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Concerns over 'Personhood"

Denver Daily News,  Sept 29, 2010
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Physicians and families yesterday detailed perceived dangers to a pro-life ballot initiative that aims to ban abortions in Colorado.

Critics of Amendment 62 say the initiative could “decimate the ability of Colorado families to have children” because it could halt in-vitro fertilization and other family planning medical options.

Dr. Ruben Alvero, who specializes in treating infertility, noted that one in eight couples in the United States use in-vitro fertilization and other forms of so-called assisted reproductive technology to have a family.

“Amendment 62 would deny those couples a medical solution to their infertility and a vital option by which to build their families,” Alvero said.

Personhood Colorado, the proponents’ campaign, has filed a lawsuit to change language in the so-called Blue Book state voter guide because they believe the guide shares misinformation about impacts of their initiative, including providing emergency medical care.

A hearing to address the lawsuit is scheduled for Thursday at 9 a.m. in Denver District Court.

“As I document statements from bio-ethicists and human embryology experts, I feel more confident than ever that we have an excellent case against the Colorado Legislative Council,” explained Gaulberto GarciaJones, a proponent of the initiative. “We can prove our case, and we can prove that there is legal precedent for protecting the unborn, once Amendment 62 passes. We have filed suit to right an injustice against the Amendment 62 campaign Ń an injustice that we, as taxpayers, are paying for.”

The intention of Amendment 62 is to provide constitutional rights to fertilized eggs with the goal of banning abortions.

Meanwhile, Dr. Alvero, along with several other speakers at a noon event yesterday at the Chancery building in downtown Denver, highlighted possible negative outcomes if voters back the initiative.

The use of stem cell research to seek cures for spinal cord injuries, diabetes, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease would certainly be halted, Alvero warned.

Dr. Andrew Ross, a general OB/GYN in Denver, described Amendment 62 as an attack on physician-patient relationships. He also shared his and his wife’s personal experience with a tragic miscarriage.

“Shortly after we were married, my wife became pregnant,” Ross said. “Between six and eight weeks of pregnancy, the heartbeat we had seen on ultrasound disappeared. This is a sad scenario I see regularly in my practice, and medical studies show that one in three women will experience a miscarriage in her life. If Amendment 62 passes, this becomes an unexplained death and would require a coroner’s report. My wife’s uterus becomes a potential crime scene, and her medical treatment would be delayed.”

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