Kristi Burton is a 21-year-old law student and a passionate crusader against women's reproductive rights. Burton spearheaded an initiative — started last year — to get fertilized eggs recognized as people for the purpose of giving them their inalienable rights under Colorado's constitution. That initiative is now Amendment 48 and is on the ballot in Colorado tomorrow. But, as Newsweek reports, some of the right-wingers you'd expect to be backing Burton's effort are not so keen to see it pass.Professional jealousy? Not really, but anti-abortion activists are concerned that the sheer absurdity of Burton's law and the eventual challenge to it could undermine their years of work convincing Americans that they aren't all crazy. They're even more scared that the eventual challenge to the underpinnings of Roe V. Wade they've been ginning up for when the Supreme Court gets that last, coveted conservative will be naught but a dream if Burton succeeds and then, at the Supreme Court, fails. The problem with Burton's amendment is that it wouldn't just eliminate abortion (or enshrine a particular religious Weltanschauung into Colorado's constitution), it would also make illegal: certain kinds of birth control — from the Pill to IUDs to Plan B; the destruction of unused embryos from in vitro fertilization (if they get to remain unused at all, if the practice even remains legal since it generally involves the loss of some fertilized eggs); and research on embryo-initiated stem cell lines. Would they stop me at the border and forcibly remove my IUD if I chanced to have sex in Colorado? Force you to check your birth control pills at the border? Burton doesn't say — but she doesn't much care, either, because the Protection of The Unborn is more important than any right that the Supreme Court might have offered American women in Roe v. Wade or Griswold v. Connecticut. Oh, that's right! Burton's law, if upheld by the Supreme Court, wouldn't just invalidate Roe, it would dismantle Griswold, which protects our right to birth control — which the fundies know most Americans consider settled (and important) law. Clark Forsythe, the president of Americans United for Life, opposes Burton's bill because he thinks the time isn't ripe for a Supreme Court challenge to Roe (since he doesn't have his last required judge) and because he recognizes that most Coloradans are going to think it's just a little crazy for the state to start outlawing methods of birth control:
"If it's defeated 60-40, or even 70-30, what does that say to lawmakers?" says Forsythe. (A mid-October poll shows 35 percent of the voters support the amendment, 55 percent oppose it and 10 percent are undecided).
They're afraid Burton's eventual defeat will actually set them back further in their efforts to convince you to let the government tell you what you can put into your body or take out of your uterus, or that it might convince the Supreme Court to reiterate its stance on Roe in a way that makes it nearly impossible to challenge in their lifetimes. So, ironically, Burton may do more good for the reproductive choice movement than it's ever done for itself. Funny that. Roe v. Wade v. Kristi [Newsweek] Related: They Just Won't Quit [Wonkette]