Ever hear of Rocky Mountain oysters? If not, I would discourage you from ordering it from the menu. For rather than being served a plate of delectable shellfish, you would find yourself presented with a dish of deep-fried bull testicles. Yum. The lesson herein is that some things, at first glance, are not what they seem to be. Here’s another example: Colorado for Equal Rights. You might think, upon hearing this organization’s name, that its members are a group of progressive activists seeking to counter sexism, racism, homophobia, or the like. You would be way off base. According to their website, “Colorado for Equal Rights was founded for the purpose of supporting equal rights for all human beingsâ€“no matter what stage of life they are in.” In other words, these folks are working diligently to ensure that the unborn, from the very moment of conception, are granted full legal status. And, to achieve this goal, they are attempting to place a measure on the ballot next year that would amend the state constitution to grant John and Jane Embyo the equal rights they have apparently been denied. The New York Times has more on the story:
A proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution that would give legal rights to fertilized human eggs may be headed for the ballot next year, raising the prospect of a heated local debate over abortion at the same time that Democrats are gathering here for their national convention.
The ballot measure, which passed a legal hurdle this week when the Colorado Supreme Court upheld an administrative panelâ€™s ruling about its wording, would give Colorado perhaps the most sweeping language in the nation about the rights of the unborn, legal experts said.
The proposal must go through several other steps between now and Election Day 2008, including gathering of enough signatures to qualify for the ballot.
But both sides agreed that the measure, if it passed, would have immense ripple effects. The measure, just one paragraph long, would ask voters whether inalienable rights, due process rights and equality of justice rights as defined in the state Constitution should be extended to â€œany human being from the moment of fertilization.â€?
The deputy director of Naral Pro-Choice Colorado, Toni Panetta, said state courts could be swamped by suits claiming specific rights for a fertilized egg that the broad language of the ballot measure did not clarify.
â€œAll fertilized eggs could use the courts, and that lays the foundation for a potential onslaught,â€? she said. She said the language would open up challenges to birth control, including oral contraception and intrauterine devices, which make the uterine wall inhospitable to the developing egg. [full text]