Media outlets are reporting that Rep. Mike Coffman has joined Rep. Cory Gardner in withdrawing his support of the personhood amendment, which would ban all abortion, but, strangely, reporters aren't asking Coffman (or Gardner) the logical follow-up question: What is your position on abortion?
Does Coffman, who's facing a stiff challenge this year from pro-choice Democrat Andrew Romanoff, still oppose abortion, even in the case of rape and incest? If he still believes life begins at conception, does he still think the government should somehow protect human "life" from fertilized-egg onwards? Does he think women should be given the power to make this choice for themselves, if they are pregnant? Does he oppose still Roe V. Wade? Does he believe a woman has the right to make all decisions about her own body?
Coffman has yet to make a statement himself about his alleged reversal on personhood, leaving the dirty work to his spokesperson, but Coffman's record, even if you exclude his support for personhood, clearly reflects a true believer's opposition to abortion
For example, Coffman once wrote the following letter to then KHOW radio-host Dan Caplis, to clear up any possible confusion about his opposition to abortion, even in the case of rape and incest:
First of all, thanks so much for your help with my campaign and for inviting me on your show. During the debate, Craig Silverman was questioning me on the issue of abortion. My response was focused on arguing that Roe v Wade was bad law. During that exchange, Craig asked me about the issue of rape and incest. Apparently, my answer came across as supporting abortions under a rape and incest exception. I absolutely do not believe in that.
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.
Asked about this later, 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.
In a statement after the last election, Personhood USA celebrated Coffman's "100%" anti-choice stand, and the organization held him up as proof that a politician can hold be stridently anti-abortion and still win close elections. A local personhood leader called Coffman a "statesman."
With this kind of paper trail hanging over your shoulder, it's no surprise that Coffman's spokesman has offered different explanations to The Denver Post and Denver's Fox 31 for Coffman's personhood shift, telling The Post Coffman wouldn't support the personhood amendment this year and offering this to Denver's Fox 31:
"There's a reason Democratic Senator Michael Bennet called Speaker Romanoff's attacks sleazy in 2010 - Romanoff is the Czar of sleaze," said Tyler Sandberg, Coffman's campaign manager. "'Supported it at every turn?' Mike didn't in 2012. And he doesn't in 2014.
"The voters have spoken twice, and the question is settled. The initiative is over-broad and full of unintended consequences, sort of like Obamacare, which let's be honest, all of this sleaze from Romanoff is meant to be a distraction from."
You read this and you think again, what does Coffman really think, and what's the explanation?
Maybe Coffman would like a more tightly-worded personhood amendment, and he'd be okay with it? That's another question reporters should put to him.