'Personhood' Issue Haunting Cory Gardner in Colorado Senate Bid

Image: 'Personhood' Issue Haunting Cory Gardner in Colorado Senate Bid Colorado U.S. Senate candidate Cory Gardner.

Monday, 21 Jul 2014 10:24 AM

By Andrea Billups

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In the past, Colorado U.S. Senate candidate Cory Gardner supported the notion of "personhood," meaning a fertilized egg would have the same rights as someone born alive.

But now the Republican's reversal on his position is coming back to haunt him with both social conservatives and Democrats in a tight election against Democratic Sen. Mark Udall, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The issue is high on the minds of conservatives who will attempt to put a "personhood" measure on the ballot for the third time for state voters. Measures in 2008 and 2010 failed. The race is much watched around the country as Republicans seek to regain control of the Senate.

"Cory Gardner is a big disappointment, since he was firmly on our side, and now he's throwing that away for greater political aspirations," said Personhood USA spokeswoman Jennifer Mason, whose group is the lead sponsor of the ballot measure.

Gardner said he had a change of heart because he feared the measure would impact birth control access for Colorado women. It is also strategic, as his opponent has registered a strong lead with women as Republicans around the nation seek to distance themselves from social issues that are seen as game changers in 2014 races, and as Democrats use their "war on women" strategy to fight for those voters, The New York Times reported.

The state's Republican party has taken no issue on the matter, focusing on Udall's connections to President Barack Obama and his agenda.

"There are a lot more pressing issues that we need to be focused on," Ryan Call, chairman of the Colorado Republican Party told the Journal. "This race is about Mark Udall voting 99 percent of the time with Obama."

Udall's campaign, however, continues to seek traction on the issue, posting on a website that contends Gardner still supports "personhood," the Colorado Independent reported.

"Is Gardner still sponsoring federal personhood legislation?" the website asks. "Yes," it responds, noting Gardner's "New ambitions! Same harmful position."

A Real Clear Politics polling average calls the Colorado Senate race a toss-up.


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