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Backers of personhood amendment try again

Nov. 21, 2011 at 8:21 PM

DENVER, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- A Colorado anti-abortion group unveiled revised language Monday for its third ballot attempt to have fertilization declared the starting point of life.

At a news conference on the steps of the Capitol in Denver, Personhood USA, the Denver organization behind the so-called "personhood" amendment, revealed specific language in the proposed 2012 measure, The Denver Post reported Monday.

They would need about 79,000 valid petition signatures to gain a spot on the ballot across Colorado where similar measures failed in 2008 and 2010, KMGH-TV, Denver, reported.

A similar personhood amendment was also rejected in Mississippi this month.

Language in the new version of the amendment "will protect every child, no matter their size, level of development, gender, age or race;" specifies the term "person" applies to "every human being regardless of the method of creation;" and declares a human being is "a member of the species homo sapiens at any stage of development," said Jennifer Mason, spokeswoman for Personhood USA.

Mason said modified language in the 2012 push "will explain again that every human being is a person from their earliest moments," the right to life "applies equally to all innocent persons" and "the intentional killing of any innocent person is prohibited," the Post said.

"And it will include some extra information that hopefully will prohibit lies of our opponents. It will be a departure from what we've done before," Mason said.

In 2010 Personhood USA was behind Colorado's Amendment 62 seeking constitutional rights for individuals "at the beginning of biological development."

It was rejected by a 3-to-1 margin, just as an almost identical measure had been defeated in 2008.

Any measure defining life as beginning at fertilization would face legal challenges for conflicting with the Supreme Court's landmark 1973 Roe vs. Wade ruling establishing a legal right to abortion, the Post said.

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