Saturday, October 18, 2008

Amendment 48

In the upcoming election there are some critical decisions to be made that can and will affect reproductive rights here in Colorado as well as nationally. In Colorado we have the proposed Amendment 48 (http://www.prochoicecolorado.org/ballotwatch.shtml) that will define what a person is and nationally we have two presidential candidates with different views on abortion. Given one of these two men will most likely appoint one (if not more) members to the Supreme Court their view on abortion is critical

For a little background let me tell you (as many of you may know) I have one son, seven years old. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard “when are you having another?” or “about time for number two”. Well the fact is the absence of a second child isn’t from lack of effort. We’ve been trying for five years to have a second child with (obviously) no luck. I’d say we are a stable, loving family that has done a good (and at times great) job raising our son and would likely be no different if we had a second child.

Given our struggles to get pregnant V2 there may be a thought from some that I (and my wife) would have a perspective of being strongly pro-life; however, when you’ve struggled trying to get pregnant there is some underlying fear that if you do conceive your “tricking” of mother nature may end up causing serious issues for the mother or child. Spending time and money on attempting to get pregnant you have to understand and accept certain risks. Some of those risks very well could mean a decision between life and death for the mother. They could mean the choice of terminating a pregnancy that realistically (without extensive medical assistance) would have been unviable, or would potentially have a child born with severe medical issues.

My wife and I accept these risks with every doctor’s appointment, prescription and (unfortunately) miscarriage. We both cherish life and would never choose an abortion given our struggles in most circumstances. I do feel however, that by defining a person in the way it is defined for Amendment 48 or by at all restricting a woman’s (and man’s as it should be a two person decision in many cases) right to choose we put many lives (both literally and figuratively) at risk.

Amendment 48 will effect reproductive efforts in the medical field, may limit (prohibit) popular forms of birth control, and may severally jeopardize the life of a pregnant mother. It is an effort to enforce another persons moral views on medical events.

As Obama has said, we as a nation may not agree on a woman’s right to choose but we can all agree to educate and limit unwanted pregnancies. Let’s focus our attention on education and allow families and doctors (and religion if that is your choice) guide each of us on the medical decisions we need to make. If I were in a situation where I had to decide between saving my wife or an unborn child we’ve struggled for years to have I don’t know how I would come to a choice, but a choice is what I would want. Please vote No on 48 and Yes for Obama.

2 comments:

Diana Hsieh said...

Thank you for your opposition to Amendment 48!

You might be interested to read an issue paper published by the Coalition for Secular Government: "Amendment 48 Is Anti-Life: Why It Matters That a Fertilized Egg Is Not a Person" by Ari Armstrong and myself. It's available at:

http://www.seculargovernment.us/docs/a48.pdf

We discuss some of the serious implications of this proposed amendment, such as:

* Amendment 48 would make abortion first-degree murder, except perhaps to save the woman's life. First-degree murder is defined in Colorado law as deliberately causing the death of a "person," a crime punished by life in prison or the death penalty. So women and their doctors would be punished with the severest possible penalty under law for terminating a pregnancy -- even in cases of rape, incest, and fetal deformity.

* Amendment 48 would ban any form of birth control that might sometimes prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterus -- including the birth control pill, morning-after pill, and IUD. The result would be many more unintended pregnancies and unwanted children in Colorado.

* Amendment 48 would ban in vitro fertilization because the process usually creates more fertilized eggs than can be safely implanted in the womb. So every year, hundreds of Colorado couples would be denied the joy of a child of their own.

Our paper also develops a strong defense of abortion rights -- not based on vague appeals to "choice" or "privacy" -- but on the fact that neither an embryo nor fetus qualifies as a person with a right to life.

An embryo or fetus is wholly dependent on the woman for its basic life-functions. It goes where she goes, eats what she eats, and breathes what she breathes. It lives as an extension of her body, contained within and dependent on her for its survival. It is only a potential person, not an actual person.

That situation changes radically at birth. The newborn baby exists as a distinct organism, separate from his mother. Although still very needy, he lives his own life. He is a person, and his life must be protected as a matter of right.

So, we argue, when a woman chooses to terminate a pregnancy she does not violate the rights of any person. Instead, she is properly exercising her own rights over her own body in pursuit of her own happiness. Moreover, in most cases, she is acting morally and responsibly by doing so.

Again, the URL for the paper is:

http://www.seculargovernment.us/docs/a48.pdf

And more information is here: http://www.ColoradoVoteNo48.com

The sad fact is that Amendment 48 is based on sectarian religious dogma, not objective science or philosophy. It is a blatant attempt to impose theocracy in America. That's definitely a scary thought.

Thanks again for speaking up about it -- and my apologies for writing such a huge comment. Most of all, best of luck with your efforts to have another child.

Diana Hsieh
Founder, Coalition for Secular Government
http://www.seculargovernment.us

Racing Green said...

Diana, thanks for the comment. I had read your paper prior to writing my post. Guess the link I put in my write up was a "quick hit" that I felt easily explains the issues, whereas your paper is far more detailed. Either way the facts remain Amendment 48 is very scary and I hope an honest post from a man opposed to it helps.

I must say I was happy when Gov. Ritter came out against 48, as his background as a practicing Catholic shows just how far out this proposal is.

Best of luck election day.