Saturday, October 25, 2008

Fuming ... Here we go again!

While the Constitution may guarantee my freedom 'OF' religion, it's becoming harder and harder to actually experience freedom 'FROM' religion. It seems the zealots are at it again, but this time in Colorado, with Colorado Amendment 48. If they can pass it there to modify Colorado's constitution, you can safely bet your last dollar that it will go viral next election season and be on state ballots all across this nation.

It's one thing to FUME. It's another to do something.

Some pro-choice people are channeling their post-debate aggravation into action. Don't like how John McCain put cynical air quotes around "Health of a mother"? They're working to defeat Amendment 48 (A48) in Colorado. A48 would grant constitutional "personhood" to a fertilized egg. It's a sneaky way to end-run Roe v. Wade and end pregnant women's health and privacy rights. They say, and they're right.

"If passed, A48 will spread from state to state, threatening access to abortion, access to emergency contraception, and even birth control pills and IUDs," says the Feminist Majority. There's a state based coalition: Protect Families Protect Choices purchasing media ads and mobilizing voters statewide now.

Joke about John McCain's creepy "air quotes" all you like. But there's nothing empty about proposals like A48 in Colorado.

— GritTV

Giving legal rights to fertilized eggs has serious consequences. Amendment 48 would impact literally thousands of laws and threaten quality health care and patient privacy.

Some possible results of Amendment 48:

  • Clogged Courts: A48 would impact laws ranging from when property rights are granted, to inheritance rights, to who can file a lawsuit.
  • Ban All Abortion: A48 would ban abortion—even for victims of rape and incest or when a woman’s life is at risk.
  • Outlaw Emergency Contraception: A48 is so bad it could outlaw emergency contraception, the birth control pill, and other methods of birth control because they can prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus.
  • Restrict Health Care: A woman with cancer could be refused life-saving medical treatment because it could put a fertilized egg in danger.

— Protect Families Protect Choices

Related posts:
Birth Control Watch (explanation of Colorado Amendment 48)
Protect Families Protect Choices

1 comment:

Diana Hsieh said...

Thank you for your opposition to Amendment 48!

You might be interested in this web site outlining the case against Amendment 48:

We discuss the issue in greater detail in an issue paper published by the Coalition for Secular Government -- "Amendment 48 Is Anti-Life: Why It Matters That a Fertilized Egg Is Not a Person" -- by Ari Armstrong and myself. It's available at:

We discuss some of the serious implications of this proposed amendment, such as:

* Amendment 48 would make abortion first-degree murder, except perhaps to save the woman's life. First-degree murder is defined in Colorado law as deliberately causing the death of a "person," a crime punished by life in prison or the death penalty. So women and their doctors would be punished with the severest possible penalty under law for terminating a pregnancy -- even in cases of rape, incest, and fetal deformity.

* Amendment 48 would ban any form of birth control that might sometimes prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterus -- including the birth control pill, morning-after pill, and IUD. The result would be many more unintended pregnancies and unwanted children in Colorado.

* Amendment 48 would ban in vitro fertilization because the process usually creates more fertilized eggs than can be safely implanted in the womb. So every year, hundreds of Colorado couples would be denied the joy of a child of their own.

Our paper also develops a strong defense of abortion rights -- not based on vague appeals to "choice" or "privacy" -- but on the fact that neither an embryo nor fetus qualifies as a person with a right to life.

An embryo or fetus is wholly dependent on the woman for its basic life-functions. It goes where she goes, eats what she eats, and breathes what she breathes. It lives as an extension of her body, contained within and dependent on her for its survival. It is only a potential person, not an actual person.

That situation changes radically at birth. The newborn baby exists as a distinct organism, separate from his mother. Although still very needy, he lives his own life. He is a person, and his life must be protected as a matter of right.

So, we argue, when a woman chooses to terminate a pregnancy she does not violate the rights of any person. Instead, she is properly exercising her own rights over her own body in pursuit of her own happiness. Moreover, in most cases, she is acting morally and responsibly by doing so.

Again, the URL for the paper is:

The sad fact is that Amendment 48 is based on sectarian religious dogma, not objective science or philosophy. It is a blatant attempt to impose theocracy in America. That's definitely a scary thought.

Thanks again for speaking up about it -- and my apologies for writing such a huge comment.

Diana Hsieh
Founder, Coalition for Secular Government

The Coalition for Secular Government advocates government solely based on secular principles of individual rights. The protection of a person's basic rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness -- including freedom of religion and conscience -- requires a strict separation of church and state.