Ballot initiative to define life as beginning at conception gains momentum in Colorado
Ballot initiative to define life as beginning at conception gains momentum in Colorado

.- The secretary of state's three-person title board on Wednesday crafted language for a constitutional amendment that would ban abortions and define humans as existing from the moment of fertilization.

The amendment would also extend the Colorado Constitution's inalienable rights, equality of justice and due process of law to fertilized eggs.

Kristine Burton, 19, is working with Colorado for Equal Rights to get the measure on the ballot for the coming year. Her group will need more than 76,000 signatures to get the measure on the ballot.

Burton was one of the representatives of Colorado for Equal Rights to present arguments before the Legislative Council in favor of the amendment. The intent of this amendment is to protect all human beings, she explained.

During questioning the Legislative Council asked why the term “fertilization” was used rather than “conception.” The group explained that fertilization is a well-defined term used to refer to the moment the sperm and egg unite and mark the beginning of life, whereas conception is a term used to indicate when implantation takes place.
 
The Legislative Council also asked what effect the amendment would have on the “undue burden” test as established in Roe v. Wade. The pro-life group explained that, in cases subsequent to Roe, the Court created the “undue burden” test because they could not find that “person” was defined for state or national Constitutional purposes. However, since the new amendment defines life as beginning at fertilization, it makes the “undue burden” test a moot issue.

Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains said it would work to block the amendment, reported The Associated Press. Arguments by reproduction rights attorney Kara Veitch that the measure's language be rejected were dismissed.

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