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DENVER – Today, three registered electors, with support from Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains and Protect Families Protect Choices, asked the Supreme Court to reject this year’s effort to extend full legal and constitutional rights to fertilized eggs.

Last week, the so-called “personhood” initiative was granted a ballot title by a 2-to-1 decision by the State Title Review Board. In setting a title, the Board grappled with whether the proposed initiative met the state’s constitutional single subject requirement, as well as whether it was likely to mislead voters.

The opponents will file their brief to the Colorado Supreme Court later this month.

Colorado voters overwhelming defeated two similar “personhood” amendments in the 2008 and 2010 elections, rejecting the measures by 3-to-1 margins both times. 

“Colorado voters have clearly spoken on this issue. While it’d be ideal for Personhood Colorado to respect the wishes of Colorado voters and leave our state constitution alone, Planned Parenthood is prepared to defeat this initiative for a third time,” said PPRM CEO and President Vicki Cowart. “Like the previous two attempts, we will educate and remind voters that Personhood Colorado’s real agenda is to restrict a woman’s ability to make personal, private decisions about her own body even on issues of contraception and in vitro fertilization.”


This is Personhood Colorado’s third attempt since 2008 to pass a “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 challenge was not presented in 2010. Due to the new language and structure of the proposed 2012 initiative, PFPC in conjunction with PPRM, is confidently supporting a 2012 Supreme Court challenge to Personhood Colorado’s proposed initiative.

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


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.


Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, Inc.


Monica McCafferty


January 09, 2012