“Egg-as-Person” Backers Call Out Conservative Wimps


Colorado for Equal Rights (CER) has added another ultra-conservative ally in its push for a state constitutional amendment to confer legal rights on fertilized human eggs.

In a new video featured on the CER Web site (see below), Michael Hichborn, a spokesman for the American Life League, criticizes the Denver Post for mischaracterizing the proposed constitutional amendment as "an attempt to extend the legal protections of personhood to an egg." Hichborn continues sarcastically, "News flash to the Denver Post. Humans don't lay eggs. But we do make babies …" while a picture of a baby pops out of a giant chicken egg replete with clucking hen and egg-breaking sound effects.

Kristi Burton, the 20-year-old correspondence law school student from Peyton, Colo., and founder of CER, complains in her brief on-camera segment that fellow conservatives have cold feet about the timing of the initiative.

Hichborn follows suit and drives home the point in no uncertain terms:

"Now, amazingly there are those that claim that now is not the right time for a personhood amendment. The old saying attributed to Edmund Burke 'All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing' is well applied to those standing on the sidelines because they decided to do just what Burke warned against. They're simply doing nothing. And while they sit on their hands waiting — organizations like NARAL, Planned Parenthood and NOW are working to ensure another 35 years of killing babies."

Insulting one's target audience is a curious strategy to employ when, according to an April 6 news story in the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, Burton remarked that her group has collected just 60,000 of the 76,000 signatures required to place the initiative on the Colorado ballot. The deadline for submitting the petitions is May 14.

In addition to ALL, Burton's group has solicited the support of other ultra-conservative groups that don't mince words.

American Right to Life Action, a new Denver-based group, aims to upend National Right to Life, the standard-bearer antiabortion organization, which the young upstart views as too timid in its fight against "wicked courts" and "child-killing regulations." CER's petition coordinator and latest spokesman, Keith Mason, hails from Operation Rescue in Wichita, Kan., scene of some of the most strident protests in the nation.

Despite the tame wording, the measure appears to be an attempt to exploit the long-held belief by abortion foes that the Supreme Court's landmark 1973 Roe v Wade decision never addressed the equal protection clause under the 14th Amendment. By conferring state constitutional rights on a fertilized egg, antiabortion activists hope to chip away at the Roe decision.

Opponents argue that the ballot wording is overly broad and could be interpreted to outlaw abortion and some contraceptives that interfere with the implantation of a fertilized egg into the uterus — a key point in the dispute because a free-floating zygote does not meet the scientific definition of pregnancy since upwards of 50 percent of these cells do not naturally implant.

An ex-spokesman for CER confirmed the overarching goals to end abortion and curb hormone-based contraceptive use in press statements last summer but the group has since backed off making those claims in public.

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  • scott-swenson

    Thanks Wendy. The clucking hen and baby in the egg shell are classic distoritions of reality that will probably work on some people who have no idea where babies really come from, and that in fact eggs (absent shells) are involved. A colleague of mine has asked, would this bill mean that, if passed, future persons would celebrate birthdays on the date of fertilization? Would everyone start driving, voting, going to war nine months earlier? How exactly will we know what date to use for the person’s fertilization date? Oddly, the most disturbing part of that video is that there are people that say “now is not the time but 30 years from now will be the time” — it frightens me to think what they have planned for the next 29 years to move the political discussion to the point where something like this would EVER be, er, viable.

    I hope they get the signatures, I would hate to lose the opportunity to have this issue to point to as part of the fringe lunacy passing itself off as mainstream throughout this entire election cycle.


    Be the change you seek,

    Scott Swenson, Editor

  • invalid-0

    I thought the so-called “Defense” of Marriage Amendment in Wisconsin was also part of the lunatic fringe. Until it passed and enshrined bible-based discrimination in Wisconsin’s Constitution. The fact the backers of the egg-as-person amendment are borderline insane is beside the point. If they can snow enough voters,this mongrel could actually hunt in November.
    They want to get “tough”? Fine. The pro-choice (and pro-common sense) side can get tough too. If we hold this stupid idea up to the public ridicule it deserves, it will die whimpering on May 15th.

  • invalid-0

    I hadn’t really thought of it, but this amendment raises the question of when human life begins. We know that a woman’s egg and a man’s sperm will never be anything but what they are, unless they combine with each other. However, when they do unify, the DNA code is completed, begins growing on its own, and is undeniably alive.

    It kind of makes all the “viability” arguments seem a bit arbitrary and moot since the life is there, nonetheless. In fact, I would go so far as to say that using a viability clause to justify killing human life is nothing short of an excuse. If human life begins at fertilization (and it is scientifically undeniable that it does), then what justification can be used to kill such human life?

  • invalid-0

    If that’s the truth, then every sexually active woman who has a period could very well be a murderer by accident. Did you not read the part about the percentage of fertilized eggs that don’t even implant? Or maybe that’s suicide. You can say that life begins there, maybe, but what about personhood? Most people really only care about the life of people anyway.

  • invalid-0

    “Murderer by accident.” I’m going to be quoting those hilarious words all day today. Thanks for that. I drove to work today and hit a squirrel. I murdered it by accident! HAHAHA!

  • invalid-0

    is classed as “manslaughter”. But in your case, we can call it “squirrel slaughter”.

  • invalid-0

    Good job ignoring the larger point and making jokes to dismiss me.

  • invalid-0

    on earlier comment boards about this issue. If this amendment (and others like it) are passed, miscarriages could be investigated as manslaughter. I wager that the American public will not be pleased by news images of women who miscarried doing “the perp walk” into prison. Putting innocent women behind bars will lose pro-lifers more friends than they could ever gain.
    The anti-abortion movement in general and the amendments backers in particular did not do their homework. They didn’t think of the long term implications, just the short term political gains. Burton et al have just shot themselves-and the larger pro-movement-in their collective feet.

  • invalid-0

    Hey ruthless, tomorrow is May 15th, which will be about the time that the Secretary of State of Colorado validates signature number 76,046 putting the Personhood Initiative on the ballot here. The “lunatic fringe” is coming, and do you know what they want? They want every voter in Colorado, from James Dobson to Ward Churchill to make known thier position on this question before God, (for no man will be witness). Do you think that’s something to be aftraid of?

  • invalid-0

    what the lunatic fringe of the anti-abortion movement wants: to take over the asylum.

    Of course every reasonable person in Colorado should be scared shitless by the thought of a noisy and well-funded effort to take control of their personal lives.

    Don’t you dare bring God into this equation. Because God has nothing to do with it. God is just a useful tool for the backers of this mongrel amendment.

    It’s Big Brother carrying a cross and arriving under the blare of pre-recorded trumpets. BB is ushering in 1984-24 years late.