Why the Latest Abortion Measure Looks So Familiar

September 2009
You might recall Amendment 48, the so-called "Personhood Amendment," which would have guaranteed "any human being" constitutional protections in Colorado "from the moment of conception." You might also remember that the measure failed by a large margin in last year's election. But you're probably not surprised to hear that activists are pushing a similar measure again, collecting signatures at the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo with a strong sales pitch. "Would you like to sign a petition to stop abortion?" Keith Mason, head of suburban Denver's Personhood USA, asks passers-by (via The Associated Press). He's campaigning for a ballot measure that would end all abortions, even in cases of rape or incest, by protecting fertilized embryos as human despite resounding losses for similar measures last year in Colorado and other states. (Petition drives are moving forward in other states, too, including Mississippi, Montana, and Nevada, and are expected in California and Florida.) Though the local drive has reproductive-rights supporters concerned, they're not sure how worked up to become---or how much to spend during campaign season---given the rejection of the previous measures around the nation. "For us, you do scratch your head and say, 'How often do we need to fight this?'" asks Emilie Ailts, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado.