The anti-choice movement may have overplayed its hand in Colorado with the Personhood Amendment, but not before making an insane video calling Obama the Angel of Death. Will it make a difference in the Senate election — for the better?
This is the second time Coloradans have been asked to vote on an amendment that would grant fertilized eggs, including ones involved in in-vitro fertilization, the same rights as living beings. They roundly defeated it last time. Pro-choice activists have argued that that expansive definition would apply to birth control that prevents implantation, including the pill and the IUD, as well as the morning-after pill.
The video above is an astonishing piece of work even for a movement that routinely traffics in lies and defamation. As Jodi Jacobson points out, lies include that the government spends "$457 million on abortion internationally," nevermind that the Hyde amendment prohibits it from doing so. It also claims that the Affordable Care Act contains "massive funding" for abortion. "That would be somewhat difficult given that the law clearly states that no federal funding will be spent on abortion care anywhere," Jacobson writes.
Oh, also, they have Tim Tebow's mom on their side.
By contrast, the No on 62 has gotten the state NAACP to formally declare its opposition to the amendment — despite the fact that the organization has traditionally declined to take positions on reproductive health — and is trying to reach out to Latinas with ads like this.
Anti-choice news source Life News itself notes that the measure is controversial within the movement to ban abortions:
As was the case last time, some pro-life groups oppose the amendment because they say it will head to the Supreme Court, which will strike it down and add to the pro-Roe v. Wade case law upholding unlimited abortions. The Catholic Church has not endorsed the measure and some say Colorado taxpayers could be stuck with the legal bills for Planned Parenthood if the abortion business wins a legal challenge against it.
So what does this have to do with the tight Senate race between Ken Buck and Michael Bennet? Well, Bennet has had a cudgel to wield against Buck with women voters, which he has happily done, with videos like this one.
And that pesky rape case Buck declined to prosecute certainly won't help him with women voters, who still trend towards Bennet.
Maybe that's why a few weeks ago, Buck, who supports banning abortion even for rape and incest victims, did walk back his endorsement of the Amendment. Good to know some frontiers are still too extreme (for now).
"I am in favor of personhood as a concept," Buck said on CBS' "Face the Nation" last week. "I am not taking a position on any of the state amendments. And I have said over and over, and it's been reported over and over again, that I am not in favor of banning any common forms of birth control in Colorado or in the United States."
Or maybe because a SurveyUSA poll in early October found that only 15 percent of Coloradans said they favored the amendment. (35 percent opposed it and 50 percent were undecided.) A parental consent ballot measure got voters to the polls in Alaska and helped nominate Tea Party candidate Joe Miller. But what if the reverse happened in Colorado and moderates turned off by the extreme Personhood Amendment helped elect Bennet? The last poll moved the race from "leans Republican" to "tossup," and the TPM average of polls has Buck leading by only four points.
A spokeswoman for the No On 62 movement, Cara deGette, was recently asked about that possibility in an interview posted on Big Think: "Do you think Personhood Colorado put Amendment 62 on the ballot with intention to draw conservatives to the polls, similar to how gay marriage initiatives were used in 2004? Ultimately, do you think Amendment 62 will spur more conservatives to the polls, or more progressives?"
DeGette replied, wisely, that the Amendment was so extreme that it should be a "rallying call" for both progressives and conservatives concerned about intrusion into private lives.
Still, if it gets more people to polls to vote against it, and anti-woman Tea Partier Ken Buck, that wouldn't hurt either. A girl can dream.
Anti-Choice-Tea Party Video on Amendment 62 Full of Lies, Distortions and Grotesquery [RH Reality Check]
Rasmussen Poll: Buck Leads Bennet By 2 In CO Sen [Talking Points Memo]
Colorado Poll Shows Personhood Amendment 62 Likely Losing by Large Margin [Life News]
Defeating Colorado's Personhood Amendment [Big Think]