Colorado House Passes “Personhood” Bill Despite Widespread Public Opposition

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Colorado House Passes “Personhood” Bill Despite Widespread Public Opposition

Jodi Jacobson

Gals, in the eyes of Colorado Assistant House Majority Leader Mark Waller, when it comes to fertilized eggs as people, women are toast. His comment on the bill he just passed through the House? “The goal of this bill is not to protect women. The goal of this bill is to protect unborn children.”  Ya know, Mark... we kinda got that message.

There is one thing about fanatics. They are so convinced of their righteousness or their invincibility or their power that they are not apt to stop pushing for something even when it tramples on the rights of others.

That is apparently the case in Colorado where the House of Representatives today gave final approval to House Bill 1130, a bill backed by Colorado Right to Life that would allow criminal assault and homicide charges to be filed for causing the injury or death of any “unborn member of the species homo sapien.”

You may recall that extremist anti-choice groups in Colorado have now twice tried and failed to pass a so-called personhood amendment via ballot initiative. Egg-as-person proponents want to use these bills to declare that fertilized eggs have the same rights as living, breathing people–and in effect more rights than women–and to make illegal many common forms of birth control, in-vitro fertilization, and of course abortion. It might be fair to ask: What part of *no* does the legislature not understand? The decisive defeats of these initiatives in both cases kinda suggest that the people of Colorado are not fooled and are not interested in eggs-as-people.

But, you know…. fanatics.

Roe has collapsed and Texas is in chaos.

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So the Colorado House, the majority of which is apparently under the sway of the anti-choice groups like Personhood USA and Americans United for Life and others that have created the “model” legislation that feeds these efforts, passed the bill despite the wishes of their constituents.

ProChoice Colorado notes:

Although anti-choice backers of this bill claim HB 1130 is an “abortion-neutral” bill, the truth is Assistant House Majority Leader Mark Waller has said of the bill, “The goal of this bill is not to protect women. The goal of this bill is to protect unborn children.”

You can listen to his comments here.

In response to this bill, Toni Panetta, political director of NARAL Prochoice Colorado said, “It’s not acceptable to separate pregnant women who are victimized when a crime results in the unlawful termination of her pregnancy.”

The effects of such “fetal homicide” bills are very real.  Today, prosecutors in Indiana are trying to make their careers on the prosecution of Bei Bei Shuai, a woman who, out of depression and desperation tried to commit suicide… and failed. But she was pregnant, and her premature baby died several days after being born. So now Bei Bei Shuai awaits trial under charges of homicide. (If you have not signed the petition to free Bei Bei Shuai, please, please do so now.)

Why did this bill pass? NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado underscores that anti-choicers in Colorado make up the majority in the House of Representatives.

Now that it has passed the House, Panetta notes, “HB 1130 will go to the state Senate for consideration. The Senate does have a pro-choice majority, but we will need you to contact your senator to ask that person to vote “no” on this bill once it’s scheduled for a hearing.”

You might want to help our sisters in Colorado by reminding those members of the House who harbor aspirations of future political office of two words: Ken Buck.