Colorado Supreme Court Affirms “Egg as a Person” Ballot Wording

In a terse 7-0 decision [PDF] today the Colorado Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the state Title Board’s approval of a 2008 proposed ballot measure to bestow constitutional rights on fertilized human eggs.Seven reproductive health advocates filed a legal challenge in August 2007 arguing that the ballot measure authored by Colorado for Equal Rights and approved by the all-male state Title Board did not meet the state’s single-subject issue rule and was deceptive in its purpose.

The Court disagreed with the plaintiffs and affirmed the Title Board’s action for proposed Initiative 36 which reads:

Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution defining the term “person” to include any human being from the moment of fertilization as “person” is used in those provisions of the Colorado constitution relating to inalienable rights, equality of justice, and due process of law?

However in press accounts, Colorado for Equal Rights spokesman Mark Meuser has repeatedly stated that the measure is intended to ban abortion and limit access to contraceptives in direct contradiction to the strict rules governing ballot language.

Proponents of the initiative are expected to easily collect the required 76,000 valid signatures by February 2008 to get the measure on the ballot.

For more information, read Scrambling the ‘Egg-as-Person’ Ballot Measure.

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Wendy Norris

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