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Statement by Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains’ CEO and President Vicki Cowart following motion for “personhood” rehearing

Contacts

Monica McCafferty
303.813.7732
720.475.0289


Published: 01.04.12| Updated: 01.04.12

DENVER – “We are disappointed in today’s decision by the state Title Setting Review Board to allow Personhood Colorado to move forward with its attempt to place a so-called ‘personhood’ amendment on the 2012 ballot. Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains strongly supports the objections made during today’s rehearing by the petitioners and we were encouraged by one member of the three-person Title Board who voiced our similar concerns pertaining to the single subject requirement.  Unfortunately, the 2-to-1 decision still means that the measure can move forward. 

“Given the strong legal basis of the objections, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains along with our Protect Families Protect Choices coalition, will support another challenge of the measure’s misleading title to the Colorado Supreme Court.

“Personhood Colorado’s ballot title violates and exceeds the state’s single subject requirement, is blatantly flawed, unfair and misleading, contains hugely problematic definitions that are likely to create confusion among voters, and does not adequately inform voters. The measure would establish a new legal, constitutional right without providing voters a full understanding of its unknown and far-reaching ramifications. 

“Colorado voters have twice rejected amending the state constitution and for good reasons. In a time when we should be focused on helping women and their families, Personhood Colorado appears singularly focused on prohibiting and restricting a woman’s right to make personal, private decisions for herself and her family.”

Background

This is Personhood Colorado’s third attempt since 2008 to pass a so-called “personhood” initiative in Colorado. Protect Families Protect Choices, a coalition of diverse and numerous pro-choice groups including Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, led the opposition campaigns to defeat Amendments 48, in 2008, and 62, in 2010, by 3-to-1 margins both times.

PFPC supported a ballot title challenge to the Colorado Supreme Court in 2008, which was not successful. A ballot title was not presented in 2010. Due to the new language and structure of the proposed 2012 initiative, PFPC in conjunction with PPRM, is confident supporting a 2012 Supreme Court challenge.

Mississippi recently defeated a “personhood” amendment in November 2011. Like Colorado’s previous “personhood” measures, the impact of these amendments have far-reaching consequences that jeopardize a woman's health and the care she receives from her physician. If passed, the initiative would lay a legal foundation to outlaw all abortions in Colorado, even for rape or incest victims, or when the life of the woman is at risk. Likewise, certain forms of birth control, stem-cell research, and in vitro fertilization could be prohibited.

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Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains empowers individuals and families in the communities we serve to make informed choices about their sexual and reproductive health by providing high quality health services, comprehensive sex education, and strategic advocacy.  More than 123,000 women, men, and young adults annually visit our 28 health centers throughout Colorado, New Mexico, Southern Nevada, and Wyoming.  Since 1916, we have been the region’s most trusted provider of reproductive health care.  For more information about Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, call 1.800.230.PLAN or visit pprm.org for the health center nearest you.

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