Thursday September 23, 2010

Colorado Personhood Backers File Lawsuit against ‘Biased’ Voter Guide

September 22, 2010 ( – The backers of a ballot initiative to amend the Colorado constitution and extend personhood to all human beings from the beginning of their biological development, filed suit Wednesday against the Colorado Legislative Council in a bid to stop the continued publication and statewide distribution of the ballot information booklet known as the “Colorado Blue Book.”

Sponsors and organizers of Amendment 62, which appears before voters this November, accuse the Council of misleading voters about the personhood initiative in the Blue Book, which is meant “to provide voters with the text, title, and a fair and impartial analysis.”

Amendment 62 sponsors and organizers maintain that the Blue Book is neither fair nor impartial, but is clearly biased against Amendment 62.

“As soon as we saw the text online, we knew we had to do something to stop these lies from going out to Colorado voters,” explained Gualberto Garcia-Jones, co-sponsor of Amendment 62 and lawsuit Plaintiff.

Garcia-Jones said that they were prevented from putting the amendment’s text into the “Arguments For” section of the book, which section he said is “weak” and lacks “most of the arguments for Amendment 62.”

He said that the Blue Book also “published several falsehoods about Amendment 62,” including the charge that women could be denied healthcare for miscarriages if Amendment 62 passed. Garcia called the accusation a “scare tactic.”

The specific section contested by Garcia-Jones states: “Amendment 62 may also limit access to emergency contraception, commonly used forms of birth control, and treatment for miscarriages, tubal pregnancies, cancer, and infertility.”

The Arguments Against section also states, “the measure may subject doctors and nurses to legal action for providing medical care to a woman of child-bearing age if that care could affect a ‘person’ other than the identified patient.”

Amendment 62 sponsors say they even provided letters to Senators from embryology experts and cell biologists, one of whom said that the statements proposed for the Blue book were “political, not scientific,” and explained why.

However, since the expert statements were dismissed, and attempts to change the text of the Blue Book at a public hearing rebuffed, the personhood amendment supporters will now proceed with legal action.

“We made several attempts in writing and in person to correct the fabrications in the Blue Book, yet we were largely ignored by the Colorado Legislative Council,” declared Leslie Hanks, co-sponsor of Amendment 62 and lawsuit Plaintiff. “Now, our only choice is legal action to keep the State from using our own tax dollars to send lies about Amendment 62 to voters. From recent news articles, we gather that we are not the only group to see the clear bias – mostly against conservative issues – in this year’s Blue Book.

“We are only asking for fair and impartial treatment from the governing officials, regardless of their personal feelings.”

View the Colorado Blue Book here.

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