Colorado’s Anti-Choice Amendment Advocates: Just Say No to Cancer Prevention Programs!

Amie Newman

Colorado's Amendment 48 backers are trying a new tactic in the face of crushing defeat: attack low-income women's access to cancer screenings!

Who is advising these poor people?

First they come out with an amendment that seeks to turn fertilized eggs inside of women’s bodies into human beings with full-fledged human rights (against the better judgment of a host of anti-choice organizations and legislators who have stayed far away perhaps with the clarity of vision that this kind of constitutional amendment is even too extreme for the extremists), and now they’re attempting to dismantle federally-funded health care programs that provide breast and cervical cancer screenings for low-income women in Colorado?
VIDEO:: Life Begins at Fertilization?

Backers of Colorado’s Amendment 48, also called the "personhood amendment," filed suit on Wednesday of this week against the state for reimbursing Planned Parenthood and the Boulder Women’s Health Clinic, both of which act as sites for the state’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program (BCCP), a program that is federally funded and so exists in states around the country. The organization says this violates state law prohibiting the public funding of abortion services. Centers that receive federal funding to administer this program do so with strict reporting requirements, just as do centers that provide abortions and receive Title X funding to provide family planning and contraception to low-income women. 

While the Christian Family Alliance of Colorado claims the state has given a total of $18 million to both organizations, the Denver Post says the number is wrong:

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The actual amount those two organizations received is much less. Planned Parenthood of the Rockies, for example, received $610,000 in reimbursements in 2007. The figure doesn’t include federal Medicaid payments.

For a campaign that has been lagging consistently behind in the polls, with little hope of winning, this not only reeks of desperation but of thoughtlessness. Promoting an ideological agenda, using a narrow religious view, to attempt to change a state constitution is one thing. Attacking necessary preventative services for breast and cervical cancer and using low-income women as pawns in a political chess-game is not a strategy I’d bank on. 

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