Essay: Colorado Personhood Amendment is 'Social Justice'

In typical lefty fashion, the Huffington Post is hiding behind a “qualified” author to make a feminist, pro-abortion argument. Reverend Dawn Duval, a minister of social justice (whatever that means) and mother of two, wrote a passionate piece to slam Colorado Amendment 62 and its supporters, while making the misaligned point that in defining a fertilized egg as a person, it removes a woman’s right to choose what to do with her body. 

Amendment 62 would apply “the term 'person' … to every human being from the beginning of the biological development of that human being.” How dare they!

“As a woman, as a mother of two toddlers, and as an ordained minister, I find Amendment 62 offensive,” Duval wrote. “I find it insulting, hurtful and demeaning.” Well, with credentials like that, who could question her disjointed, misinformed arguments?

“The truth about Amendment 62 is that it eliminates a woman's right to make private decisions about her body, her health, and her future,” Duval claimed. “Amendment 62 assumes that women are not smart enough – it assumes that we are not competent enough, or strong enough, or compassionate enough, or trustworthy enough – to make personal decisions concerning our bodies or our reproductive health.”

Herein lies the first false assumption by Duval: that women's rights are being taken away. Every single woman in the United States has a right to personal decisions with her body and her reproductive health. Women in this country are extremely well-educated about the birds and the bees and the ways to prevent unwanted pregnancies (and at a very young age, thanks to tax-payer funded public school sex-education programs). But, as a liberal, Duval isn't concerned with when the choices and freedoms occur.

Life-defending conservatives believe that a woman has every right to make decisions about her own personal, reproductive health and that these decisions come before a pregnancy is ever in question. The left would be quick to point out that not every woman is given the choice to become pregnant, such as in cases of rape and incest. Tragically, sexual abuse resulting in unwanted pregnancies does occur, but the numbers are low. According to the National Right to Life Web site, “Women have cited ‘social reasons’, not mother's health or rape/incest as their motivation in approximately 93% of all abortions.”

And in the case of rape or incest, an innocent life has been created and hangs in the balance (see, French geneticist Jermoe L. LeJeune's Senate Subcommittee testimony for evidence that life begins at conception). Two wrongs do not make a right. The baby should not suffer the consequence of an act of violence against a woman, and this point is lost on Duval and the Huffington Post.

Duval includes a quote from NAACP Colorado State Conference president Beatrice Madison that claims lower-income women don’t have equal access to reproductive health rights and that a woman’s right to choose is constitutionally protected. “This is not about the morality, the right and wrong; this is about upholding the constitution, and a woman's constitutional right to choose,” said Madison at the NAACP Colorado State Conference last week. “This is about ensuring that all women maintain the right to that choice, especially women who are low-income. Reproductive rights should not belong only to the wealthy but to all of us.”

Again, the false assumption is that lower-income women do not have as much opportunity to access reproductive healthcare or the “right to that choice” as wealthy women. Health clinics, high schools nurses’ offices and Planned Parenthood clinics pass out condoms like free candy.

The third false premise Duval asserts is that this is an issue of personal freedom for the mother. “Let there be no doubt, this is a civil rights issue. This audacious invasion is not civil, and it is not right. This is an issue of personal freedom.” But for whom is it an issue of personal freedom? The child in question is given no personal freedom if it is deemed a fetus, a blob of cells, and essentially expendable at the whim of the mother.

Duval asserts that abortions are constitutionally protected. I haven’t seen that clause. But I do know that the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are cited in the Declaration of Independence, and the growing human baby is not given that opportunity when the mother chooses to selfishly commit murder.

Similarly, Duval misses the mark again when she claims that “a society that forces a woman to reproduce against her will – a society that prevents a woman and doctors from using advances in technology – is not civil. That society is not right.”

Society has never forced any woman to reproduce; the Colorado amendment is attempting to establish personhood for an unborn fetus, so as to guarantee protection for the fetus from having its life terminated. According to the text of the amendment, it is to provide the person “inalienable rights, equality of justice and due process of law.”  Unwanted babies cannot defend themselves, and the government exists to protect and defend the rights of all people. If Colorado citizens pass Amendment 62, they are merely extending the same rights they have been granted, to the most vulnerable members of society – unborn babies.

That’s something a “minister of social justice” might want to consider.