While the pundits debate the aftermath of the midterm elections, it’s worth noting that there was one bright spot on election night — Colorado. For the second time in two years, voters in Colorado rejected a ballot initiative that could have seriously threatened the ability of women and families to make private health care decisions.
And the victory was decisive: 71 to 29 percent said no to Amendment 62, which would have not only prohibited abortions but could have been used to block stem cell research and curtail access to in-vitro fertilization and certain forms of contraception, among other reproductive health services. When faced with a virtually identical measure in 2008, voters rejected it 73 to 27 percent.
The fact that voters rejected this measure by a 3-1 margin yet again sends a strong message to our elected officials that voters have no interest in taking away a woman’s right to make personal, private decisions about her health care. But we must remain vigilant. “Personhood” measures will continue to be debated at ballot boxes and in legislatures around the country.
Colorado’s decisive victory sends a clear message to the fringe group behind the so-called “personhood” measure — we want our government to protect, not interfere with, personal decisions about our health and families. We may not all feel the same about abortion, but we can agree everyone’s life and circumstances are different; we must respect people’s personal choices even if we wouldn’t make the same decision.
The message from Coloradans is clear: we need to stop the political wrangling over abortion and start focusing on building a world where everyone has the resources and opportunity to decide what makes for a good life, and to live that life. When it comes to our reproductive health and lives this means everyone has access to a continuum of services — from honest sex education to affordable birth control to prenatal care to child care assistance to the option of abortion.