Roundup: Activists In Colorado Campaigning Hard For Personhood

Robin Marty

Colorado is fighting over the "personhood" of fertilized eggs, with a new high profile politician joining the mix, and a former teen star says some questionable things about homebirths.

The campaign in Colorado over the idea that a fertilized egg is a person is already reaching fevered heights.  But as one editorial from the Aurora Sentinel states, is ridiculous that there is a campaign at all.

There’s no need for Colorado voters to wait for a deep analysis closer to Election Day to know that Amendment 62 is deeply flawed.

Anti-abortion extremists have descended again on the state, hoping to persuade unsuspecting voters that their initiative, back for the second time, offers a good way to reduce the number of abortions in Colorado, and the other 40 states this misguided measure appears on the ballot.

The premise, which failed miserable in 2008, would change state law to define “personhood” as the moment of conception.

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If this sounds familiar, it is. Colorado voters just last year trounced this notion by a 3-1 margin.

It’s a dangerous and misguided idea that even the most-ardent critics of legalized abortion helped work to defeat last time.

It’s unnecessary. The U.S. Constitution already lays out who the country grants rights to: anyone born of another U.S. citizen; or someone born inside the country.

While science and medicine have helped improve the viability of infant humans by keeping prematurely born babies alive and treating a wide variety of lethal maladies, science and people have agreed for generations that we become “persons” at birth.

The notion that a person is created each and every time a human egg is fertilized is as nonsensical as endowing constitutional rights to female ovaries themselves or uterine cells.

However, Amendment 62 has gotten another high profile backer though in former congressman Tom Tancredo, who declared yesterday that he will be running for governor of Colorado on a third party ticket.  The Denver Daily reports:

Former Congressman Tom Tancredo wants to enforce state immigration laws, reform the state employees’ pension system, limit the power of unions, and let the people vote on all taxes and fees, if elected governor.


He also made no apologies for adopting the GOP’s so-called “Platform for Prosperity,” a platform state Republicans rolled out last year in an attempt to unify the party and throw support behind Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis. Tancredo points out that he co-wrote the platform with State Sen. Josh Penry, R-Grand Junction.

He also said he supports medical marijuana and dispensaries, calling it a necessary “experiment.” And Tancredo said he supports a controversial ballot proposal, Amendment 62 (Personhood), that would essentially ban abortions in Colorado.

Need further evidence that Amendment 62 is really about banning abortion and many forms of birth control, rather than this alleged ideal of “personhood?”  Guess where some of its supporters were earlier this week. 

That’s right, protesting a Catholic hospital, trying to get them to fire a doctor who provides abortions.

Via The Durango Herald News:

Anti-abortion protesters were about 60 strong outside Mercy Regional Medical Center on Thursday to protest the hospital’s affiliation with local obstetrician-gynecologist Richard Grossman.

Protesters waved signs that said such things as “Dr. Grossman is an abortionist” and “Abortion Kills Children,” and others purporting to depict aborted fetuses at drivers entering the hospital’s parking lot. Some drivers honked at the protesters; others revved their engines.

Many speakers urged support of Amendment 62, which will appear on the November ballot. If approved, the measure would define “person” in the Colorado Constitution as “every human being from the beginning of the biological development of that human being.”

Mini Roundup: Blossom is all grown up and all about homebirths.  But she’s also hanging with people who think if a baby doesn’t survive a homebirth, it was “not favored evolutionarily.”  As Joey would say, “Whoa!”

July 29, 2010

Pro-Abortion Elena Kagan Called “Dangerous” as Fourth Republican Backs Her –

Abortion coverage restricted in high-risk insurance pools – The Hill

Kansas Senate Candidate Todd Tiahrt Gets Pro-Life Group’s Endorsement –

House bill would ban federal abortion funding – The Hill

Obama agenda: The fallout from Arizona –

US Senate candidate defends anti-abortion stance – El Dorado Times

High-Risk Health Insurance Pool Rules Bar Abortions, Limit Patient Costs – Kaiser Health News

Boxer tries to highlight differences on abortion – San Jose Mercury News

Obama Admin Bows to Pressure, Appears to Limit Abortion Funding in Health Care –

Today’s Lady News: Federal Abortion-Funding Ban Introduced In Congress – The Frisky

Expelling unwed mothers banned in Philippines – Newsdesk

Editorial: Beware of strangers trying to sell Colorado on personhood – The Aurora Sentinel

“Inappropriate subject matter” – California Catholic Daily

Britain to focus on abortion, contraception in development programs – U.S. Catholic magazine

Abortion Clinic Closes After Doctor Diagnosed With Cancer – KHBS-KHOG Northwest Arkansas

High-risk health insurance pools to bar abortion coverage –

Republicans get everything they want and still demand more – Daily Kos

No plans to make abortion harder: Abbott – Sydney Morning Herald

Perriello: Group’s claim that bill would fund abortions wrong – Lynchburg News and Advance

Theologian argues against morality of contraception – Houston Chronicle

Students get to talking about sex and babies – TODAYonline

Funding Planned Parenthood is Unconstitutional: Senator – NBC Dallas-Fort Worth

Governor Christie’s Family Planning Veto — New Jersey’s Women Take the Heat – Huffington Post

Uganda needs new strategies to combat HIV – New Vision

Women, The Silent Bearers of HIV Burdens – MediaGlobal

Female Condoms, HIV Prevention: Will New Version Be Hit…or Dud? – CBS News

Condom use cuts men’s HPV risk –

Banks, Babies and Biases – Huffington Post

How old is too old? Pregnancy in older women investigated – WTVR

Chained Childbirth – Reason Online

The endless protest – Milwaukee News Buzz

July 30, 2010

Anti-abortion advocates protest local OB/GYN’s ties to Mercy – The Durango Herald

‘Tanc Tough’ Tancredo makes it official – Denver Daily News

In Michigan governor race, GOP has 3-way toss-up – Detroit Free Press

Charge: US promoting abortion in Kenya – BP News

Family planning prevents abortion – HeraldNet

Abortion advocates caught off guard – Politico

Group Opposing Alaska Parental Notification Initiative Reports More Money Than … – Medical News Today

UK announces ‘unprecedented focus’ on contraception, ‘safe’ abortion in aid to … – Catholic Culture

NJ Family Planning Clinics Cut Services Following Christie’s Budget Veto – Medical News Today

CA Experts Dispute Report That Claims Circumcision Could Halt HIV Cases – Public News Service

HIV/AIDS patients will get their medications after all –

Study: Family Values Turned Upside Down? – Public News Service

Roundups Law and Policy

Gavel Drop: The Fight Over Voter ID Laws Heats Up in the Courts

Jessica Mason Pieklo & Imani Gandy

Texas and North Carolina both have cases that could bring the constitutionality of Voter ID laws back before the U.S. Supreme Court as soon as this term.

Welcome to Gavel Drop, our roundup of legal news, headlines, and head-shaking moments in the courts

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton intends to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate the state’s voter ID law.

Meanwhile, according to Politifact, North Carolina attorney general and gubernatorial challenger Roy Cooper is actually saving taxpayers money by refusing to appeal the Fourth Circuit’s ruling on the state’s voter ID law, so Gov. Pat McCrory (R) should stop complaining about it.

And in other North Carolina news, Ian Millhiser writes that the state has hired high-powered conservative attorney Paul Clement to defend its indefensible voter ID law.

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Alex Thompson writes in Vice that the Zika virus is about to hit states with the most restrictive abortion laws in the United States, including Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. So if you’re pregnant, stay away. No one has yet offered advice for those pregnant people who can’t leave Zika-prone areas.

Robin Marty writes on Care2 about Americans United for Life’s (AUL) latest Mad Lib-style model bill, the “National Abortion Data Reporting Law.” Attacking abortion rights: It’s what AUL does.

The Washington Post profiled Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Given this Congress, that will likely spur another round of hearings. (It did get a response from Richards herself.)

Kimberly Strawbridge Robinson writes in Bloomberg BNA that Stanford Law Professor Pamela Karlan thinks the Supreme Court’s clarification of the undue burden standard in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt will have ramifications for voting rights cases.

This must-read New York Times piece reminds us that we still have a long way to go in accommodating breastfeeding parents on the job.

News Law and Policy

California Lawmakers Take Action Against Rampant Wage Theft

Nicole Knight

A survey of people who work for low wages found that wage theft robbed workers of $26.2 million each week in Los Angeles, making the locale the "wage theft capital of the country."

Los Angeles has earned the distinction as the country’s wage theft capital, but a new California law is tackling the rampant problem of wage theft with new enforcement tools.

The law, SB 1342, signed last month by Gov. Jerry Brown (D), gives city and county authorities subpoena powers when investigating wage violations. Until now, the state Division of Labor Standards Enforcement was the primary agency charged with investigating wage theft cases.

State Sen. Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia) authored the legislation to “ensure that our low-wage workers, who already face many challenges, receive the pay that they have earned,” Mendoza wrote in an Orange County Breeze op-ed.

Wage theft is the illegal practice of failing to pay overtime and minimum wages, denying lunch breaks, or forcing employees to work off the clock. A survey of people who work for low wages by the UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment found that wage theft robbed workers of $26.2 million each week in Los Angeles, making the locale the “wage theft capital of the country.”

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Some 654,914 workers in L.A. County are subjected to at least one pay-based violation in any given week, researchers noted.

Most people who work low-wage jobs in L.A. were born outside the United States, and the majority are Latino (73.4 percent), Asian (17.9 percent), or Black (6.3 percent), researchers found.

Wage theft is not only illegal, it contributes to food insecurity and housing instability in low-income families, Mendoza noted.

“This bill protects hard-working Californians by clarifying the ability of cities and counties to investigate non-compliance with local wage laws,” Mendoza said.

A legislative analysis of SB 1342 cited research noting that minimum wage violations are rampant in industries such as garment manufacturing, domestic service, building services, and department stores, where wages are low.

The measure comes as states and cities are increasing minimum wages as lawmakers in Congress have refused to consider raising the federal minimum wage of $7.25.

Brown in April signed a law lifting the statewide minimum pay rate to $15 per hour by 2022. More than a dozen cities, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle, have proposed or enacted $15 minimum wage rates, according to the National Employment Law Project.


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