March 19, 2012
(Denver) – House Republicans pushed through a bill this morning to confer “personhood” rights on human embryos in Colorado.
The party-line vote was 33-32.
HB12-1130, sponsored by Rep. Janak Joshi (R-Colorado Springs), would create a new class of crime victim – “an unborn member of the species homo sapiens.”
Statutes already exist in Colorado imposing additional penalties on perpetrators who knew, or should have known, that their victims were pregnant women. But the Joshi bill would allow murder charges to be filed against someone who causes a miscarriage.
Colorado voters have twice overwhelmingly rejected proposed constitutional amendments that would confer “personhood” rights on fetuses, and many organizations have expressed concerns about the potential effects of the bill. Even the Colorado Catholic Conference declined to support it.