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Scott McInnis's Abortion Stance Comes Full Circle With Support For 'Personhood' Initiative

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UPDATE: The Denver Post has produced a letter from Republicans for Choice, a group dedicated to preserving abortion rights, dated from 1998. Scott McInnis's name clearly appears in the letter head for the organization.

In a Tuesday, Colorado Independent article, McInnis spokesman Sean Duffy denied that McInnis was ever a part of Republicans for Choice. Responding to reports that McInnis had been chair of the group, Duffy said "Scott has no memory of that. We're not even sure he was a member."

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Gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis raised eyebrows last week when he declared his support for a controversial ballot initiative that many say would effectively ban abortion in the state of Colorado.

As the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reported Monday, the Colorado GOP has embraced the initiative, which will be called Amendment 62 on the 2010 ballot, despite opposing a nearly identical initiative in 2008 because--as chairman Dick Wadhams said at the time--it went too far.

McInnis's support for Amendment 62 was particularly striking, given his history on the abortion issue.

The GOP front-runner has made no secret that his stance on abortion rights has changed since his days as a congressman representing Colorado's 3rd district. McInnis, who described himself as pro-choice in 1996, has said since entering the Governor's race in 2009 that he's "100 percent pro-life."

McInnis's campaign has deflected criticism that he changed his position in order to endear himself to the right by explaining that "life experiences" were behind his gradual shift on the issue.

Widely considered a moderate as a congressman, McInnis became the clear-cut GOP favorite in September after his more conservative opponent, Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry, dropped out of the race. Facing pressure from a skeptical right wing and a potential challenge from former congressman Tom Tancredo, McInnis then signed on to a policy platform aimed at assuring the right of his conservative credentials.

His closest competitor for the GOP nomination is now Evergreen businessman Dan Maes, who calls himself the "true conservative" in the race, and has chided McInnis for tacking to the right.

Sean Duffy, a spokesman for the McInnis campaign, maintains that McInnis's position on abortion is sincere, telling the Colorado Independent that "he [McInnis] has come to see the value of life more clearly as he has had friends die. He's simply changed how he views abortion,"