LETTER: Personhood article leaves reporter with egg on his face
Author: - December 2, 2011 - Updated: December 2, 2011
Thank you for your article in the Nov. 25 issue on the personhood amendment. We would like to ask for a few corrections. First, you claim that our amendment would “legally define a fertilized egg as a person,” which is not true. This amendment does not mention eggs, or afford any rights to eggs. It says that all human beings should be recognized as people. And scientifically, a zygote is classified as a human being. You can use the terms “zygote” or “embryo,” but if you look at the Carnegie Stages of Human Development (which is an internationally recognized standard), you will see that there is no such stage of human development titled “fertilized egg.” In fact, some of the leading experts in the field of human embryology have explained that the term is “better reserved for the breakfast table” and “inaccurate.”
You also stated “under most circumstances, miscarriages would be above the law.” This statement is puzzling, and if I understand you correctly, inaccurate as well. The amendment specifically outlines that women could not be prosecuted for miscarriages, any and all miscarriages, which is a response to our opponents, Planned Parenthood, who used the scare tactic that women could be investigated for miscarriages with the passage of a personhood amendment — which is wildly inaccurate, as many Constitutional attorneys have testified.
You also implied that we were wrong about converting 51,000 voters, but when you breakdown the numbers with voter turnout, that’s exactly what we did. So when you say “But that’s not what Colorado voter records show,” you are wrong, because that’s exactly what Colorado voter records show. In addition, we lost by a 3-1 margin in 2008, but a 2-1 margin in 2010.
A fertilized egg is a commonly understood term and it’s squarely within the language of the amendment that defines:
(b) A “HUMAN BEING” IS A MEMBER OF THE SPECIES HOMO SAPIENS AT ANY STAGE OF DEVELOPMENT.
Second, the amendment’s definition of miscarriage is broad but leaves some wiggle room.
And third, the amendment got 84,000 fewer votes the second time it ran in Colorado, as voter records show. If you want to argue that it means you converted 51,000 voters, fine. We pointed out it was a lower-turnout election, but the simple fact is the amendment got many fewer votes the second time. Voter records do not show that they added or “converted” supporters.
We thank Jennifer for her comments.