Colorado pro-lifers take leave of senses

A couple of wingnuts calling themselves Colorado for Equal Rights, with an alleged promise of legal assistance from the lunatic fringe Thomas More Law Center, have proposed an amendment to the Colorado Constitution that would define “person” to “include any human being from the moment of fertilization” for purposes of three specific state constitutional guarantees. The text of the proposed ballot initiative, available here, got final approval from the Secretary of State’s Initiative Title Setting Review Board on Thursday.

Yep, that’s right. These folks want to afford constitutional protection to fertilized human eggs. Not just fetuses, mind you, but fertilized eggs.

The three state constitutional provisions that would be affected were this bed-wetting insanity to pass read:

Section 3. Inalienable rights.

All persons have certain natural, essential and inalienable rights, among which may be reckoned the right of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties; of acquiring, possessing and protecting property; and of seeking and obtaining their safety and happiness.

Section 6. Equality of justice.

Courts of justice shall be open to every person, and a speedy remedy afforded for every injury to person, property or character; and right and justice should be administered without sale, denial or delay.

Section 25. Due process of law.

No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law.

Fucking brilliant. From now on the state won’t be able to execute a fertilized egg unless and until a jury finds it guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of a capital crime. That’s been a HUGE problem up until now. Moreover, pregnant women are now free to jam loaded firearms up their hoo-has so that their fertilized eggs can exercise their right of “defending their lives and liberties[.]” And just the other day we were sitting around the office bitching about how unfair it is that fertilized eggs lack a forum to bring their meritorious tort and breach-of-contract claims.

This proposed amendment is magnificently idiotic on so many levels that it’s nigh on impossible to choose a starting point. I was going to talk about unintended consequences, but there are just too goddamn many of them.

Instead, let’s talk about what our intrepid pro-lifers want out of this. They told the Initiative Title Setting Review Board that their goal is to render abortion unlawful. If by unlawful they mean criminal, I fail to see how the amendment gets them where they want to go.

The existing constitutional provisions that the amendment would affect operate as limits on government action. In other words, they’re not like criminal laws that a private person can “violate.” In still other words, the state can’t prosecute a woman who has an abortion or a doctor who performs one for violating the egg’s due process or inalienable rights protections.

To render abortion “illegal” in the criminal sense would require amending the criminal code, which for homicide purposes currently defines “person” as “a human being who has been born and was alive at the time of the homicidal act.” C.R.S. 18-3-101(2). The proposed amendment does not affect any statutory definitions of “person.” No change in the criminal code, no change in criminal liability.

In any event, there’s a long way to go before this train wreck actually sees the ballot. The proponents need 76,000 or so valid signatures, and the amendment’s language will have to survive the inevitable court challenge. Stay tuned!

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Comments

  • lisarea  On August 6, 2007 at 7:26 pm

    There was this one movie called “Chatterbox” where some lady’s cooter learned how to talk. I mean, it was her cooter and not a fertilized egg, but the talking would come from the same vicinity, and something about the First Amendment or something.

    Anyways, I’m not a lawyer, but I wanted to fuck around in your blog comments talking some dumb shit about some stupid 70s movie I never saw.

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