10/04/2010 10:37 am ET Updated 4 days ago

Where's the Woman? (VIDEO)

Imagine a "Where's Waldo?" illustration where the page is filled with isolated fetuses and Waldo is a pregnant woman who is nowhere to be found.

That picture is exactly what so-called "fetal personhood" initiatives intend to do: separate the pregnant woman from her fetus, thereby making the woman -- her experiences, her rights -- virtually impossible to find. These initiatives squeeze the woman out of the picture, making her irrelevant and taking away her humanity.

The fetus is not separate from the pregnant woman. Certainly, the woman and the fetus are distinct and therefore enjoy a different host of rights, but the two aren't separate. Separating the two, as anti-choice advocates want to do, is detrimental to the fetus, the woman and the family.

Right now in Colorado, anti-choice advocates have put Amendment 62 on this November's ballot. The amendment reads:

"As used in sections 3, 6, and 25 of Article II of the state constitution, the term "person" shall apply to every human being from the beginning of the biological development of that human being."

While the language may seem benign, it's not. Giving rights from the beginning of biological development -- or at fertilization, as the 2008 ballot measure read -- would erode the rights of the pregnant woman. Certainly, the right to abortion could be obliterated, but experts also suggest that this language, if law, could make the use of contraception and even miscarriage illegal.

It simply doesn't make any sense.

A so-called "fetal personhood" initiative may be as frustrating and mind-boggling as a Where's Waldo puzzle, but it is no game. It ignores the lived experience and takes away the rights of women, plain and simple. And there's no telling where it could end. Let's put these so-called fetal personhood initiatives to rest and make sure the woman stays in the picture.