Vote No 67 Says No to Legislation in the Colorado General Assembly to Create Personhood

For More Information:
Fofi Mendez
303.863.7777

 

April 15, 2015
Press Release / For Immediate Release

Vote No 67 Says No to Legislation in the Colorado General Assembly to Create Personhood

All Coloradans are horrified by the violent attack on Michelle Wilkins of Longmont, Colorado. She was violently assaulted by another woman who attempted to steal her unborn child. The alleged perpetrator of this awful crime has been charged with multiple counts of felony criminal behavior, including attempted first degree murder and first degree unlawful termination of pregnancy. If convicted, the assailant will spend the rest of her life in prison.

However, there are some who want to use this tragedy for political gain to attack access to safe abortion services in Colorado. Yesterday, anti-abortion extremists in the Colorado legislature introduced a bill, SB-268, "Offenses Against Unborn Children." The legislation seeks to create new criminal charge of fetal homicide, which would result in a new definition of a "person" in Colorado law to include an "unborn child at every state of gestation from conception until childbirth.". In other words -- creation of "personhood."

This bill goes against Colorado values. Colorado voters have wisely rejected "personhood" time and time again. They understand creating "personhood" in Colorado law is dangerous and could criminalize Colorado women and their doctors, who need access to safe abortion services. This past November voters overwhelming rejected the personhood Amendment 67 on the ballot by 64%. Furthermore, SB-268 could put women who have suffered their own loss of a miscarriage or stillborn birth at risk of being prosecuted. SB-268 is a very dangerous proposal for Colorado women and their health.

And Colorado's legal system already has the tools to respond and punish criminals who attack pregnant women. In 2013, the Colorado General Assembly passed legislation known as "Unlawful Termination of Pregnancy." The bill included different degrees of charges when someone attacks a pregnant woman causing her to lose her pregnancy, including a second degree felony, which carries the sentence of 32 years in prison. This charge and the sentence given for it will be in addition to all others, which in the case of the Longmont attack could result in a sentence of 112 years. This law was written using a carefully balanced approach, with the goal of creating strict and harsh protections for pregnant women who are victims of crime, while also protecting Colorado women's reproductive rights.

We support pregnant women who are the victims of crime and we support holding criminals accountable under our laws -- but using tragedies to politicize and limit access to safe abortion care services is wrong.

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Vote NO 67 Celebrates Victory For Colorado Women, Families & Doctors

For More Information:
Cara DeGette
Communications Director
720-979-4385

November 4, 2014
Press Release / For Immediate Release

Vote NO 67 Celebrates Victory For Colorado Women, Families & Doctors
Effort To Ban Abortions and Restrict Contraception Defeated for the Third Time

The voters of Colorado have overwhelmingly rejected – for the third time since 2008 – a far-reaching constitutional amendment designed to ban all abortions in Colorado, including in cases of rape, incest and when the health of the mother is at risk. Amendment 67 would have gone so far as to restrict access to commonly used forms of birth control, including the Pill and IUDs -- and ban in-vitro fertilization for infertile couples who are hoping to have families.

With nearly all precincts reporting, voters have rejected Amendment 67 by 64 percent.

“We’re thrilled that the voters of Colorado were able to, once again, see through the very deceptive ballot language of Amendment 67 and reject it outright,” said Fofi Mendez, campaign director of the Vote NO 67 Campaign. “Once again, Colorado has made it clear that issues surrounding women’s healthcare are personal, private decisions, and not those of the government, courts and lawyers.”

The Vote NO 67 Campaign is comprised of a broad-based, nonpartisan coalition of doctors, nurses, other medical professionals, attorneys, civil libertarians, Latina, African-American, Asian-American organizations, and dozens of community groups. Since the Vote NO 67 Campaign launched in July, more than 75 organizations signed on in formal support, ranging from the Colorado Bar Association to the Colorado Medical Society to the El Paso County Libertarian Party. Nineteen newspapers editorialized against the measure.

No news organization supported Amendment 67, which was sponsored by Personhood USA and Colorado Right To Life. Those groups sponsored similar constitutional amendments in 2008 and 2010, which were overwhelmingly defeated.

If passed, Amendment 67 would have expanded the term “person” in the Colorado Constitution to include “unborn human being” – which has no established legal or medical definition. Attorneys, medical professionals and others noted the result would have criminalized women and their doctors.

“The voters have said, again, they believe women should make their own healthcare decisions,” said Vicki Cowart, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains. “Coloradans believe that women should be free to make their own decisions about where, when and how to have children. They believe that women should have the ability to use the birth control that works best for them, to be able to use in-vitro fertilization to have children, and to make their own medical decisions when their health is in jeopardy.”

“Colorado voters sent a clear message today that no matter how deceptive the language, personhood initiatives that criminalize women and invite government into their private lives do not match Colorado values and have no place in our laws or our Constitution,” said Nathan Woodliff-Stanley, executive director of the ACLU of Colorado.

Said Cristina Aguilar, executive director of COLOR (Colorado Organization for Latina for Opportunity & Reproductive Rights): “Amendment 67 would have threatened our ability as women and Latinas to make important choices about our health care, including when and how to start a family. These decisions are best left for a woman to make with her family, her doctors and her faith.”

"Colorado voters have a longstanding, mainstream belief in supporting abortion rights and reproductive health care, and we saw that belief in action with the defeat of Amendment 67, said Karen Middleton, President of NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado. “NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado members and supporters played an important role in letting voters know about this deceptive, dangerous amendment. We hope those behind Amendment 67 have learned once again that they are on the wrong side of Colorado voters and values and take NO for an answer."

Said Cowart, of Planned Parenthood, “These groups should respect the values of Colorado voters and stop trying to force their political agenda on us. We will continue to fight this fight because we know Colorado women and families deserve access to the reproductive health care services they need. With the money we invested to defeat this campaign, we could have provided additional services to thousands of women and families in Colorado. But, we advocate for women both inside our health centers as well as in the public arena.”

VoteNo67com
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Vote NO 67 Campaign Highlights Statewide Endorsements

For More Information:
Cara DeGette
Communications Director
720-979-4385

October 31, 2014
Press Release / For Immediate Release

Vote NO 67 Campaign Highlights Statewide Endorsements
Editorial Boards Not Fooled By Tricky Ballot Wording 

DENVER, CO – Eighteen newspapers have weighed in with Vote NO 67 editorials, warning readers in communities across Colorado of the dangerous consequences of Amendment 67 on the Nov. 4 ballot and urging a “NO” vote.

“We are pleased by the outpouring of strong support from so many respected news organizations, who are urging their communities to reject this latest effort to criminalize Colorado women and their doctors,” said Vote NO 67 Campaign Director Fofi Mendez. “It is critical that voters understand the tricky wording of Amendment 67, and Vote NO on this dangerous proposition.”

Amendment 67, on the Colorado ballot, would ban all abortions in Colorado, including in cases of rape, incest and when the health of the mother is at risk. It would restrict access to commonly used forms of birth control -- including the Pill and IUDs, and would ban in-vitro fertilization for infertile couples who are hoping to have a family.

The editorials, which have been published beginning in July, advise Coloradans to reject Amendment 67 – and have included warnings about the dangers of criminalizing women and doctors, to the likelihood of expensive litigation and government intrusion should the measure pass. 

The proponents of Amendment 67, Personhood USA and Colorado Right to Life, have not generated a single editorial in support from a Colorado newspaper. Among the excerpts of editorials opposing Amendment 67:

Excerpts from Editorials Opposing Amendment 67:

-- Amendment [67] would open up a hornet’s nest of uncertainties around women’s health choices and doctor-patient confidentiality. Such ambiguities have no place in our constitution. (The Greeley Tribune, Oct. 3)

-- Amendment 67 is a radical measure that would undermine constitutionally guaranteed reproductive rights. (The Denver Post, Oct. 2)

-- Amendment 67 in Colorado is a modified but no less unconstitutional version of the preposterous “personhood” proposals Colorado voters overwhelmingly rejected in 2008 and 2010.... (The New York Times, Oct. 13)

-- Vote “no,” again, on this repugnant and dangerous measure. Once again, this measure wastes Colorado voter’s time and proponents’ money. They can keep asking, but we won’t be fooled. (Aurora Sentinel, Sept. 30)

-- [These] amendments are anti-women, anti-science and are designed with one goal in mind: To control women, and to make abortions illegal, and to strip them of their rights to make their own health care choices. (Boulder Daily Camera, Oct. 22)

-- The wording could very likely expose the state to a cascade of expensive legal challenges that the taxpayers can ill afford. (The Pueblo Chieftain, Sept. 23)

-- Amendment 67 [would cause] a cascade of strange and disturbing legal consequences. (Colorado Springs Independent, Oct. 15)

-- Amendment 67 is wrong for women and wrong for the state of Colorado. (Steamboat Pilot & Today, Oct. 11)

-- Attempting to regulate morality via the ballot box rarely works, and this particular proposal is both ambiguous and unnecessary. (Wet Mountain Tribune, Oct. 9)

-- Fortunately, history shows that Colorado voters have no patience for such offensive measures. (The Durango Herald, Oct. 15)

-- Amendment 67 deserves to go down in flames. (Sky-Hi Daily News, Oct. 2)

In addition to editorial boards, the Vote NO 67 Campaign has secured formal endorsements from 75 organizations, ranging from the Colorado Bar Association to the Colorado Medical Society to the El Paso County Libertarian Party. 

For a complete list of newspaper, organization and individual endorsements, check out VoteNO67.com.

The Vote NO 67 Campaign is a broad-based, bipartisan coalition of doctors, nurses, other medical professionals, attorneys, civil libertarians, Latina, African-American, Asian-American organizations, and dozens of community groups.

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Vote NO 67 Campaign Unveils New Television Ad: Colorado Prosecutor Warns of Far-Reaching Consequences

For More Information:
Cara DeGette
Communications Director
720-979-4385

October 27, 2014
Press Release / For Immediate Release

Vote NO 67 Campaign Unveils New Television Ad:
Colorado Prosecutor Warns of Far-Reaching Consequences

Today the second of two television ads sponsored by the Vote NO 67 Campaign hit the airwaves, featuring Colorado Prosecutor Mike Foote talking about the far-reaching consequences Amendment 67 would have if approved by voters.  

“As a prosecutor, I am concerned about Amendment 67. [Amendment] 67 would have far-reaching effects and change hundreds of Colorado laws,” Foote says in the ad. “67 could force the investigation and criminal prosecution of women who have miscarriages and make it a crime to have an abortion – including when a woman has been raped or her health is at risk. Of course we all want to protect pregnant women, but 67 isn’t the way. Please join me, other members of law enforcement and major Colorado newspapers in voting no on Amendment 67.”

Here is a downloadable Mp4 Link of the new ad, which will run in the Denver television market, which includes much of Colorado, from now through Election Day next Tuesday, Nov. 4.

http://67.51.51.58/_ubN9TCKBywnV_R

Amendment 67, on the Colorado ballot, would ban all abortions in Colorado, including in cases of rape, incest and when the health of the mother is at risk. It would restrict access to commonly used forms of birth control -- including the Pill and IUDs, and would ban in-vitro fertilization for infertile couples who are hoping to have a family.

The Vote NO 67 campaign’s first TV commercial featured Dr. Ruben Alvero, a Colorado OB/GYN, warning that Amendment 67 would impede his and other medical professionals’ ability to treat women who have life-threatening conditions. 

The Vote NO 67 Campaign is a broad-based, bipartisan coalition of doctors, nurses, other medical professionals, attorneys, civil libertarians, Latina, African-American, Asian-American organizations, and dozens of community groups.

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Civil Rights Leader Dolores Huerta Rallies Denver Crowd of 200; Saturday Vote NO 67 Appearance Planned For Pueblo

For More Information:
Cara DeGette
Communications Director
720-979-4385

October 17, 2014
Press Advisory / For Immediate Release

Civil Rights Leader Dolores Huerta Rallies Denver Crowd of 200;
Saturday Vote NO 67 Appearance Planned For Pueblo

Longtime labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta kicked off a rally on the Auraria campus in downtown Denver today, urging a crowd of more than 200 students and community advocates to join all Coloradans and reject Amendment 67.

"As a Catholic mother of eleven children, I stand here to sound the alarm about how deceptive and harmful Amendment 67 is to women's lives,” Huerta said. “If passed, Amendment 67 would cut off all access to abortion, severely restrict access to birth control, and subject women who suffer miscarriages to criminal investigations. This is not acceptable in Colorado; this is not acceptable anywhere. We will not be fooled by 67.”

Amendment 67, on the statewide ballot, would ban all abortions, including in cases of rape, incest and when a mother’s health is at risk. It would also restrict access to emergency contraception and commonly used forms of birth control -- including the Pill and IUDs, as well as the use of in-vitro fertilization for infertile couples who want to have a family.

The rally was coordinated by the Feminist Majority Foundation and COLOR (Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunities and Reproductive Rights), and designed to inspire and highlight the need turn out the Latina/o vote for the Nov. 4 election. Huerta will kick off a second rally in Pueblo on Saturday.

Huerta is co-founder, along with Cesar Chavez, of the United Farm Workers. She is founder of the Dolores Huerta Foundation, and is a role model in the Latino community. She is a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and is credited with coining the famous Spanish language call to action, Si Se Puede! (Yes We Can!)

“For my entire life I have fought for the rights of workers and women and the Latino community,” Huerta said. “Together, we must do everything in our power to continue to mobilize and vote against this dangerous and terrible amendment. We will make our own personal decisions without government interference, and we will VOTE NO ON 67. SI SE PUEDE!"

At the Friday rally, numerous other speakers also took turns urging Coloradans to reject Amendment 67. Current and former Colorado legislators, professors and student leaders, and community leaders warned of the dangerous and far-reaching consequences of Amendment 67 including criminalizing women and their doctors.

VoteNO67.com

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