If you dig deep on the Colorado Right to Life blog, you find a letter from Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) to Dan Caplis, co-host of the now-defunct Caplis & Silverman show, which aired on Denver radio station KHOW. Part of the letter reads:
Dan, I would deeply appreciate it if, during your show, you could state that I wanted to make sure that my position was clear, unequivocally, that I oppose abortion in all cases of rape and incest. I believe that all life is equally sacred irregardless of how it came into being.
I've listened to a lot of talk radio, and you don't hear about guests asking for clarifications very often. Amplification they'll ask for, but clarification, not so much.
So you have to wonder if this letter from Coffman is real. And did Caplis actually clarify Coffman's position on air?
Coffman's letter to Caplis has no date, but Colorado Right to Life's blog states that Coffman made his original rape-and-incest comments on the Caplis & Silverman show during the week of Oct. 14, 2009.
The Caplis-&-Silverman show's archives don't go back that far, unfortunately, but one person popped into my mind who ought to remember the incident: Dan Caplis!
"I had forgotten all about that until I saw your note," Caplis wrote in response to my email about Coffman. "That's a long time ago, but I do have a vague recollection of that happening, and of reporting Mike's clarification on air. Mike has always been such a champion of the pro-life cause that I think the issue was quickly resolved."
Caplis' confirmation of Coffman's abortion stance will surely come up again as the debate about the personhood amendment heats up.
Colorado's proposed personhood amendment would outlaw all abortions, including those performed after rape or incest.
Personhood supporters make no attempt to hide this. Their belief, reflected in Coffman's letter above, is that a zygote (fertilized egg) conceived after a rape should not be punished (aborted) for the crime (rape) committed by the father.
Coffman, who's running against Democrat Joe Miklosi to represent Colorado's 6th Congressional District, endorsed Colorado's personhood amendments in both 2008 and again 2010, according to the Colorado Right to Life blog.
Personhood activists in Colorado submitted signatures Tuesday to place their measure on the Nov. ballot, if he'll back their amendment this year.
You'd think, given Coffman's unwavering opposition to all abortion and his deep ties to the anti-abortion movement, that he'd endorse personhood again.
But on Wednesday, Coffman told the Denver Post that, because he's running for federal office, he would not endorse personhood or any state ballot measure this year.
He also said he's against all abortions, except when necessary to save the life of the mother, so presumably he's not backing away from his longstanding opposition to abortion even for a women who's been raped by her father.
"I am against all abortions, except when it is necessary to protect the life of the mother," Coffman told the Post. "Given the fact I'm running for federal office, I will not be endorsing nor opposing any state or local ballot questions."
Also, under Coffman's definition of abortion, as a supporter of the personhood concept, he'd oppose some common forms of birth control, like the IUD and some forms of the Pill, which would be banned under a personhood law.
Reporters should find out why Coffman supported personhood when he ran for federal office in 2008 and 2010, but this time around, in a more competitive district, he's apparently ducking the issue, like GOP congressional candidate Joe Coors did Wednesday as well in Colorado.
Reporters should get clarification from Coffman about his personhood views, and you'd expect him to be just as eager to clarify today as he was three years ago for talk-radio host Dan Caplis.