Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Personhood Question Arises in Colorado

Not too long ago at the collaborative blog I posted on whether or not abortion is a religious issue. A good discussion ensued and boiled down to mostly a policy discussion. A good-natured debate in respect to the inequality of different religions was the primary topic of the thread and that different religions say that life begins at different times, whether in the womb or not.

I find it amazing that we must debate when life begins. Only because we have the unnatural capability of stopping a life from growing in the womb does this debate arise. In Colorado last Tuesday, a measure was taken by their court system to define when a life begins. A constitutional amendment was passed unanimously in the state supreme court and will go to a ballot vote in November of '08. The language of the amendment is as follows:
"Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution defining the term 'person' to include any human being from the moment of fertilization as 'person' . . . in those provisions of the Colorado constitution relating to inalienable rights, equality of justice, and due process of law."
I walked through the argument for personhood and its endowment by God in the womb at the post at sbcImpact. Michael J. Norton, a lawyer who represented supporters of the proposal, said the real impact of the proposal would be in its simplicity, asking a profound philosophical and moral question.

“The whole issue centers on when does life begin,” Mr. Norton said. He said that though the word “abortion” would not appear in the language of the proposal, it would effectively make an abortion “the destruction of a person” and therefore illegal.

“Whatever rights and liberties and duties and responsibilities are guaranteed under the Constitution or other state laws would flow to that life,” Mr. Norton said.

Crying foul, Vicki Cowart, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, said this then "would give fertilized eggs the state constitutional protections of inalienable rights, justice and due process." Opening a Pandora's Box of legal implications, birth control and in-vitro fertilizations would also be called into question.

This is an important debate that needs to happen. It is the responsibility of a free, civilized society to protect the weak and oppressed and certainly the unborn fall into this category. Several states (GA, MS, MI, OR) have attempted such measures, but thus far only Colorado has been successful, and Colorado would be the first state to vote on such an initiative.

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