Gov. Ritter opposes personhood |

Gov. Ritter opposes personhood

Kristin Wyatt
Associated Press
Vail, CO Colorado

DENVER, Colorado ” Colorado’s anti-abortion governor is asking voters to reject a constitutional amendment on this fall’s ballot that could end abortion rights.

Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter announced Tuesday that he opposes Amendment 48, a first-in-the-nation measure that would change the state’s constitution to declare that a fertilized egg is a person.

Supporters of the amendment say they hope it would lead to outlawing abortion. Opponents counter it could also forbid some types of fertility treatments and contraception.

“I do believe it is bad policy, bad medicine and bad law,” Ritter said.

Ritter is personally opposed to abortion except in case of rape, incest or medical emergency, but he sided with the Colorado Bar Association and the Colorado Medical Society on Amendment 48, saying “it would create a legal nightmare.”

About a half-dozen protesters jeered Ritter, though they dispersed early after his remarks when a state security officer asked one to stop shouting.

The so-called “personhood” amendment is lining up some powerful opponents, not just Ritter. Even the Colorado Catholic Conference, which opposes abortion rights, does not endorse the amendment.

“We just don’t think this is the best way to pursue the end of abortion,” said Jennifer Kraska, executive director of the conference. She did not attend Ritter’s announcement.

The abortion question is the latest ballot issue opposed by Ritter

Last week he announced his opposition to an amendment that would end affirmative action in state decisions, including college admissions. He also opposes a right-to-work measure that would bar unions from requiring nonunion workers to pay dues.

About 50 other people joined Ritter Tuesday to oppose the anti-abortion amendment, including doctors, nurses and a former member of the Colorado Supreme Court, Jean Dubofsky.

An abortion opponent who came to see Ritter’s announcement said that he believes the amendment will pass, despite its powerful opponents.

“The chances are pretty good. All we’re saying is that every life counts,” said Josh Aughenbaugh, 21, of Denver.

Read Amendment 48:

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