DENVER – The American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado issued the following statement today on SB 268, the “Personhood” bill introduced in the Colorado State Senate on April 14:
“The ACLU of Colorado strongly opposes Senate Bill 268, the latest in a long line of attempts to change Colorado’s laws to establish legal personhood at conception.
“Colorado voters and legislators have repeatedly recognized the dangerous consequences of defining a fertilized egg as a person and have summarily rejected all previous “personhood” initiatives, even those cloaked in deceptive language and intentions.
“We extend our deepest sympathies to Michelle Wilkins and her family. What she experienced was tragic and horrifying. But her personal tragedy should not be used to push an unnecessary statute or an extreme political agenda.
“Colorado’s Crimes Against Pregnant Women Act was carefully crafted and enacted by the legislature for exactly this type of case. It provides for severe criminal penalties against offenders who wrongfully harm a woman and cause her to lose a pregnancy, and it does so without interfering with reproductive rights. In this case, the alleged perpetrator has been charged with multiple felonies and faces a sentence of more than 100 years in prison.
“SB 268 contains language that is ambiguous and unclear. If it were passed, it would ultimately be up to the courts to decide the true scope of the law and its effects on reproductive health and the rights of women. The one thing that is clear is that this bill aims to permanently alter our laws to grant legal personhood at conception, a perilous legal precedent that would open a Pandora’s box of dangerous consequences, both intended and unintended, for Colorado women and their families.”