Now that an anti-abortion group is poised to put a radical personhood amendment on Colorado’s ballot, potentially marking the state’s third vote on whether to amend its constitution to define a fertilized egg as a person and outlaw contraception and invitro fertilization, GOP politicians are being forced to articulate where they stand on the issue. At least two Colorado Republicans running for Congress have already said they won’t endorse personhood if it comes up for a vote.
The Denver Post reports that Joe Coors and Mike Coffman — the Republican candidates running in Colorado’s 7th and 6th congressional districts, respectively — will not come out in favor of the personhood amendment if it ends up on the ballot this fall:
This time around Joe Coors, now a Republican candidate for the 7th congressional district, will not endorse the personhood initiative, which would ban all abortions in the state, the campaign told the Post Wednesday.
“After its two failed attempts on the ballot, Coloradans have made their decision on this issue,” campaign spokeswoman Michelle Yi said. “Joe respects the voters’ decision and, for the next 90 days, will continue to focus on ideas to get our economy back on track by helping job creators start new businesses and expand their payrolls.” [...]
“I am against all abortions, except when it is necessary to protect the life of the mother,” Coffman told the Post. “Given the fact I’m running for federal office, I will not be endorsing nor opposing any state or local ballot questions.”
Despite the fact that it could make it on the ballot for the third time, personhood remains deeply unpopular in Colorado. Recent polling in the state reports that just 30 percent of voters say they would vote for a personhood initiative on the ballot in November. Most pertinent for Republicans like Coors and Coffman is the fact that the measure’s unpopularity has the potential to turn voters away from politicians who support it: among independent voters, 47 percent say they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who is against personhood, while 19 percent say they would be more likely to vote for one who is for it.
As personhood initiatives made their way into proposed legislation across the country over the past year, Mitt Romney has continued to refrain from taking a firm stance on the issue. Similarly to its previous failures in Colorado, the personhood movement has not yet passed legislation in any state.