Colorado: Human rights for eggs

A measure to extend state constitutional rights to fertilized eggs creeps forward.

Tracy Clark-Flory
November 20, 2007 1:03AM (UTC)

Activists in Colorado are pushing forward an amendment to the state Constitution that would extend constitutional human rights to all -- or, rather, legally bend the definition of what it means to be a fully realized human being. The proposed amendment rules fertilized eggs as deserving of inalienable human rights --including due process and equality of justice -- under the state Constitution. "Whatever rights and liberties and duties and responsibilities are guaranteed under the Constitution or other state laws would flow to that life," Michael J. Norton, a lawyer representing the amendment's supporters, told the New York Times. Norton added that while the measure doesn't explicitly mention abortion, it would be defined as "the destruction of a person." In other words: murder.

It's unlikely the amendment -- which has "the most sweeping language in the nation about the rights of the unborn," reports the Times -- would stop at criminalizing abortion. Deputy director of NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado, Toni Panettahe, suggests that its wording could be stretched to support legal challenges to birth control -- especially oral contraceptives, which make the uterus unwelcoming to an egg.


The measure encountered a roadblock last week when its wording was challenged in the Colorado Supreme Court, only to be ushered right along on its journey to the 2008 ballot.

Happy Monday!

Tracy Clark-Flory

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