Candice May Martin: Support 48


— I was most disturbed to read your editorial Oct. 15 regarding Amendment 48. I found it offensive that you did not give any opposing views on the topic or discuss any of its possible benefits but rather matter of factly stated that all your readers should vote "no" on 48.

Forty-eight is simply an amendment that defines a human life as beginning from conception. Regardless of your personal opinion on abortion, which was not difficult to detect, Amendment 48 would simply put into writing a fact. From the time of conception, two human cells fuse together to make a new and completely unique strand of DNA. A tiny embryo is, in fact, a new human being completely different from any other person on this planet, and baring fatal complications or invasive terminal action by an outside source, a fertilized egg will grow into a full-term infant. This is not a matter for debate, it is science.

I understand that people minimize the significance of an unborn child, because an "embryo" or "fetus" that has its tiny life extinguished before its parents can hear it cry is far easier to ignore than a baby that one can hold in one's arms and see face to face. It is for this reason that I feel the unborn need a voice to cry out for them and for someone to stand up for their rights because they cannot do it themselves. I encourage anyone reading this to go to Bud Werner Memorial Library and check out National Geographic's DVD "In the Womb." It truly is amazing.

This topic of "humanhood," if you will, does not take an expert to understand; we, as people, just don't like to acknowledge the painful and inconvenient truth.

Candice May Martin



Carrie Requist 8 years, 6 months ago

I don't know where you studied science, but to say that it is 'fact' and that 'it is not debate, it is science' is just wrong. There is a LOT of debate and unknown in science and any scientist will tell you that. If you look at the history of any scientific 'fact' you will find opposing theories and you will find many 'facts' that have been disproven, even when the majority agreed with the fact (you know like that pesky fact that that the Earth is the center of the universe).

Problem your biggest mis-statement here is the "baring fatal complications or invasive terminal action by an outside source, a fertilized egg will grow into a full-term infant." Nearly 50%-60% of fertilized eggs will miscarry (or spontaneously abort) without any outside intervention. Most of these aren't even known as they happen within the timeframe a a woman's normal menstrual cycle.

More questions about life - my identical twins were formed by one egg and one sperm. For somewhere between 4-8 days after conception they were one ball of cells that then fully split and ultimately developed into two humans. So what was there at fertilization, one potential human or two?

An embryo has the potential to become a living human if everything goes right (which is often does not). We can back that up - a sperm and a egg also have that potential, if they meet in the right environment (womb) and develop normally. Heck, every cell in your body (except the sperm and egg) have all the genetic information it needs to 'grow' an entire human. Shouldn't we define any cell as potential life and therefore where life begins?

So it is not anywhere near 'fact' when life begins and amendment 48 is not simply stating a fact as the letter writer asserts.

But the real danger of Amendment 48 is to take the issue of when life begins, give it a specific, although debatable and actually unknown definition of 'at conception' and then apply that in a legal sense.

Will every miscarriage need to be investigated for wrongful death? Why not? We investigate when people die to make sure there wasn't any foul play?

Will all women need to act at all times (except during their periods) as if they are mothers of children and ensure that they do nothing that could be construed as child abuse (i.e taking a drug that might harm a fetus as many prescriptions drugs can do or drinking alcohol - both perfectly legal for adults but harmful to children). If life begins as conception, any woman could be accused of child abuse for legal actions she did when she didn't even know she was pregnant.

Amendment 48 is not "an inconvenient truth" it is a dangerous misstatement of science.


JLM 8 years, 6 months ago

I have heard some tortured explanations in my life, but yours takes the cake.

You may recall that BO during Rick Warren's conversation at Saddleback Church was unable to make a cogent argument as to when life really began --- flippantly replying that this decision was "above his pay grade."

The question is simply being presented to the electorate to assist this brilliant Harvard Law grad and others in dealing with the implications of a decision which is both fundamentally moral and painfully political.

The argument that life begins at conception is compelling given the irrefutable biological certainties and the acknowledgement that --- absent outside interference --- an embryo shall become a "person" under even current law with the passage of about 9 months.

Roe v Wade is a legal judgment made by the US Supreme Court at an instant in time based solely upon legal arguments. Likewise the quest to define the implications of life --- at conception or otherwise --- is also simply a legal judgement albeit being made at a different point in time and with a different environment (e.g. the enhanced ability of neo-natal medical procedures to save the lives of premature babies).

The implications of this judgment by Coloradoans will be whatever the laws tell us they will be; but, it is inapproprate to argue backward from the result to the decision. Let the decision be made and damn the consequences. Sometimes doing the right thing is messy.

This matter certainly merits the same serious consideration and rigorous discussion that partial birth abortions and induced labor abortions have enjoyed.

Who knows maybe Colorado believes that the decision to abort babies is not so complicated and nuanced as you might think.


Diana Hsieh 8 years, 6 months ago

Is a fertilized egg a person with a right to life, as A 48 claims? NO!

An embryo or fetus is wholly dependent on the woman for its basic life-functions. It goes where she goes, eats what she eats, and breathes what she breathes. It lives as an extension of her body, contained within and dependent on her for its survival. It is only a potential person, not an actual person.

In contrast, a newborn baby exists as a distinct organism, separate from his mother. Although still very needy, he lives his own life. He is a person with rights.

So terminating a pregnancy does not violate the rights of any person. It is a woman's right to do whatever she wants with her body, even when pregnant.

For more information, visit:

Diana Hsieh Founder, Coalition for Secular Government


Carrie Requist 8 years, 6 months ago

"The argument that life begins at conception is compelling given the irrefutable biological certainties and the acknowledgement that absent outside interference an embryo shall become a "person" under even current law with the passage of about 9 months."

This is what is BS - "absent outside interference" nearly 60% of all embryos will miscarry, not become a 'person' as you state. And we know this through the advanced neo-natal science that you talk of. The line at which most neonatologists define viable life outside the womb is 24 weeks gestation and that is due to the invention of surfactant, which keeps the lungs from sticking closed. There are no neonatologists that argue that you birth before 24 weeks results in a viable person and even at 24 weeks, it is still less than 50%. This great study found that those born at 23 weeks had only an 18% survival rate and at 23 weeks 0%. And these rates have not changed since 1994 -

To imply that neo natal medical procedures are allowing for less gestation time to produce viable humans is more BS 'science.'

There is a LOT of uncertainty as to when life begins and that is why I so strongly argue against this letter that states it is a scientific fact - it most certainly is not.

If that is what YOU believe, fine, but it is inaccurate and misleading to say it is fact that life begins at conception, especially to use this misleading science for legal ramifications.

If you don't like abortion, then don't have one.


JLM 8 years, 6 months ago

We have already made a bit of progress, now we are talking about "potential" persons v "actual" persons. LOL

One takes what progress one can find where one finds it.

You betray the stridency of your view, your closed mind and unreasonable position, or perhaps you simply have a comprehension and learning disability, when you suggest that I am arguing for a specific definition of when life begins. I am not but rather suggesting that this is further reason to submit it to a vote of the electorate. This is how laws are made by the will of the people. It will be what the people want it to be.

I was careful to take a subjunctive case and simply "suggest" that the argument is "compelling" while carefully noting that there are outside forces at work here.

Roe v Wade and the implications of "personhood" are legal judgments based upon the facts as they were perceived at the instant in time at which they were made. The times have changed since Rov v Wade was decided and the definition of Coloradoans as to when life begins --- or more accurately when an embryo attains the rights of a "person" under state law --- is an important distinction which is appropriately set to a vote of the people.

Much as slavery was once the law of the land, the times changed and the legal framework changed --- the decision changed.

Even you agree that at some time prior to a "normal" 9-month gestation period the viability of a fetus outside the womb has been improved with the advancement of neonatal medicine.

The facts which you quote are undoubtedly true but they are not particularly germane other than to support the proposition that life and personhood is conveyed at some point significantly earlier than birth.

There is a concept in the law --- "if but for.........then". It is applied, as an example, in determining damages "If but for your interference with my contract, then I would have made $100." This argues for the outcome of the contract absent only the interference.

Applied to the abortion debate, "If but for the interference of the abortonist, then this embryo would have become a viable person entitled to all protections under the law." I do not argue that position but rather offer it as a logical conclusion of fair minded folks when considering the implications of this Amendment.

Erring on the side of safety in preserving and protecting life is not a risky position.


Carrie Requist 8 years, 6 months ago

My argument to the letter writer is simple...

It is not a fact that life begins at conception, so don't state it that way.


JLM 8 years, 6 months ago

I guess it depends on what the meaning of the word "is" is, eh? LOL

Your point is brilliantly made.


playa46 8 years, 6 months ago

People are afraid to die, they see death as the worst thing that could happen.

Abortion is a tough topic to talk about. Think of it this way, we all die at some point, you cannot aviod it. While people fear death, when it is over, you are at peace. I am not a very christian sorta guy, but once it is over, it's over.


oldskoolstmbt 8 years, 6 months ago

people are afraid of the unknown...thats why we have oraganized give everybody that sweet little vision of the after life..guilt driven nirvana!


JLM 8 years, 6 months ago

To ponder from whence the earth came is to ponder the idea of God. Nobody has been able to come up with a plausible explanation. It is difficult to explain where that first wee bit of matter came from. Me, I'm hedging my bets.


playa46 8 years, 6 months ago


I am assuming you are an atheist. I just have a question, why does religion bother you? How does it affect you?

I just believe we should let people be in America. No one has the right to say what you should believe.


stillinsteamboat 8 years, 6 months ago

Can everyone say "Focus On The Family"?

what goes on in a woman's uterus is nobody else's business!!!!


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