Colorado’s Democrats must be smiling. The so-called “personhood” amendment — which absurdly defines a fertilized egg as a person — seems headed for the ballot, as Electa Draper reports for The Denver Post.
Yes, the measure will bring out evangelicals and right-wing Catholics to the polls. But it will also motivate the left and women’s groups to vote against it. And it will convince most centrist and unaffiliated voters that Republicans are right-wing kooks, once Republicans start associating themselves with the measure.
How can Republicans avoid it? Bob Schaffer has claimed that abortion is “always wrong.” He’s already been pressured by the right for not being hard-core enough against abortion. He cannot persuasively dodge the issue as a state matter (when he’s running for U.S. Senate), because, as WorldNetDaily puts it, the measure may be the “silver bullet to kill Roe v. Wade.” It is a federal as well as a state issue.
Republicans have given themselves a choice of platforms for this Fall: hypocrites or women-killers. For one of the results of the measure, should it be passed and legally enforced, would be to endanger the lives of women. Kristi Burton, leader of the drive, said the measure would force us to “balance the interests” of a fertilized egg with those of the mother, Draper reports. What that means, in practice, is that some women will die, because doctors could be prosecuted for performing abortions in boarderline cases.
The brilliance of Colorado Republicans continually amazes me.
In a way, it’s nice that the evangelicals have placed their cards on the table, bypassing the careful game of incrementalism. The logical conclusion of the religious right’s stance on abortion is that a fertilized egg is a person (because infused by God with a soul) and must be legally protected. And that is the debate that we will have for the next six months (assuming there’s nothing squirrelly with the signatures).
Thankfully, the measure is doomed (assuming a vigorous opposition campaign). No reasonable person regards a fertilized egg as a person, with all the rights of you and me. A fertilized egg is a potential person, and there is a big difference. I suspect that the measure will go down to defeat with at least 60 percent against. So it’s a losing issue for Republicans either way. Meanwhile, the big-money Democratic donors will be more than happy to hammer any Republican (in an up-for-grabs seat) foolish enough to endorse the measure. Just how large of an advantage do Republicans (who retain the registered-voter edge) want to give Democrats in this state?
If Republicans had a lick of sense — and I’m convinced that they don’t — they would come out in droves against the measure. I predict that they won’t, which indicates only the extent that the religious right has them politician-whipped.