Colorado officials have granted ballot status to Amendment 48, a document which, if passed and enacted, would change the legal definition of a "person" to be "any human being from the moment of fertilization."
Does this mean a miscarriage can be prosecuted as involuntary manslaughter?
Dark humor aside, this is a very serious issue. All manner of legal implications are entwined in this one little statement. Abortion, in-vitro fertilization, stem cell research, emergency contraception - even the jurisdiction of soon-to-be parents over their fetus in medical situations - and the rest of the proverbial "gamut" are capable of being involved. We don't even realize the full impact possible.
The timing here seems odd, given that, though Colorado is traditionally a red state (thanks to the relatively rich aerospace industry engineers who prefer to pay low taxes), it does, at the moment, have a liberal majority in the state legislative body. However, there is a growing number of "born again" Christians in the area around Colorado Springs, and this population may be behind the push for the amendment (I encourage readers to check out the movie Jesus Camp). An editorial in the Rocky Mountain News states that "the young woman who is credited with promoting this initiative believes that if a fertilized egg is declared a 'person,' she will be able to stop the use of many contraceptives and all abortions."
This is an utterly frightening concept for me.
I often joke with friends about defecting to Canada, but this just about clinches the deal. The government is formed by me (the people) and on my behalf. It is for my benefit. It's bad enough that I can't bring a bottle of shampoo on a plane; soon, the misplaced vindictiveness of fundamental Christians (don't forget, Jesus taught love and compassion) will prevent me from having any sort of control over my own body.
Never have I desired more strongly to say "my God, I'm pro-choice."
4 days ago