amendment 62 could affect the treatment for miscarriages,” she said.
And that’s the purpose of Tuesday’s rally/press conference: to set the facts straight on Amendment 62, she said.
“Because honestly, as a woman who has suffered several miscarriages, if I read that I would be influenced against 62 if I didn’t know what it was all about.”
‘Trash the Blue Book’ press conference
Where: West steps of the state Capitol
When: 10:45 a.m. Tuesday