On Nov. 4, Americans will have some serious choices to make, particularly with respect to women’s reproductive rights.
Colorado, Tennessee and North Dakota have received national attention for the “personhood” ballot measures that aim to legally define life as starting at conception. The Tennessee measure would amend the state constitution to read, "Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion."
If passed, these measures could extend legal rights to fertilized eggs -- severely restricting abortion rights and access to birth control. Experts and advocates are confident voters are aware of the extreme consequences of implicating such measures, and will vote against them.
“What’s at stake here is women’s ability to make their own personal and private decisions without government interference,” Jennifer Dalven, director of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, told HuffPost Live. “Make no mistake about it, what these laws are trying to do is trying to make it illegal for a woman to have an abortion, to make it a crime for a woman to have an abortion.”
Colorado voters have overwhelmingly rejected similar measures at least twice before. In 2008 and again in 2010, personhood measures that sought to change Colorado's constitutional definition of a person were struck down. This time around, the measure has been reintroduced with an additional goal: to allow prosecutors to file charges on anyone who commits violence against a fetus, under the Colorado Wrongful Death Act.
With each reemergence of the measure, anti-abortion groups "make the ballot a little more sneaky [and] a little more misleading" to conceal the true intentions behind them, Dalven warned.
“But voters are smarter than that,” she continued. “And when voters know what’s really going on, they reject them time and again.”
Watch the full HuffPost Live conversation about the upcoming midterm election here.
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