Coloradans reject personhood amendment |

Coloradans reject personhood amendment

Colleen Slevin
The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

DENVER ” Colorado voters on Tuesday soundly defeated a measure that would have defined life as beginning at conception, which would have been the first of its kind in the nation.

The proposed amendment would have said a person was “any human being from the moment of fertilization.” With 38 percent of the vote counted, the measure was losing 74-26 percent.

It was spearheaded by a 21-year-old student who said her only goal was to define when human life begins. Any additional discussion would have been up to lawmakers.

Opponents contended it could be used to outlaw abortion, fertility treatments which can require the disposal of fertilized eggs and some forms of contraception.

Voters across all age groups and majorities of both men and women opposed the measure, according to an Associated Press poll of voters over the past week. Republicans and white evangelical voters showed the most support for it.

Laura Koke, a 26-year-old unaffiliated voter from Denver said it was one of the issues that drew her to the polls so she could vote against it. “I’m pro-choice. I think it creates a slippery slope. I wouldn’t want my reproductive rights taken from me,” said Koke, a contract manager for a consulting firm.

It was one of 13 ballot questions that Colorado voters faced. Others included whether to bar affirmative action in state hiring and contracting and increasing taxes on oil and gas companies.

The affirmative action proposal was backed by Ward Connerly, a former University of California regent who has helped pass similar proposals in California, Michigan and Washington state. Connerly pointed to Barack Obama’s candidacy as proof that preferences based on race or gender are no longer needed.

Voters also weighed in on three measures strongly opposed by unions, including a measure to turn Colorado into a true “right to work” state.

Amendment 47 would bar “closed shops” in unionized workplaces. No one can be forced to join a union but currently unions can force non-members to pay dues to represent them if 75 percent of workers agree.

Voters also were asked to give up future surplus tax refunds to provide more money for schools; whether to allow mountain gambling towns to consider raising gaming stakes and keep casinos open all night and to lower the minimum age for serving in the legislature from 25 to 21.

Referendum O would require backers of constitutional amendments to collect more signatures from across the state in order to get the issue on the ballot.

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