Radio hosts should tell House candidate that as a personhood supporter, he’s opposed to in-vitro fertilization

On KLZ’s Grassroots Radio Colorado last week, Rep. Robert Ramirez complained about a mailer pointing out that Ramirez is opposed to in-vitro fertilization.

Maybe I’m a bit more personhood-obsessed than radio host Ken Clark, but I know that Ramirez, who’s running for House District 29, supports the personhood amendment.

And, as I explain below, a personhood law would effectively ban in-vitro fertilization.

Hence, for those of you who remember your transitive principle (if x=y and y=b, then x=b), Ramirez opposes in-vitro fertilization.

First, here are Ramirez’s comments about personhood to the Colorado Independent:

Ramirez said he does support the personhood amendment.

“I signed the petition, but it has been voted down.” He says if personhood was introduced in the legislature, he would vote against it, because the people have already spoken twice. “I will sign it and I will fight for it every day of the week, but I won’t bypass the voters,” he said.

Yet, on the radio, Ramirez said he has no clue why his opponents would accuse him of being opposed to in-vitro fertilization:

KLZ HOST CLARK:  Well, I’ve seen some of those fliers and I’ve got to tell you, they are appalling—some of the things they’ve tried to , you know, no so subtly accuse you of.

RAMIREZ:  Mmm-hmm.

CLARK:  I mean, give me a break!  I mean, but—

RAMIREZ:  There’s one going out now saying I’m against in-vitro fertilization. Really? I’ve never even been asked.  [laughter]

CLARK: And you make it sound like that matters, somehow.

RAMIREZ: You know, if somebody wants to get pregnant and they go to their doctor and say, “Does this work?”   That’s their business, not mine….

I wish Clark had corrected Ramirez, because it does none of us any good to allow misinformation to hit the air waves unchallenged.

Here are a few passages from a carefully written research paper, co-authored by Colorado’s own Ari Armstrong, on how a personhood law would shut down fertility clinics in Colorado. (Armstrong is an independent blogger and sometime researcher for the Independence Institute).

In a section called “Bans on Common Fertility Treatments,” Armstrong and co-author Diana Hsieh, Ph. D.write:

In the context of a “personhood” law, the basic problem with in vitro fertilization is that often not all of the embryos are transferred to the woman’s uterus. Embryos in the lab could not be allowed to perish, nor languish in cold storage, as they would be considered persons with rights, and frozen embryos remain viable only for a few years. To eliminate such practices would render in vitro fertilization not worth doing for most infertile couples. So the practical result of Amendment 62 likely would be to shut down Colorado’s seven reproductive clinics and put an end to those births.

Finally, consider how Amendment 62 would change the legal status of all the frozen embryos now in existence: they would suddenly become “persons” under the law, with all the rights of born infants. Presumably, women would be forced to implant (or donate for implantation) all their existing embryos–or face criminal charges. Moreover, if the biological parents of a frozen embryo die, presumably the embryo has full rights of inheritance, thereby reducing the share of any born children, though how the frozen embryo will grow up to collect remains a problem.

This fantastical scenario highlights the absurdity of treating an embryo as a person in the law.

Ari Armstrong is on Clark’s radio show every now and then, and I hope Clark will ask Armstrong to discuss this issue next time he has the chance, the sooner the better, to set the record straight for KLZ listeners.

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