Amendment 48, the Colorado ballot measure that seeks to define a fertilized egg as a person, has provoked passionate and reasoned opposition. The Denver Post recently published pieces by Gina Liggett and Diana Hsieh.
The Thomas More Law Center, which provides legal support for these groups, calls itself “the sword and shield for people of (Christian) faith” to fight for Christian values, which it claims are the foundation of our nation. Kristi Burton, the founder of CER, was quoted in denverpost.com (1-1/14/07) saying “we have God. And he is all we need.” …
If this barbaric “personhood” amendment passes, whose rights will prevail when a woman has a life-threatening ectopic pregnancy? Will a girl who’s been raped be compelled against her will to carry a pregnancy resulting from that brutality? Will lawyers defending fertilized eggs argue that a miscarriage is a violation of an embryo’s right to life, making a woman and her physician legally negligent? … Many reliable birth control methods would have to be outlawed because they interfere with implantation of a fertilized egg. Couples unable to conceive would be forbidden to try in-vitro fertilization because some of the lab-created fertilized eggs are not used.
And Hsieh writes:
A woman’s fundamental right to control her own body, including her right to terminate or sustain a pregnancy, should not depend on majority vote. This would violate that right in spades, based on the fantasy that an embryo is equal to an infant. It would force a woman to provide life support to any fertilized egg — even at the risk of her life and health and even if ruinous to her goals and dreams.
Hsieh’s letter appears with two others, one for and one against. The first refers to an alleged “impossibility to decide doctrinal merits,” while the other states, without argument, “We believe that human life [a person] begins at conception.” The first letter expresses skepticism, the second religion, while Hsieh’s letter offers a positive moral theory based on the facts of reality and the requirements of human life. At least the debate over Amendment 48 takes us to fundamentals.