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Struggling ‘personhood’ forces face determined opposition

On Friday, Personhood Colorado turned into the Secretary of State 79,817 signatures in support of its initiative-- not even 4,000 more than the 76,047 needed to land its proposed anti-abortion "personhood" proposal on the ballot in November. Thousands of signatures are routinely thrown out in the process of validating initiative petitions. The group's amendment seeks to grant fertilized human eggs the full spectrum of rights enjoyed by U.S. citizens. The difficulty its sponsors seem to have had gathering support suggests the idea they are promoting is no more attractive now to Coloradans than it was in 2008, when they defeated a similar proposal in a landslide vote.

Personhood initiative lining up friends and foes

A version of the anti-abortion initiative soundly defeated by Colorado voters in 2008 is making its way to the 2010 ballot, this time reworked as an "egg-as-a-person" initiative. This new version would move the legal definition of a person further back into the reproductive cycle, granting cells the full spectrum of citizen rights. Opposition groups, including Colorado genetic and fertilization researchers, say the law would have spiraling consequences, that it would put women at risk and freeze current work in medicine and reproduction.