Who would be affected if Amendment 67 passes?
All Colorado women and men, their families, doctors and healthcare providers.
What would Amendment 67 do?
Amendment 67 would ban all abortions in Colorado, including in cases of rape, incest and when the health of the mother is in danger. It would also restrict access to emergency contraception and commonly used forms of birth control, including the Pill and IUDs.
What is the wording of Amendment 67?
The exact ballot question that voters will vote “Yes” or “No” on reads as follows:
Why would voters want to say “No” to this question?
Of course we need to protect pregnant women and children from criminals, but Amendment 67 would not do that. In fact, the misleading language of this far-reaching measure would actually harm pregnant women, and impede them from being able to seek medical treatment. It would also criminalize doctors and other medical professionals who treat pregnant women.
The wording of Amendment 67 doesn’t mention abortion specifically. So how would it ban abortion?
Amendment 67 would expand the term “person” to include “unborn human being.” That term has no established legal or medical definition, is not defined in the amendment and therefore would apply at all stages of pregnancy – including from the moment of fertilization. Giving a woman’s fertilized egg full legal and constitutional rights as a “person” would result in a ban on all abortions, and would criminalize women and their doctors. The proponents have made it clear that their intention is, without a doubt, to outlaw all abortions in all cases and to imprison doctors and the patients they care for.
Amendment 67’s wording also does not mention “contraceptives” specifically. So how would it impact contraception?
Amendment 67 would redefine the legal term “person” so that it includes “unborn human beings.” This would extend legal rights to eggs from the moment they are fertilized and would – just as the proponents intend – ban all abortions and make criminals of the doctors who perform them. It would restrict access to common methods of birth control, including emergency contraception, the Pill and IUDs, as these methods can work by either stopping ovulation or preventing a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus.
What are some of the other consequences of Amendment 67?
The language of Amendment 67 is so broad and far-reaching that it would make pregnant women and their doctors criminally liable for any pregnancy that does not result in a live birth, regardless of the stage of pregnancy. Under Amendment 67, a woman who is pregnant and has cancer would be denied access to life-saving medical treatment. Any woman who suffers a miscarriage would be open to investigation for murder. Amendment 67 would restrict in-vitro fertilization for women who want to have a family. Any doctor who performs an abortion, even when it’s necessary to save a woman’s life, would be subject to criminal prosecution and imprisonment. Amendment 67 would lead to even more government intrusion in health care and would threaten the privacy that is at the heart of the doctor-patient relationship.
Does Amendment 67 define what it means to be an “unborn human being”?
No. The term has no legal or medical definition and is not defined in the amendment. Changing the legal definition of “person” in the constitution would impact tens of thousands of laws in Colorado, wherever the word “person” appears.
Who opposes Amendment 67?
The Vote NO 67 campaign is a broad-based, bipartisan coalition of doctors, nurses, medical professionals, religious and faith leaders, civil rights groups, Latina, African-American and Asian-American organizations, as well as attorneys and dozens of community groups across Colorado.
Is this a Democratic versus Republican issue?
No. The Vote NO 67 campaign is comprised of groups and individuals representing the broad political spectrum. The Vote NO 67 campaign does not endorse any political party or candidate running for office.
Who is behind Amendment 67?
Amendment 67 is being sponsored by a national group called Personhood USA. In addition to Colorado, this group has tried to pass similar laws to outlaw all abortion in at least six other states. This year they are also sponsoring an amendment to ban all abortions in North Dakota. Colorado Right to Life, a group that was ejected from the National Right to Life in 2007, is also promoting Amendment 67.
Have Coloradans already voted on this issue?
Yes. Since 2008 voters have overwhelmingly rejected similar efforts to change the Colorado Constitution to outlaw all abortions.
How is Amendment 67 different than Amendments 48 and 62?
Really, it’s just about the wording. In 2008, the proponents sought to define "person" as being from the "moment of fertilization." In 2010, they changed the wording to define "person" as being "from the moment of biological development." This year, they have altered the wording once again – to expand the term “person” to include “unborn human beings.” As with previous definitions, the term “unborn human being” would apply at all stages of pregnancy – including from the moment of fertilization. So once again Colorado voters are being asked to extend legal and constitutional rights to a woman’s fertilized egg.
If Coloradans already voted on this, why is it on the ballot again this year?
Colorado has an initiative process that allows us to amend the constitution with a majority vote of the people. The process for placing proposed amendments on the ballot in Colorado is one of the easiest in the country, meaning that groups like Personhood USA can attempt to amend the constitution time and time again with similar proposals, even after being defeated by overwhelming margins.
Can the governor or Colorado’s legislature repeal Amendment 67 if it passes?
No. Because this is a constitutional amendment, neither the governor nor the legislature can repeal it.
The sponsors are also calling Amendment 67 the “Brady Amendment” this year. Why is that?
In 2012, in a tragic circumstance, a drunk driver hit a car driven by Longmont, Colo. resident Heather Surovik, who was 8 ½ months pregnant. She was severely injured, and lost her unborn child, whom she had named Brady. The drunk driver was charged with multiple felony charges. At the time, Colorado had no specific law that would allow the prosecutor to charge the perpetrator for the death of Brady. In this case, the drunk driver committed suicide before he was sentenced. The sponsors of Amendment 67 are calling it the Brady Amendment after baby Brady, and Heather Surovik has emerged as a spokeswoman for their cause.
Does Colorado already have laws that protect pregnant women and their children?
Yes. After the drunk driver hit Heather Surovik’s car, and she lost her unborn baby, the Colorado Legislature adopted two laws that provide criminal and civil remedies for pregnant women who are victims of violence and vehicular assault. In 2013 the Legislature passed the Crimes Against Pregnant Women Act, allowing prosecutors to pursue criminal charges for unlawful termination of a pregnancy. In 2014, the Colorado legislature adopted a second law, enabling pregnant women to seek damages for the unlawful termination of their pregnancy.
In media interviews, Heather Surovik has said that Amendment 67 is not about abortion. How do you respond?
Heather Surovik’s motivation is about the terrible tragedy she and her family experienced. However, proponents of Amendment 67 freely acknowledge that it would ban all abortions in Colorado, and restrict access to common forms of birth control.
Proponents have claimed that Amendment 67 is similar to fetal homicide laws that are currently in place in 38 other states. Is that correct?
No. Fetal homicide laws in place in other states do not do what Amendment 67 would do – which is to ban all abortions, including in cases of rape, incest and when the health of the mother is at risk, as well as restrict access to commonly used forms of contraception. Such comparisons are incorrect.
How do fetal homicide laws work in other states?
Some other states have adopted “fetal homicide” laws. These laws typically acknowledge that a viable fetus can be the victim of homicide. They also expressly exempt abortion care and abortion providers from punishment, and prohibit the prosecution of a pregnant woman who loses her pregnancy. Amendment 67 goes much, much further than these state laws by prohibiting our General Assembly from adopting any exceptions to a blanket prohibition on terminating a pregnancy under any circumstances and for any reason, including to assist a woman who is the victim of rape or incest or when her health is at risk.
Proponents have claimed that under Amendment 67, women who have a miscarriage would not be subjected to criminal investigations, claiming that never happened pre-Roe v Wade. How do you respond?
Pre-Roe v Wade, a “person” was not defined as such from the moment of fertilization. Amendment 67 would do exactly that. Law enforcement would be required to investigate women and their doctors in cases of miscarriage or when the pregnancy does not result in a live birth, since the fertilized egg or embryo, at even the earliest stages of development, would have legal rights just like someone who had been born.
Would Amendment 67 protect pregnant women from drunk drivers?
No. Amendment 67 would criminalize women during times they are making difficult decisions about their health care, and allow the government to investigate women who suffer miscarriages. Their doctors would be subjected to criminal investigation. It would lay the foundation for government intrusion in a woman’s most important life decisions. No matter how people feel personally about abortion, this amendment goes too far. Private decisions about a woman’s health care are best left to her, her doctor, her family and her own faith and values.
When will I vote NO on Amendment 67 this year?
The 2014 election is being conducted by U.S. mail and in person. County clerks will begin mailing ballots to voters on October 14. People can begin voting as soon as they receive their ballots. Voters can return their ballots via U.S. mail with the proper postage, or in person to an official voting center in their community. The last day voters can cast their ballot in person is on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 4.
Click here to register to vote.
Click here to link to your County Clerk for specific information about where and how to vote in your community.
Get the Facts. Don’t Be Fooled. Learn What Amendment 67 Would Really Do.