July 22, 2014
The coalition opposing Amendment 67 kicked off its statewide campaign today, vowing to once again defeat efforts to ban all abortions in Colorado, including in cases of rape and incest and when the health of a woman is at risk.
With the Colorado Capitol serving as the backdrop, speakers warned of the dangerous, far-reaching consequences of Amendment 67.
“Amendment 67 truly is an attack on family planning, an attack on a woman’s access to health care, an attack on the privacy of the doctor-patient relationship, and an attack on basic rights of women in Colorado,” said Vicki Cowart, CEO & President of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains.
“Amendment 67 would remove a woman’s ability to make her own reproductive health care decisions.”
The Vote NO 67 coalition is broad-based, bipartisan coalition of doctors, nurses and other health care advocates, groups working against domestic violence and on behalf of rape survivors, faith and civil rights leaders, and community organizations.
Dr. Ruben Alvero, a Colorado doctor of obstetrics and gynecology, warned of likely outcomes.
Amendment 67 would restrict access to emergency contraception and commonly used forms of birth control — including the Pill and IUDs. It could impede the use of in-vitro fertilization for infertile couples who are hoping to have a family, Alevero said. And, stem cell research that is being used to fight chronic disease and disabilities could be restricted.
“Amendment 67 is bad medicine for women and for Colorado,” Alvero said. “It would allow the government and the courts to violate the sanctity of doctor/patient privacy, and allow government access to women’s private medical records.
“As an OB/GYN, I opposed this dangerous proposal when it was put before Colorado voters in 2008 and 2010. I oppose it again this year,” he said.
This is the third time proponents of Amendment 67 have attempted to ban all abortions in Colorado. Similar measures were overwhelmingly rejected by voters in 2008 and 2010. This year proponents are calling Amendment 67 the “Brady Amendment.”
If passed, Amendment 67 would expand the term “person” in the Colorado Constitution to include “unborn human being” – which has no established legal or medical definition, speakers noted. Further, the term “unborn human being” is not defined in the amendment – leaving the door wide open.
“We must protect women and their unborn children,” said Cristina Aguilar, executive director of the Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR). “But Amendment 67 does not address any of that. Amendment 67 is written in language that tries to trick us. It would actually do the opposite – it would criminalize women and outlaw all abortion, including women who are the victims of rape, incest, and when a women’s life is at risk.”
Aguilar highlighted the far-reaching and negative consequences for Latinas and their families. “This amendment would eliminate a Latina’s right to make personal, private decisions about her body and her health,” she said. “It would allow the government access to her private medical records.”
Nathan Woodliff-Stanley, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado, described how Amendment 67 would invite the government into peoples’ personal, private lives.
“Quite simply, it means that the term “unborn human being” would apply to all stages of pregnancy – all the way back to a fertilized egg,” Woodliff-Stanley said. “Amendment 67 would make pregnant women and health care providers criminally liable for any pregnancy that does not result in a live birth, right from the very first moments of a pregnancy.”
“Women need the full range of health care options when it comes to family planning. Every woman is different and every situation is different,” noted Karen Middleton, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado. “Amendment 67 does the opposite of giving women informed choices. It’s dangerous and it limits their freedom to live their own lives.”
The Rev. Jann Halloran, president of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice Of Colorado, highlighted concerns from the faith community.
“Decisions about family planning, pregnancy, birth control and emergency contraceptives should be resolved privately, based upon our own faith, our beliefs and values,” Halloran said.
Fofi Mendez, campaign manager for Vote NO 67, said, “Denying women access to medical treatments, and even contraception, does not protect women, their children and families,” Mendez said. “Coloradans saw through this and overwhelmingly voted this down in 2008 and 2010.
“Once again we need to deliver the message in November: No means no.”