She’s 19, home-schooled and the leader of a new movement to make abortion illegal in Colorado.
Kristine Burton has wanted to do something to stop abortion since she was 13 years old, she told the Denver Post in a recent interview. Burton is leading Colorado for Equal Rights, a group pushing a ballot initiative to amend the Colorado Constitution in 2008 to make abortion illegal.
A faithful Baptist from rural Peyton, Burton says she has a passion to be involved with the pro-life movement. Currently, she is enrolled in the online law school for home-schoolers, Oak Brook College of Law in Fresno, Calif.
She has teamed up with 32-year-old attorney Mark Meuser, an Oak Brook graduate whom she met at a legal conference, to push for the recognition of the humanity of the unborn. Meuser, who is licensed to practice law in California, recently moved to the Denver area to pursue the initiative full time.
Meuser said he has strategized with attorneys at the Thomas More Law Center in Ann Arbor, Mich., a nonprofit public interest firm dedicated to religious freedom. The center has indicated that it is willing to give Meuser legal assistance in any subsequent litigation.
Meuser and Burton are working to define when personhood begins since the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade stated that "when the personhood is established, ... the fetus' right to life is then guaranteed specifically by the (14th) Amendment."
The team met with the state title board Wednesday to set the ballot title. Any of the reproductive-rights groups opposing the effort have until Wednesday to challenge the ballot wording.
After final ballot approval by the board, Meuser will submit the wording of their petition to the secretary of state's office, which has two days to review it. Then, Burton and Meuser have six months to collect the signatures of more than 76,000 registered voters.
Burton and Meuser spent Thursday visiting church groups and other organizations to drum up support.
Colorado for Equal Rights registered as an issue committee with the secretary of state on June 15, and lists Burton’s mother, Debra, as secretary. Its only donations so far have come from Burton's father, Michael, who has given $188.
Those interested can visit the organization at http://www.coloradoequalrights.com/