What the Next Personhood Amendment Would Do

October 28 2009, 11:23 AM
Though voters defeated a measure in 2008 that sought to define a fertilized human egg as a person, thus affording it rights, advocates of the idea will not give up. The text of 2010's proposed "Personhood Amendment," according to backers at Personhood Colorado, would clarify Colorado's constitution by stating that the definition of a "person" shall "apply to every human being from the beginning of the biological development of that human being." Moreover, abortion, as well as tinkering with fertilized eggs for scientific reasons, would be an offense tantamount to murder or torture: "No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law." The Colorado Independent reports that Colorado Right to Life and Personhood USA, the groups behind proposed Initiative 25, are "lining up friends and foes" in their latest campaign, including scientists at the University of Colorado-Boulder. Personhood Colorado Director Gualberto Garcia Jones says the measure is "intended to account for human beings who may be created through asexual reproduction in laboratories and used as raw material for research, organs, or stem cells." Such groups are mobilizing in several states, including Nevada, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, which reports that if one state approves such legislation, it could be used to challenge the U.S. Supreme Court's decision allowing abortion.