Reporters try but fail to get truth from Gardner on Federal “personhood” bill

October 8th, 2014

In an article this morning, Fox 31 Denver’s Eli Stokols reports that senatorial candidate Cory Gardner shifted last night from repeatedly saying to multiple reporters (as documented in the video above) that there is “no federal personhood bill” to saying, repeatedly, that it’s “simply a statement.”

Stokols writes:

“The federal act that you are referring to is simply a statement that I believe in life,” Gardner said when asked about the Life Begins at Conception Act by Lynn Bartels.

When Udall repeatedly went back to the issue, Gardner stuck to script, repeating his line that his co-sponsorship of the measure is “simply a statement that I support life.”

Gardner also attempted to separate the House Life at Conception Act, which he signed on as a co-sponsor to last summer, from the nearly identical Senate version, which he claimed not to have seen, and dismissed the notion, pushed by Udall’s campaign, that the legislation could result in banning some forms of birth control.

In countering this nonsense from Gardner, Stokols cites an appeal from Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, explaining that “by legally defining that life begins at conception, — would simply bring the legal definition of “life” in line with the biological definition… in effect overturning Roe v. Wade.”

Here’s the audio of Paul’s brutally honest statement of support for the Life at Conception Act.

And here’s a transcript of Paul’s entire statement:

Hello. This is Senator Rand Paul. Will you help me in a bold and aggressive campaign to end abortion-on-demand– once and for all?

Since the Roe vs. Wade decision in 1973, nine unelected men and women on the Supreme Court have played got with innocent human life. They have invented laws that condemned more than 56 million babies to painful deaths without trial…merely for the crime of being “inconvenient.”

But the good news is Congress has the power to legislatively overturn Roe v. Wade and end all abortion-on-demand.

You see, when the Supreme Court invented the so-called “right” to an abortion, they left an opening for us in Congress to act on the question of when life begins. In Roe v. Wade, the Court ruled: We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins … the judiciary at this point in the development of man’s knowledge is not in a position to speculate as to the answer.”

The Court then admitted that if the personhood of an unborn baby is established, the right to abort, “collapses, for the fetus’ right to live is then guaranteed specifically by the [14th] Aendment …”

Now what the Court was saying, if you look through the all the legal mumbo jumbo, is that we in Congress have the POWER to legally define when life begins.

The same judges who wrote Roe v. Wade actually admitted this. Of course, science has long held that life begins at conception.

That’s why I’m cosponsoring the Life at Conception Act, which — by legally defining that life begins at conception, — would simply bring the legal definition of “life” in line with the biological definition… in effect overturning Roe v. Wade.

That’s why I hope I can count on you to sign special petitions for both your Senators and your Congressman. And, if at all possible, I hope I can count on you to make a generous contribution of $50 to the National Pro-Life Alliance’s campaign to pass a Life at Conception Act and overturn Roe v. Wade.

Your generous contribution of $50 or more will help pay for collecting petitions from up to one million Americans … and for briefing hundreds of newspaper columnists, editorial writers, and talk radio hosts. The fact is, with enough pressure from dedicated pro-lifers on Members of Congress from both parties, you and I can force every member elected as a pro-lifer to either end the slaughter now … or face angry voters back home.

I have to tell you from my perspective as a pro-lifer in Congress that every pro-lifer’s activism is essential in our fight against abortion-on-demand. But I have especially come to appreciate the members of National Pro-life Alliance. Their members nationwide are perhaps the most active and focused on the ultimate vision of eliminating abortion-on-demand — not just regulating it.

In fact, it is primarily because of National Pro-life Alliance members that the Life at Conception Act has an all-time record number of House and Senate sponsors. That’s why I hope you will go all out to support their efforts to overturn Roe v. Wade by passing a Life at Conception Act.

You see, their goal over the next 60 days is to add as many additional cosponsors as possible and then to force roll call votes in both the House and Senate.

Your generous contribution will then also help pay for hard-hitting radio, TV, and newspaper advertising which the National Pro-Life Alliance is committed to run in target states.

By forcing roll call votes, wavering politicians will have to either vote to protect the innocent — or face hundreds of thousands of angry voters back home. If you can help, just bring public opinion to bear on my colleagues in Congress, I’m convinced that we can get this bill to the forefront of the American debate — and ultimately outlaw abortion once and for all.

That’s why it’s vital you sign the petitions I mentioned at once. And please, make this massive advertising and petition drive possible by sending a special contribution to the National Pro-life Alliance.
[Please sign the petition below in support of the Life at Conception Act.]

Laura Woods’ anti-freedom stance on personhood turns off libertarian blogger

October 8th, 2014

If you don’t know about Ari Armstrong’s “Defend Liberty Always” blog, you should take a look at it. In this post, Armstrong, who’s a detail-oriented, deep-thinking libertarian, explains why he can’t vote for state senate candidate Laura Woods.

I confess that I tried not to look too closely at the Republican candidate for my Colorado senate district (number 19), Laura Woods, because I was afraid of what I might find. After gleefully witnessing the fall of Evie Hudack following her reckless, Bloomberg-inspired campaign against peaceable gun owners (after which Democrats replaced her with Rachel Zenzinger, now the Democratic candidate), I really wanted the seat to turn Republican.

After the fiascos of ObamaCare (implications of which played out in the state legislature), the Democrats’ persecution of gun owners, the Democrats’ war on energy producers and consumers, and other matters, this would have been an excellent year for the GOP to punish the Democrats and win back some seats. But, Republicans being Republicans (aka “The Stupid Party”), Republicans in my district nominated a candidate I cannot possible vote for.

Thus, just a couple of weeks after announcing I planned to vote a straight-Republican ticket, I now have to make an exception and declare that I cannot and will not vote for Laura Woods. The basic problem is that Woods enthusiastically endorses total abortion bans, including the insane and horrific “personhood” measure on the ballot this year.

Armstrong writes frequently and thoughtfully about how personhood amendments would violate the basic freedoms a women should have in America. Woods went too far down the personhood path for Armstrong.

And if other self-identifying libertarian pundits in town, like the Independence Institute’s Jon Caldara, are going to be consistent, they should agree with Armstrong.

Will the primary dance on gay marriage end for candidates like Sanchez?

October 7th, 2014

A familiar pattern among GOP candidates in Colorado has been to openly oppose gay-marriage during primary season and then try to sweep such positions away for the general election.

You have to doubt that this week’s developments on gay marriage will change this dance, as exemplified by >GOP state senate candidate Tony Sanchez.

Sanchez came out strong against same-sex marriage prior to his unexpected primary victory in June, stating on his campaign website at the time:

Sanchez: “I will protect the lives of the most vulnerable, defend traditional marriage, and protect your right for personal/religious liberty.”

But shortly after his primary win, the “Pro-life, Pro-family, Pro-liberty” section of his website, including his promise to “defend traditional marriage” vanished completely, in an apparent makeover move for Jeffco voters.

The cleaning up of his website apparently hasn’t done much to help Sanchez raise money. Sanchez and fellow Rocky-Mountain-Gun-Owner-backed candidate Laura Woods are lagging way behind their non-RMGO-backed GOP counterparts from the 2012 election cycle.

Sanchez and Woods are running in swing Jeffco state Senate districts that Republicans had hoped might flip the state senate over to the GOP.

Here is a comparison, from campaign finance reports, of Sanchez’  fundraising totals in 2014 (vs. Summers’ in 2012) to Laura Woods’  fundraising totals in 2014 (vs. Sias’ in 2012):

Ken Summers (SD 22 candidate in 2012)

Total raised (full cycle): $ 130,000

Cash-on-hand (Oct. 1) : $ 80,000

Tony Sanchez (SD 22 candidate in 2014)

Total Rasied (Oct. 1) $ 69,000

Cash on hand (Oct. 1): $ 19,000

Lang Sias (SD 19 Candidate in 2012)

Total raised (full cycle): $ 123,000

Cash on hand (Oct. 1): $ 74,000

Laura Woods (SD 19 Candidate in 2014)

Total Raised (Oct. 1): $ 99,000

Cash on hand (Oct. 1): $ 27,000

 

 

Question of the Week: What does Beauprez think the federal personhood bill, which he’s co-sponsored, would do?

October 6th, 2014

Reporters looking for another source to counter senatorial candidate Cory Gardner’s contention that “there is no federal personhood bill” can turn to gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez, who cosponsored federal personhood legislation and acknowledges his own support for it.

And while he’s talking, Beauprez should explain what he thinks his federal personhood bill would do.

Both Gardner and Beauprez do not favor state personhood amendments, even though both candidates cosponsored federal personhood legislation, which would expand the definition of a person in the U.S. Constitution to include the unborn, beginning at the zygote or fertilized egg stage, and thereby banning all abortion and common forms of birth control.

Gardner’s bill is called the 2013 Life at Conception Act. Beauprez’s is the 2006 Right to Life Act. The two bills are essentially the same.

But unlike Gardner, Beauprez thinks federal personhood legislation exists, and his problem, he says, is with state personhood amendments, not the federal bill.

In March, 9News political reporter Brandon Rittiman clarified a previous 9News piece, which quoted Beauprez as saying he never supported personhood.

Rittiman asked Beauprez about his support of the Right To Life Act, a federal personhood bill, and Rittiman reported:

Rittiman: “Beauprez has certainly supported the concept of personhood in the form of federal legislation. He says his answer to 9NEWS was meant to convey that he has not supported it at the state level.”

Close Beauprez observers will note that the former congressman is careful, when he talks about his opposition to “personhood,” to focus on the state amendments, while staying silent on federal personhood legislation.

Look, for example, at what Beauprez said in Thursday’s debate in Pueblo:

Beauprez: “I’m opposed to the personhood amendment. I’ll tell you what I’m in favor of.  I’m in favor of innocent lives.”

In coverage of the debate, The Denver Post’s Joey Bunch did the right thing journalistically and informed readers of Beauprez’s support of the 2006 federal personhood bill.

Beauprez’s reference to “personhood amendment” Thursday comports with what he told Rittiman back in June:

Beauprez: “The personhood amendment, and that’s where we have to draw the line, the personhood amendment might have identified the right issue but the very wrong solution.”

Bottom line for reporters: Beauprez hasn’t explained why he still supports federal personhood legislation, even though he’s not on board with state personhood efforts. I’m curious to know what Beauprez thinks the federal personhood bill he co-sponsored would do, if passed, and why he backs it over state personhood.

Beauprez’s thoughts on why Gardner thinks “there is no federal personhood bill” would be of interest to those of us trying to understand Gardner’s mysterious personhood hypocrisy.

Media omission: Coffman ad features logo of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, even though Coffman has voted to defund Planned Parenthood

October 3rd, 2014

Mike Coffman has voted multiple times to defund Planned Parenthood, but that didn’t stop him from featuring the logo of Planned Parenthood Action Fund in an ad released last week.

The ad states that “Coffman was praised for protecting women from violence.” Then the words “Coffman ‘showed courage’” are displayed on the screen next to the PPAF logo.

The ad concludes with praise from the Colorado Springs Gazette, calling him “practical” and “selfless.”

Last year, Planned Parenthood praised 33 Republicans, including Coffman, for “showing courage” by voting for the Violence Against Women Act, which authorized funds to respond to domestic violence, sexual assault, and other violent acts against women.

“One vote on record supporting women does not make him a candidate we believe supports women’s health,” said Cathy Alderman, spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado, in a statement. He has a consistent record of voting against women’s access to reproductive health care services.

“In fact, Mr. Coffman voted to defund Planned Parenthood, which provides many important health services to Colorado women, including birth control, family planning services, life-saving cancer screenings and safe abortion services. This advertisement is a smokescreen for Mr. Coffman to hide his continual failure to be an advocate for Colorado women.”

In his last vote against Planned Parenthood, in 2011, Coffman joined House Republicans in supporting Resolution 36 to the federal budget bill, stating that funding in the legislation “may be made available for any purpose to Planned Parenthood Federation of America Inc. or any affiliate of Planned Parenthood Federation of America Inc.”

Coffman has a long anti-choice record, as a consistent supporter of state personhood amendments, which would ban all abortion, even for rape, as well as common forms of birth control. A Personhood USA leader once called him a “statesman” for not abandoning personhood.

Once, after an apparent misstatement on the radio, Coffman wrote a letter to radio-host Dan Caplis asking Caplis to claify on air that Coffman did not favor allowing abortion for rape and incest.

In March of this year, facing a tough challenge by pro-choice Democrat Andrew Romanoff, Coffman withdrew his support for state personhood amendments, and he announced he’d allow a raped woman to have the option of abortion.

Coffman’s office did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Media omission: Beauprez says Jeffco teachers are manipulating students to walk out over merit pay

October 2nd, 2014

In an interview on KOA 850-AM Tuesday, gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez sharply criticized Jeffco students and teachers who’ve been protesting against a proposed curriculum review, saying the conflict is “really” about merit pay, not the curriculum.

Asked what message he has for “students, parents, teachers, and administrators in the Jefferson County school district,” Beauprez said, “Get back to the task at hand, and that’s instructing the kids.”

“This [protest] supposedly was about curriculum,” Beauprez told KOA, touching on the topic of tonight’s meeting of the Jefferson County School Board, “But I think it’s a long ways removed from curriculum. I think it’s really just a manifestation of the ongoing battle between the school board and the teachers’ union over pay, and in this case, merit pay. The curriculum is a very secondary issue.”

In particular, Beauprez implied that Jeffco students were being manipulated by teachers, calling the student actions a “teacher-encouraged protest.”

Asked what role the governor should play in the dispute, Beauprez aligned himself with the Jeffco Schools’ Superintendent, and he sounded (see below) as if he believes gubernatorial intervention would be justified if the conflict continues.

Beauprez said it’s now “very close to that moment in time when the legitimate requests and needs of the parents and the students are not being met, and teachers are not meeting their contractual obligation to be in that classroom teaching kids.”

The Colorado Indpendent’s Tessa Cheek reported Tuesday that Jeffco parents were upset by simlar, but less strident, comments Beauprez made in a recent speech. Cheek reported:

“What we’ve got going on in JeffCo right now is a bit of a complicated situation,” Beauprez said in a forum at Metro State college on Friday.

“I think the school board, an elected school board, they have a proxy from the citizens of Jefferson County to review that curriculum and to opine about that curriculum,” he continued. “And the remedy — if the citizens, the voters, decide that the school board has made a mistake — the remedy comes pretty quickly, in the next election. That’s the way I think it should work.”

The comment hit a nerve for Shawna Fritzler. She’s a registered Republican with a nine-year-old daughter who attends a JeffCo public school. She’s also the president of her school’s Parent Teacher Association and a citizen-chair of the JeffCo public school’s planning and advisory council. She said she is frustrated to see a top-of-the-ticket politician weigh in during an election year without enough context.

“Bob Beauprez says to take it to the ballot box,” she said. “You want me to wait three more years of my nine-year old’s education? My daughter has to wait for an election? That’s asinine.”

On KNUS radio this morning, conservative Dan Caplis said he believes “all of this theater is geared to the launch of a recall election” of the Jefferson County School Board.

Here is a transcript of Bob Beauprez’s remarks on KOA 850-AM’s Colorado Afternoon News, Sept. 30, 2014

MALE ANNOUNCER/INTERVIEWER: […] evaluations and talk about creating a committee to review the AP History course. Republican gubernatorial candidate, Bob Beauprez joining Colorado’s Afternoon News to talk about the trouble in Jefferson County.

FEMALE INTERVIEWER: Thanks for joining us, sir. What message do you have to parents, students, teachers, and administrators in the Jefferson County school district? [static, pause, technical difficulties] We seem to be having a problem with getting candidate Bob Beauprez on. We’re a little bit of delay difficulty, here. Some Technical issues here, on Colorado’s Afternoon News, at 5:22

MALE ANNOUNCER/INTERVIEWER: This is an important — you know, an important subject for folks out there in Jefferson County.

FEMALE INTERVIEWER: Mm-hmm.

MALE ANNOUNCER/INTERVIEWER: Uh, the school board making some big decision. Of course, they’re going to be talking about this again on Thursday night.

FEMALE INTERVIEWER: Okay, I think we have him now, and I’ll repeat my message, just in case you didn’t hear me. What message do you have to students, parents, teachers, and administrators in the Jefferson County school district, sir?

BOB BEAUPREZ: Well, get back to the task at hand, and that’s instructing the kids. And that’s what people pay their taxes for. That’s what parents expect. That’s what children deserve. And frankly, that’s what, I know, that teachers took the job for. They want [to teach] children, or else they wouldn’t be there. This has been an on-going dispute, I think, between the teachers’ union and the school board over the merit pay schedule and particularly the pay as it relates to teachers that might find — might be found not quite measuring up to the standards that the school board expects them to achieve. Now, let me be clear. I’d like not to have to take sides on this one, but I do believe that the school board — an elected school board, any elected school board — they have a proxy from the voters and particularly the parents who send them there, to make sure that they’re speaking out and exercising judgment on their behalf. And that would include, from time to time, reviewing curriculum. This supposedly was about curriculum. But I think it’s a long ways removed from curriculum. I think it’s really just a manifestation of the ongoing battle between the school board and the teachers’ union over pay, and in this case, merit pay. The curriculum is a very secondary issue. When it crosses the line, is when instruction of children –uh, the students– starts being impacted, and clearly it is. You know, when you’ve got to close the high schools because of a supposed sick-out — we all get that joke — there’s something seriously wrong.

MALE ANNOUNCER/INTERVIEWER: So what role, if any, does the governor have in a situation like this?

BOB BEAUPREZ: Well, I’d like to leave it to local control as long as you possibly can. Uh, but we’re right up against now that the counting of students for the sake of reimbursing on a per capita basis, the amount of money that the state reimburses –sends back — to the school districts to fund education. That’s always an issue, and there never seems to be enough. But if we’ve got a sick-out, if we’ve got schools closed because teachers don’t show up, or we’ve got a whole lot of students missing because they’ve decided to walk out and join in the teacher-encouraged protest, that’s a whole different matter. So, at some point, I don’t know where that line is– I think a governor would know it when he sees it, but you’re starting to get, in my opinion, very close to that moment in time when the legitimate requests –needs–of the parents and the students are not being met, and teachers are not meeting their contractual obligation to be in that classroom teaching kids.

FEMALE INTERVIEWER: Thank you for your time, sir. That’s Bob Beauprez, candidate for governor. As for the count day tomorrow, across the state, the state department of education’s website show that there is a count day window that extends from 5 days before count day to 5 days after count day.

MALE ANNOUNCER/INTERVIEWER: And it’s important, because each student brings with them about seven thousand dollars. And so, [if] you lose the count — maybe even ten kids — you’re looking at a lot of money, there.

FEMALE INTERVIEWER: Yeah. Yeah. […]

Listen to Beauprez’s remarks from the KOA interview: 

 

Why did Gardner drop CO personhood initiatives but not the federal bill?

October 2nd, 2014

If you’ve been following my blog, you know that I can’t shake this question out of my head. Why did senatorial candidate Cory Gardner drop the state personhood amendments but remain a co-sponsor of the federal personhood bill?

It would have been so easy for Gardner to uncosponsor the federal personhood bill. He’s even uncosponsored at least one bill before (not a personhood bill but still, an real-life bill!

Instead, he’s left saying, “There is no federal personhood bill,” and getting beat up for it by reporters (here and here) and Democrats alike. And rightfully so.

After months of wasteful thought, I offer you my best shot at explaining Gardner’s mysterious personhood hypocisy, as posted on The Denver Post’s website:

In contrast to state personhood ballot initiatives, the path to legislating personhood via re-defining “person” in the U.S. Constitution, like what’s mandated by the Life at Conception Act, is embraced by the national Republican Party platform. Also, 153 members of Congress, (132 in the House and 21 in the Senate) co-sponsored the Life at Conception Act, along with Gardner. The Senate sponsor of the bill is Rand Paul, widely considered a leading GOP presidential contender.

If Gardner declared the federal personhood bill a well-intentioned mistake, like he did Colorado’s personhood amendments, he’d have abandoned the all those Members of Congress. He’d also be alienating powerful anti-abortion organizations and countless GOP activists. There’s a national movement built around the concept of enacting personhood via constitutional amendment. Not so much with state-based personhood initiatives.

It would be infinitely messier, politically, for Gardner to break ranks with backers of the federal personhood bill than from local pastors and churchgoers who’ve pushed Colorado’s personhood amendments and represent the ragged fringe of the national anti-abortion movement. And by parting ways with personhood in Colorado, Gardner could still try to polish his appeal to women, who will likely decide November’s election, while remaining friendly with the more powerful anti-abortion crowd. A perfect both-ways strategy.

All that’s speculation, I know, but what else can you do when Gardner’s own answer defies the facts?

Now the question is, will this work? Can Gardner win by repeating there-is-no-federal-personhood-bill? Or will a new crop of questions that should be asked by reporters force him articulate an actual factual explanation?

For anyone interviewing Gardner, here’s more details on what federal personhood bill would do

October 1st, 2014

Fox 31 Denver’s Eli Stokols repeatedly tried to convince senatorial candidate Cory Gardner last week that there is such a thing as a federal personhood bill, and Gardner is a co-sponsor of it.

In so doing, Stokols cited Factcheck.org, which reported not only that the bill exists but that the Gardner campaign said Gardner signed it in an effort to ban abortion. Stokols also cited co-sponsors of the bill, who say it’s personhood legislation.

This didn’t dent Gardner, who continued, parrot-like, to say “There is no persnhood bill.”

Reporters going down this rabbit hole with Gardner in the future might like to know more details on what the Life at Conception Act would do, in addition to banning common forms of birth control, like Plan B and IUDs, if passed.

So I asked Lynn Paltrow, an accomplished attorney and executive director of the National Advocates for Pregnant Women, what she thought the Life at Conception Act would do. She confirmed that the bill is, in fact, a “personhood” bill.

“If it passed, it would be a federal law that makes the 14th Amendment applicable to the unborn,” Paltrow said.

“It arguably would create obligations on the federal government to protect equally the unborn by doing such things as outlawing abortion, even for rape and incest, outlawing in vitro fertilization, outlawing participation of pregnant women in drug trials that might be helpful to them but could create risks for the unborn,” said Paltrow, an attorney. “The only thing it does not permit is arresting women if there’s a death of an unborn child. But there is no prohibition against prosecuting doctors for murder—and there’s no prohibition against prosecuting pregnant women for other crimes.”

Paltrow continued: “For example, even if a woman seeks to maintain her pregnancy, a personhood law could be used to justify prosecuting a pregnant woman for risk of harm. The proposed law would do nothing to protect women from investigation, arrest, and prosecution under all the other mechanisms by which women are being arrested.”

Media omission: Gardner cites nonexistent entity as backer of his contraception proposal

September 30th, 2014

In a post on RhRealityCheck.org today, I reported that a mailer produced by senatorial candidate Cory Gardner refers to the “American Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists” as a backer of his proposal to sell contraception over-the-counter. But this group apparently does not exist.

An organization with a similar name, which Gardner has cited previously, doesn’t support Gardner’s proposal.

The advertisement states:

Supported by the American Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Cory’s proposal would make oral contraception: Less expensive — about the price of Aspirin; More convenient — helping women obtain The Pill on their own schedule without an appointment; More accessible — ensures women in underserved urban and rural areas have greater ability to obtain The Pill. [BigMedia emphasis]

The RH Reality Check piece states:

A Google search for the “American Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists” returns references to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

After seeing the Gardner mailer, Kate Connors, ACOG Director of Media Relations, told RH Reality Check via email, “For all I know, there is an AAOG out there, somewhere, but it has certainly never come to my attention. I dare say that the mailer’s reference to it is an error.”

Connors said that it was also an “error” for Gardner to suggest that “we have supported his proposal.”

A September 9 ACOG statement emphasizes over-the-counter sale of contraception is a long-term goal, not a proposal it supports currently.

Politifact.com, in a September 8 analysis, judged Gardner’s claim about the pill being cheaper if sold over-the-counter as “mostly false,” in light of various uncertainties as well as the fact that, under the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies cannot charge policy holders a co-pay for preventive health care, including contraception. So, for most women, contraception is currently free.

What’s next for reporters covering Cory Gardner’s personhood hypocrisy?

September 30th, 2014

Fox 31 political reporter Eli Stokols tried hard last week to extract an explanation from senatorial candidate Cory Gardner for his decision to withdraw from “personhood” legislation at the state level but, at the same time, to remain a co-sponsor of a federal personhood bill, which would ban all abortion, even for rape, and some forms of birth control.

So what else could a reporter ask Gardner at this point?

We know he thinks there’s “no federal personhood bill,” because he said it four times to Stokols and once previously to 9News political reporter Brandon Rittiman.

So what does Gardner think the bill aims to do? If it’s not personhood, what is it?

Gardner discussed this question at least twice: Factcheck.org reported last month that “Gardner’s campaign says he backed the [state and federal] proposals as a means to ban abortion, not contraception.”

Later, contradicting this, Gardner told Rittiman that the “[Life at Conception Act] says life begins at conception.” Gardner’s spokespeople have said the same thing, saying it won’t ban contraception, but they did not mention abortion.

Abortion

Expanding on Factcheck.org’s article, reporters should discuss with Gardner the ramifications of his co-sponsorship of a personhood-style abortion ban. All abortion, even for rape and incest, would be banned. Thus, under the Life at Conception Act, a teenager raped by her father would not have the option of getting an abortion.

Contraception

Gardner has said the Life at Conception Act doesn’t ban contraception. In fact, he told Stokols, “I do not support legislation that would ban birth control. That’s crazy! I would not support that.”

Gardner did not waiver or offer further explanation, even after Stokols told him directly about one of  Factcheck.org’s conclusions: “Gardner says he has changed his mind and no longer supports the Colorado initiative, precisely because it could ban common forms of birth control. But he still backs a federal personhood bill, which contains the same language that would make a ban of some contraception a possibility.”

Reporters who question Gardner should avoid asking him about his position on “contraception” or “birth control” generally, because these words means different things to different people, as you can read here.

Instead, the question is, Does Gardner support specific types of contraception, like Plan B and IUDs. Plan B and IUDs could be banned under the Life at Conception Act because they threaten or destroy fertilized eggs (zygotes), which would gain full legal rights, the same ones you and I have, if the federal personhood bill became law.

In vitro fertilization

Factcheck.org pointed out that personhood measures, like the federal personhood bill, threaten “in vitro fertilization, which often involve creating more than one embryo in an effort to help a woman conceive — the American Society for Reproductive Medicine has been against personhood initiatives.” What’s Gardner’s stance on this issue, given his backing of the Life at Conception Act.

Plenty to ask.

So Stokols’ intense interview with Gardner leaves plenty of questions unanswered, and they go beyond the ones from Stokols that Gardner dodged or refused to answer factually.