In a crushing defeat for the pro-life movement, Colorado voters rejected Amendment 62, the so-called fetal personhood law, 71 to 29. The measure would have outlawed all abortions, most forms of birth control, and some fertility treatments. Experts predicted a decisive defeat, particularly in light of Personhood Colorado’s racially insensitive ad campaign . But in fact the amendment got slightly more support than it did two years ago, when a nearly identical ballot measure got 27 percent of the vote.
Pro-life groups will surely take this minor uptick as a hopeful sign. The “fetal personhood” advocates view themselves as being in the early stages of an incremental, decades-long battle for acceptance-compared, perversely, by its leaders to the struggle for women’s suffrage. Now they will likely reload rather than retreat before the next election cycle.
Of course, this faint improvement might not signal increasing support for fetal personhood at all. In a political climate where anti-establishment rage and low youth and minority turnout brought far-right candidates like Sharron Angle and Colorado’s rape-friendly Ken Buck to the brink of victory , a two percentage point bump might actually reflect decreasing support among the general population. Hopefully the next election will bring that to light.