Wednesday, October 15, 2008

RESOLVE's Resolve on Amendment 48

If y'all don't live in Colorado, then you might not be aware of this potentially historic making amendment that Colorado voters will have to grapple with, along with a long list of other issues to mull over. Amendment 48 would define "personhood" at the point of fertilization. This is one scary piece of legislation that has only one agenda, to outlaw abortion. In that process, it would likely take away fertility treatments and IVF.

That fact that I have to vote on this crap makes me sick. It leaves a lot of gray room for what is legal and what isn't. We had another well intentioned but vaguely worded amendment pass in Colorado a couple of years ago. Amendment 41 prohibits government workers and their beneficiaries from accepting gifts. This amendment was intended on preventing lobbyist from giving gifts to lawmakers. However, when it first was passed, it was unclear if a child of a government employee could accept a college scholarship. As a government employee myself, it was even unclear if I could accept gifts of value over $50 from my husband!! It took two years for an independent ethics committee to deem that this was ok. That's the mess that can be caused by vague and broadly worded amendments.

I asked Magic if we would have to get social security numbers for our frozen embryos, and he said yes. We would probably also have to get birth certificates for them. This makes my brain go *tilt*. What a mind game it plays with all infertility patients. If all of our fertilized eggs instantly became children, then we could all breath a lot easier, eh? When one of our embryos doesn't take, do we have to get a death certificate too?! In short, this amendment would be a nightmare if passed.

RESOLVE put out their statement on the amendment a couple of months ago. It's worth reading, because the same type of legislation may be coming to a state near you soon! One statement in particular got my attention:

"Would women with fibroids or other uterine abnormalities be forbidden to try to have babies because the problems with their uteruses reduce the chances that an embryo will successfully implant after IVF or an insemination?"


And other gotcha:

"If a Colorado woman travels to another state for IVF, would her eggs still be defined by Colorado law such that doctors in no other states would offer her treatment? Would she be forbidden to move any currently frozen embryos to another state to continue her treatment?"

This one got me worried. I never thought that Amendment 48 might prevent me from transferring my frozen embryos.

Amendment 48 was initiated by a 21 year old woman Kristi Burton who was homeschooled. She isn't old enough to know if she even has fertility issues. I'm sure she isn't aware of all the other sticky issues that this amendment would create. For example, what if a woman has an etopic pregnancy? Who do you save then?

All those of you who think CCRM, the #1 fertility clinic in the US, is your last chance for success with IVF, forget it with this amendment. So, if you are thinking of cycling at CCRM in the near future, you better call all your friends and relatives in Colorado and tell them to vote No on this one.

As much as I think this one is a no-brainer, you never know in Colorado how people are going to vote. After all, it got 130,000 signatures to get on the ballot. In the case that it does pass, it might push the issue of when I do my FET. I think I would have until January 1 before the law went into effect. I couldn't wait for the years it's going to take to untangle the legal mess this amendment will create to get pregnant. I hope I'm not pushed to make that decision!


~willow~ said...

oh wow, this piece of proposed legislation sounds like a whole load of bad news. I hope it doesn't pass, for *many* reasons.

[I'm making my rounds visiting potential cross-pollination sites, btw - hi!]

Sassy said...

This is a great post about some seriously scary legislation.

Lost in Space said...

The whole idea of this just makes me sick. I can't believe that many people bought into this being a good idea. Seriously some misinformed people out there!!

Diana Hsieh said...

Thank you for your opposition to Amendment 48!

You might be interested to read an issue paper published by the Coalition for Secular Government: "Amendment 48 Is Anti-Life: Why It Matters That a Fertilized Egg Is Not a Person" by Ari Armstrong and myself. It's available at:

We discuss some of the serious implications of this proposed amendment, such as:

* Amendment 48 would ban in vitro fertilization because the process usually creates more fertilized eggs than can be safely implanted in the womb. So every year, hundreds of Colorado couples would be denied the joy of a child of their own.

And more information is here:

Thanks again for speaking up about it.

Diana Hsieh
Founder, Coalition for Secular Government