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Fetuses as Slaves? I Don't Think So

Written by Pamela Merritt for - News, commentary and community for reproductive health and justice.

Recently, The Denver Daily News ran a story with the headline Are Fetuses Like Slaves?  The article covered Personhood Colorado’s announcement of their ballot initiative campaign strategy, which includes comparing fetuses to slaves. Colorado’s “personhood” ballot measure proposes an amendment to the state constitution that would apply the term 'person' as used in those provisions of the Colorado Constitution relating to inalienable rights, equality of justice and due process of law, to every human being from the beginning of the biological development of that human being.  Personhood Colorado held a news conference to reveal their campaign strategy where they played their radio ad featuring the voice of an actor playing a slave speaking in support of the proposed “personhood” amendment.

In the radio spot, the fictional slave George Stevens says,

 “I'm George Stevens and I'm a person. I was held as property as a child. Even before my birth I was called a slave in an America you wouldn't recognize. But folks like you helped me escape North to freedom and in 1864, I joined the infantry to fight for my country. I fought so all slaves would be recognized as persons, not property. And we won.

But today in Colorado, there are still people called property - children - just like I was. And that America you thought you wouldn't recognize is all around you and these children are being killed.  This November, vote "yes" on Amendment 62. Amendment 62 declares unborn children persons, not property. And that's the America I fought for. So visit and in November, vote "yes" on 62. It's the right thing to do.”

This move by Personhood Colorado continues the anti-choice tactic du jour of co-opting Black American history in an attempt to make a case against women’s reproductive rights.  From a “documentary” that declares that the most dangerous place for a Black baby is in a Black woman’s womb to the recent anti-choice “Freedom Rides” that traced the route of the famed Civil Rights Freedom Rides of the early 1960’s, those opposed to reproductive justice are attempting to re-writing Black history to serve their cause. Read more

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