THE BLOG
10/14/2014 11:01 am ET Updated Dec 14, 2014

After the Flipping, Top Candidates Line Up Against Personhood Amendment

Republican candidates for governor and U.S. Senator in Colorado have a twisted history of support then opposition to state personhood amendments, not only this year, but also in 2010, the last time a personhood measure appeared on the election ballot.

But now, after the dust of endorsements and un-endorsements has settled, top candidates on both sides of the aisle have repeatedly stated that they oppose the measure, which would ban abortion and some forms of birth control.

Earlier this month, Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper came out formally against Amendment 67.

"Amendment 67 would reverse Colorado's progress protecting the health and safety of said in a news release. "Coloradans support reproductive health and that's why I've signed laws protecting expectant mothers from violent crimes and support initiatives that dramatically reduce the teenage birthrate."

In March, shortly after he won the Republican primary, Hickenlooper's opponent, former Congressman Bob Beauprez told a reporter for Denver's local NBC affiliate that he opposed Amendment 67.

"I got a hundred percent pro-life voting record, as you probably know, so I'm very much pro-life." Beauprez said. "But personhood as my dear friend and my Archbishop Charles Chaput, our previous archbishop here in Denver, said 'That's not the way to do it.'"

That's similar to what senatorial candidate Cory Gardner said in March, when he withdrew his support for the measure.

"This was a bad idea driven by good intentions," Gardner told The Denver Post, explaining that he did not understand that it would ban some forms of birth control.

Gardner's Democratic opponent, Sen. Mark Udall said via a news release this month that "Amendment 67 is wrong for Colorado and would take our state backwards."

"Generations of American women fought to secure the right to make their own health care decisions based on what is best for themselves and their families," stated Udall. "I'll never stop fighting to protect the rights of Colorado women and to defend their right to live life on their own terms."

Both Gardner and Beauprez remain backers of federal personhood legislation, even though Gardner denies it.

Gardner has repeatedly said that there is "no federal personhood bill," even though he's a cosponsor of one in the House of Representatives.

In 2008, when personhood was first on the Colorado ballot, Democrats and Republicans opposed it. In 2010, personhood was again opposed by Democrats, but all the top candidates competing in the GOP senate and gubernatorial primaries came out in support of the measure.

After clearing the GOP primary in 2010, Ken Buck, the Republican senatorial nominee, disavowed the measure, saying, like Gardner has done this year, that he failed to understand its impact on birth control.

Six of Colorado's seven U.S. Representatives also oppose the amendment, leaving only Rep. Doug Lamborn as a supporter. Rep. Mike Coffman withdrew his support in March.

"We welcome the support of these political leaders, as well as the organizations and individuals who have vowed to defeat Amendment 67," said Fofi Mendez, campaign manager for the Vote NO 67 Campaign. "Colorado voters realize just how dangerous Amendment 67 is, and how hard we have to fight efforts to criminalize women and their doctors."