Opponents warn human life amendment could harm women
DENVER ” Opponents of a proposal defining a fertilized human egg as a person warned Tuesday it could have unintended consequences, barring doctors from treating women with cancer and banning some birth control.
“As a physician, this proposed constitutional amendment really scares me,” said Dr. Mary Fairbanks. “The moment of fertilization is not a medical definition, and so defining a person in that ways interferes with the practice of medicine.”
The proposed ballot issue was introduced by a coalition of anti-abortion activists called Colorado for Equal Rights. The group has until May 13 to gather the 76,000 signatures needed to get on the November ballot.
Supporters did not return phone calls seeking comment.
Former state Rep. Gayle Berry, a Republican from Grand Junction, said the amendment would open the door to government control over personal choices.
“This is not a partisan issue. Both sides of the aisle can agree that if this amendment passes, Coloradans will lose the right to make decisions about their own families,” she said during a rally on the steps of the state Capitol.
Opponents formed a coalition called Protect Families Protect Choices.
They said the amendment could establish a legal basis for the government to investigate a woman and her doctor for a miscarriage, medical care for high-risk pregnancies that fail or for any action that could unintentionally harm a fetus.
They said it also could allow the government to subpoena medical records to investigate methods of birth control and interfere with medical treatments for infertility.
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