Coffman Called a "Statesman" for Strong Opposition to a Women's Right to Choose

10/30/2012 01:33 pm ET | Updated Dec 30, 2012
  • Jason Salzman Former media critic at the Rocky Mountain News; Blogger,

Rep. Mike Coffman stands alone as a major Colorado politician in close election who has not withdrawn his previous support for the personhood amendment, which would ban all abortion, even in the case of rape and incest.

In 2010, Ken Buck walked away from personhood, saying he didn't understand the amendment, though he stuck to his position against abortion for rape.

And this election, personhood donor Joe Coors withdrew support of the amendment with no explanation, as if he'd never been a backer.

I honestly feel bad for personhood activists who stand there watching these guys flip like this. And I'm not just saying that. It happens on the left side of the political spectrum too. It sucks.

But Coffman isn't running away from his personhood past. He's not jumping up and down for personhood. In fact, he says social issues aren't his focus, but he has yet to denounce it, and he's maintaining his opposition to abortion, even in the case of rape and incest.

I wish I'd seen an article, even an itsy bitsy one, on how personhood folks feel about Coffman. So I asked well-known personhood organizer Leslie Hanks if she was surprised by Coffman's stance.

"Not at all," she emailed me. "That's the difference between a statesman and a politician."

Hanks, who recently retired as president of Colorado Right to Life, is a veteran personhood leader in the state.

"It's a courageous stand, especially that district," said one well-placed national pro-life activist, who didn't want his name used due to possible political backlash. "It says a lot about Mike Coffman. It pleases me greatly."

Coffman's dedication to this issue appears to be longstanding.

Mike Coffman once wrote a letter to Dan Caplis to clarify his position against abortion, even in the case of rape and incest. It was incorrectly announced on the radio show that Coffman was pro-choice when it came to abortion for rape or incest.

Asked about this in August, Caplis emailed me he wasn't surprised that Coffman went out of his way to be clear that he was against abortion in the case of rape and incest. "Mike has always been such a champion of the pro-life cause that I think the issue was quickly resolved," Caplis wrote.