Approximately 20 students and community members rallied against the controversial Amendment 48 on the Lory Student Center Plaza Tuesday in support of the “No on 48” campaign. This amendment proposes to define a “person” at the moment of conception and would make abortions, in-vitro fertilization and many forms of birth control illegal.
“2008 is an incredibly important election year for young voters. Amendment 48 goes further than most people could imagine,” said Crystal Clinkenbeard, communications director for the “No on 48” campaign. Rallies opposing the amendment were held statewide Tuesday, including events in Boulder and Denver as well as Fort Collins.
Many groups showed their support for the rally at CSU, including the Campus Feminist Alliance, the National Organization of Women and the Lambda Community Center. Guest speakers also included State Rep. John Kefalas and State Rep. Randy Fischer.
“It’s bad public policy to put one way of thinking or personal beliefs into our state constitution,” Fischer said. “I know that many people have very diverse ways of thinking, but it’s wrong to put something in the constitution that sways toward one point of view.”
The National Organization of Women covers a multitude of issues, mainly reproductive freedom.
“Saying that this amendment is an issue of reproductive freedom is a gross understatement. It takes away our ability to choose. It hurts women, and it could potentially set up an amendment for the U.S. Constitution,” N.O.W. representative Ali Rodway said. “I think we can all rally behind preventing unwanted pregnancies.” Jen Lowe, president of the Board of Directors for the Lambda Community Center spoke against 48, saying it will have a large impact on the Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual and Transgender community.
“Because this amendment makes in-vitro fertilization illegal, it limits our ability as a gay community to have children naturally. Not only does this affect the GLBT community, but also it affects women who are unable to give birth naturally,” Lowe said.
If passed, this amendment could affect more than the issues of abortion and birth control. Because it will define the term “person,” it could affect pre-existing laws containing that term. The courts and legislature would then have to review every law containing the term “person” and determine how the new definition will be applied to the law.
“(Amendment) 48 could have an impact on over 20,000 different laws and statues in Colorado. If legislation has to fix all these laws, they will be taking away a lot of time from much more important issues in our state,” said senior political science major Thomas Jennings, a volunteer for the “No on 48” campaign.
Another point strongly stressed at the rally is the importance that students vote and vote early this year.
“It is important not to only focus on the presidential race. There are many issues on the ballot this year, and it is important you vote all the way down your ballot,” Kefalas said.
Erin Fair, a field organizer for the “No on 48” campaign, concluded the rally by leading students and supporters to the early voting precinct in the Lory Student Center.
“We are going to defeat this amendment . it is important to increase awareness about (Amendment 48) and what it will do, but voting early is the real issue. If no one shows up to vote, then we can’t win,” Fair said.
Staff writer Chelsea Cushing can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org