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Under the Colorado government heretofore, the constitutional rights of unborn persons in Colorado have not been upheld.  

 

Colorado State Constitution: Article II, Section 3: Inalienable Rights

 

All persons have certain natural, essential and inalienable rights, among which may be reckoned the right of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties; of acquiring, possessing and protecting property; and of seeking and obtaining their safety and happiness.

 

Colorado State Constitution: Article II, Section 6: Equality of Justice

 

Courts of justice shall be open to every person, and a speedy remedy afforded for every injury to person, property or character; and right and justice should be administered without sale, denial or delay.

 

Colorado State Constitution: Article II, Section 25: Due Process of Law

 

No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law.

 

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According to the definition for “person” found in Part 1, homicide specifically does not refer to unborn children in Colorado at this time.  Therefore they are not protected under criminal law in Colorado.  This could potentially be changed with a redefinition of the word “person”.  

 

Colorado Revised Statutes: Title 18, Article 3, Part 1: Homicide and Related Offenses

18-3-101. Definitions

As used in this part 1, unless the context otherwise requires:
(1) “Homicide” means the killing of a person by another.
(2) “Person”, when referring to the victim of a homicide, means a human being who had been born and was alive at the time of the homicidal act.

 

18-3-102. Murder in the first degree
(1) A person commits the crime of murder in the first degree if:
(a) After deliberation and with the intent to cause the death of a person other than himself, he causes the death of that person or of another person; or
(f) The person knowingly causes the death of a child who has not yet attained twelve years of age and the person committing the offense is one in a position of trust with respect to the victim.

(4) The statutory privilege between patient and physician and between husband and wife shall not be available for excluding or refusing testimony in any prosecution for the crime of murder in the first degree as described in paragraph (f) of subsection (1) of this section.

 

18-3-104. Manslaughter
(1) A person commits the crime of manslaughter if:
(a) Such person recklessly causes the death of another person; or

18-3-106. Vehicular homicide
(1) (a) If a person operates or drives a motor vehicle in a reckless manner, and such conduct is the proximate cause of the death of another, such person commits vehicular homicide.
(b) (I) If a person operates or drives a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or one or more drugs, or a combination of both alcohol and one or more drugs, and such conduct is the proximate cause of the death of another, such person commits vehicular homicide. This is a strict liability crime.

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There is a law known as the Wrongful Death Act that guarantees the right of heirs or close family to receive damages for deaths resulting from negligence:

 

Colorado Revised Statutes: Title 13, Article 21, Part 2: Damages for Death by Negligence

13-21-201. Damages for death
(1) When any person dies from any injury resulting from or occasioned by the negligence, unskillfulness, or criminal intent of any officer, agent, servant, or employee while running, conducting, or managing any locomotive, car, or train of cars, or of any driver of any coach or other conveyance operated for the purpose of carrying either freight or passengers for hire while in charge of the same as a driver, and when any passenger dies from an injury resulting from or occasioned by any defect or insufficiency in any railroad or any part thereof, or in any locomotive or car, or other conveyance operated for the purpose of carrying either freight or passengers for hire, the corporation or individuals in whose employ any such officer, agent, servant, employee, master, pilot, engineer, or driver is at the time such injury is committed, or who owns any such railroad, locomotive, car, or other conveyance operated for the purpose of carrying either freight or passengers for hire at the time any such injury is received, and resulting from or occasioned by the defect or insufficiency above described shall forfeit and pay for every person and passenger so injured the sum of not exceeding ten thousand dollars and not less than three thousand dollars, which may be sued for and recovered:
(c) (I) If the deceased is an unmarried minor without descendants or an unmarried adult without descendants and without a designated beneficiary pursuant to article 22 of title 15, C.R.S., by the father or mother who may join in the suit. Except as provided in subparagraphs (II) and (III) of this paragraph (c), the father and mother shall have an equal interest in the judgment, or if either of them is dead, then the surviving parent shall have an exclusive interest in the judgment.

 

13-21-202. Action notwithstanding death
When the death of a person is caused by a wrongful act, neglect, or default of another, and the act, neglect, or default is such as would, if death had not ensued, have entitled the party injured to maintain an action and recover damages in respect thereof, then, and in every such case, the person who or the corporation which would have been liable, if death had not ensued, shall be liable in an action for damages notwithstanding the death of the party injured.

 

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Currently there is a proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution, that if the petition process is successful, would be on the Colorado ballot in 2014.  It is meant to apply the protections and justice for “persons” in the Colorado Criminal Code (all of Title 18 of the Colorado Revised Statutes) and in the “Wrongful Death Act” which is C.R.S. Title 13, Article 21, Part 2.  The wording of the amendment, known as the Brady Amendment, is: 

In the interest of the protection of pregnant mothers and their unborn children from criminal offenses and negligent and wrongful acts, the words “person” and “child” in the Colorado Criminal Code and the Colorado Wrongful Death Act must include unborn human beings.

 

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Until 2013, there were statutes on the Colorado books restricting abortion (though some have been ruled unconstitutional), many of which have been repealed by a bill signed into law on June 5 this year.  This law is very similar to the stated intentions of the Brady Amendment in giving rights of damages to families of unborn children killed through negligence.  In other respects its intentions are directly opposed to the equal justice goals of the personhood-like Brady Amendment.  July 1, 2013, the law so far denoted by “H.B. 13-1154” took effect.  It is summarized on the official state web page

 

H.B. 13-1154 Crimes against pregnant women – unlawful termination of a pregnancy – repeal criminal abortion statutes – appropriations. 

The act creates a new article for offenses against pregnant women. The new offenses are unlawful termination of a pregnancy in the first degree, unlawful termination of a pregnancy in the second degree, unlawful termination of a pregnancy in the third degree, unlawful termination of a pregnancy in the fourth degree, vehicular unlawful termination of a pregnancy, aggravated vehicular unlawful termination of a pregnancy, and careless driving resulting in unlawful termination of a pregnancy. The act excludes from prosecution medical care for which the mother provided consent. The act does not confer the status of “person” upon a human embryo, fetus, or unborn child at any stage of development prior to live birth. The act repeals the criminal abortion statutes. The act makes the required 5-year statutory appropriation as required by section 2-2-703, Colorado Revised Statutes. 

 

APPROVED by Governor June 5, 2013 EFFECTIVE July 1, 2013

 

To read the full text of this new law, you can go to the Colorado legislature’s website

 

Particularly relevant to abortion are these parts: 

HB13-1154 Section 1:

(i) Additionally, nothing in this act shall be construed to permit the imposition of criminal penalties against a woman for actions she takes that result in the termination of her pregnancy; and

(j) Finally, nothing in this act shall be construed to permit the imposition of criminal penalties against a health care provider engaged in providing health care services to a patient.

 

C.R.S. 18-3.5-101: Definitions

(5) “PREGNANCY”, FOR PURPOSES OF THIS ARTICLE ONLY AND NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER DEFINITION OR USE TO THE CONTRARY, MEANS THE PRESENCE OF AN IMPLANTED HUMAN EMBRYO OR FETUS WITHIN THE UTERUS OF A WOMAN.

 

(7) “UNLAWFUL TERMINATION OF PREGNANCY” MEANS THE TERMINATION OF A PREGNANCY BY ANY MEANS OTHER THAN BIRTH OR A MEDICAL PROCEDURE, INSTRUMENT, AGENT, OR DRUG, FOR WHICH THE CONSENT OF THE PREGNANT WOMAN, OR A PERSON AUTHORIZED BY LAW TO ACT ON HER BEHALF, HAS BEEN OBTAINED, OR FOR WHICH THE PREGNANT WOMAN’S CONSENT IS IMPLIED BY LAW.

 

18-3.5-102. Exclusions

(1) NOTHING IN THIS ARTICLE SHALL PERMIT THE PROSECUTION OF A PERSON FOR ANY ACT OF PROVIDING MEDICAL, OSTEOPATHIC, SURGICAL, MENTAL HEALTH, DENTAL, NURSING, OPTOMETRIC, HEALING, WELLNESS, OR PHARMACEUTICAL CARE; FURNISHING INPATIENT OR OUTPATIENT HOSPITAL OR CLINIC SERVICES; FURNISHING TELEMEDICINE SERVICES; OR FURNISHING ANY SERVICE RELATED TO ASSISTED REPRODUCTION OR GENETIC TESTING. 

(2) NOTHING IN THIS ARTICLE SHALL PERMIT THE PROSECUTION OF A WOMAN FOR ANY ACT OR ANY FAILURE TO ACT WITH REGARD TO HER OWN PREGNANCY.

 

18-3.5-111. Construction

NOTHING IN THIS ARTICLE SHALL BE CONSTRUED TO CONFER THE STATUS OF “PERSON” UPON A HUMAN EMBRYO, FETUS, OR UNBORN CHILD AT ANY STAGE OF DEVELOPMENT PRIOR TO LIVE BIRTH.

 

HB13-1154 SECTION 3: In Colorado Revised Statutes, repeal part 1 of article 6 of title 18, 12-32-107 (3) (m), 12-36-117 (1) (b), 25-1-1202 (1) (ee), and 30-10-606 (1) (d).

[See the abortion-relevant parts of these laws and links to them in the next section of this post.] 

 

13-22-105. Minors – birth control services rendered by physicians

Except as otherwise provided in part 1 of article 6 of title 18, C.R.S., Birth control procedures, supplies, and information may be furnished by physicians licensed under article 36 of title 12, C.R.S., to any minor who is pregnant, or a parent, or married, or who has the consent of his parent or legal guardian, or who has been referred for such services by another physician, a clergyman, a family planning clinic, a school or institution of higher education, or any agency or instrumentality of this state or any subdivision thereof, or who requests and is in need of birth control procedures, supplies, or information.

 

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The laws repealed in the preceding 2013 law include: 

Colorado Revised Statutes: 

18-6-101. Definitions
18-6-102. Criminal abortion
(1) Any person who intentionally ends or causes to be ended the pregnancy of a woman by any means other than justified medical termination or birth commits criminal abortion.

18-6-103. Pretended criminal abortion
18-6-104. Failure to comply
18-6-105. Distributing abortifacients

12-32-107. Issuance, revocation, or suspension of license – probation – immunity in professional review

(3) “Unprofessional conduct” as used in this article means:

(m) Procuring, or aiding or abetting in procuring, criminal abortion;

12-36-117. Unprofessional conduct

(1) “Unprofessional conduct” as used in this article means:

(b) Procuring, or aiding or abetting in procuring, criminal abortion;

 

25-1-1202. Index of statutory sections regarding medical record confidentiality and health information
(1) Statutory provisions concerning policies, procedures, and references to the release, sharing, and use of medical records and health information include the following:

(ee) Sections 18-6-101 to 18-6-104 C.R.S., concerning a justified medical termination of pregnancy;

 

30-10-606. Coroner – inquiry – grounds – postmortem – jury – certificate of death

(1) The coroner shall immediately notify the district attorney, proceed to view the body, and make all proper inquiry respecting the cause and manner of death of any person in his jurisdiction who has died under any of the following circumstances:

(d) From criminal abortion, including any situation where such abortion may have been self-induced;

 

All of those laws were repealed by the 2013 Colorado legislature.  

 

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In 2003 a similar law was passed, focusing on “unlawful termination of a pregnancy.”  It was known as an “unborn victims of violence act“, and it actually strengthened the legality of abortion in the state, by including professional medical and surgical abortions in the specification of which terminations of pregnancy are legal:

Colorado Revised Statutes, Title 18, Article 3.5: Unlawful Termination of Pregnancy

18-3.5-101. Unlawful termination of pregnancy

(1) A person commits the offense of unlawful termination of a pregnancy if, with intent to terminate unlawfully the pregnancy of another person, the person unlawfully terminates the other person’s pregnancy.

18-3.5-102. Exclusions
Nothing in this article shall permit the prosecution of a person for providing medical treatment, including but not limited to an abortion, in utero treatment, or treatment resulting in live birth, to a pregnant woman for which the consent of the pregnant woman, or a person authorized by law to act on her behalf, has been obtained or for which consent is implied by law.

 
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Other parts of the Colorado Revised Statutes that apply to abortion include: 
Colorado Revised Statutes: Title 12, Article 37.5: Colorado Parental Notification Act
(1) The people of the state of Colorado, pursuant to the powers reserved to them in Article V of the Constitution of the state of Colorado, declare that family life and the preservation of the traditional family unit are of vital importance to the continuation of an orderly society; that the rights of parents to rear and nurture their children during their formative years and to be involved in all decisions of importance affecting such minor children should be protected and encouraged, especially as such parental involvement relates to the pregnancy of an unemancipated minor, recognizing that the decision by any such minor to submit to an abortion may have adverse long-term consequences for her.
(2) The people of the state of Colorado, being mindful of the limitations imposed upon them at the present time by the federal judiciary in the preservation of the parent-child relationship, hereby enact into law the following provisions.

12-37.5-103. Definitions
As used in this article, unless the context otherwise requires:
(1) “Minor” means a person under eighteen years of age.
(2) “Parent” means the natural or adoptive mother and father of the minor who is pregnant, if they are both living; one parent of the minor if only one is living, or if the other parent cannot be served with notice, as hereinafter provided; or the court-appointed guardian of such minor if she has one or any foster parent to whom the care and custody of such minor shall have been assigned by any agency of the state or county making such placement.
(3) “Abortion” for purposes of this article means the use of any means to terminate the pregnancy of a minor with knowledge that the termination by those means will, with reasonable likelihood, cause the death of the minor’s unborn offspring.
(5) “Medical emergency” means a condition that, on the basis of the physician’s good-faith clinical judgment, so complicates the medical condition of a pregnant minor as to necessitate a medical procedure necessary to prevent the pregnant minor’s death or for which a delay will create a serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function.

12-37.5-104. Notification concerning abortion
(1) No abortion shall be performed upon an unemancipated minor until at least 48 hours after written notice of the pending abortion has been delivered in the following manner:
(a) The notice shall be addressed to the parent at the dwelling house or usual place of abode of the parent. Such notice shall be delivered to the parent by:
(I) The attending physician or member of the physician’s immediate staff who is over the age of eighteen; or
(II) The sheriff of the county where the service of notice is made, or by his deputy; or
(III) Any other person over the age of eighteen years who is not related to the minor; or
(IV) A clergy member who is over the age of eighteen.

 

12-37.5-105. No notice required – when

12-37.5-106. Penalties – damages – defenses

12-37.5-107. Judicial bypass

12-37.5-108. Limitations
(1) This article shall in no way be construed so as to:
(a) Require any minor to submit to an abortion; or
(b) Prevent any minor from withdrawing her consent previously given to have an abortion; or
(c) Permit anything less than fully informed consent before submitting to an abortion.
(2) This article shall in no way be construed as either ratifying, granting or otherwise establishing an abortion right for minors independently of any other regulation, statute or court decision which may now or hereafter limit or abridge access to abortion by minors.

 

25-3-110. Emergency contraception – definitions

 

25-6-101. Legislative declaration
(1) Continuing population growth either causes or aggravates many social, economic, and environmental problems, both in this state and in the nation.

25-6-102. Policy, authority, and prohibitions against restrictions
(1) All medically acceptable contraceptive procedures, supplies, and information shall be readily and practicably available to each person desirous of the same regardless of sex, sexual orientation, race, color, creed, religion, disability, age, income, number of children, marital status, citizenship, national origin, ancestry, or motive.
(10) To the extent family planning funds are available, each agency and institution of this state and each of its political subdivisions shall provide contraceptive procedures, supplies, and information, including permanent sterilization procedures, to indigent persons free of charge and to other persons at cost.

 

25-6-201. This part 2 to be liberally construed
This part 2 shall be liberally construed to protect the rights of all individuals to pursue their religious beliefs, to follow the dictates of their own consciences, to prevent the imposition upon any individual of practices offensive to the individual’s moral standards, to respect the right of every individual to self-determination in the procreation of children, and to insure a complete freedom of choice in pursuance of constitutional rights.

25-6-202. Services to be offered by the county
The governing body of each county and each city and county or any county or district public health agency thereof or any welfare department thereof may provide and pay for, and each county and each city and county or any public health agency or county or district public health agency thereof or any welfare department thereof may offer, family planning and birth control services to every parent who is a public assistance recipient and to any other parent or married person who might have interest in, and benefit from, such services; except that no county or city and county or public health agency thereof is required by this section to seek out such persons.

 

25-6-203. Extent of services

25-6-205. Services may be refused
The refusal of any person to accept family planning and birth control services shall in no way affect the right of such person to receive public assistance or to avail himself of any other public benefit, and every person to whom such services are offered shall be so advised initially both orally and in writing. County and city and county employees engaged in the administration of this part 2 shall recognize that the right to make decisions concerning family planning and birth control is a fundamental personal right of the individual, and nothing in this part 2 shall in any way abridge such individual right, nor shall any individual be required to state his reason for refusing the offer of family planning and birth control services.

25-6-207. County employee exemption

To God be all glory, 

Lisa of Longbourn

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It seems to me that if there is a law, however silly, and if a person is accused of breaking that law but goes to court and a judge agrees that their behavior did not trespass the law, that such a precedent should serve as a guide to that person and all in the district for acceptable behavior. These people should not be repeatedly accused of breaking that law for the same offense ruled to be legal in prior cases. I would call that harassment.

Those are my opinions, but they do not seem to be shared by our local government. For Planned Parenthood, who is trying to shut down the pro-life voices outside their clinic, has been pressuring the government in every possible means (save making brand new laws; Obama is a bit to busy to keep his promise of passing FOCA, thank Jesus) to harass us. The latest, from Wednesday last week, was to call code enforcement about our ladders. Now pro-lifers look pretty extreme a lot of times not only because we have the unpopular belief that people have a right to life, but because we are trying to be law abiding behind ridiculous restrictions. To save lives we are not allowed to enter a medical facility, or its property. We cannot peacefully sit in the driveways or roads, or in front of the doors. Politics has found us inconvenient. So have police*, it seems.

So we have to yell at women, because we can’t get close enough to them to talk (8 foot bubble law within 100 feet of an abortion clinic). And we have to have big signs because kids aren’t taught the truth in school, at home, or through media. We wear t-shirts because no one else is talking about it. And we use ladders because, unlike any other medical facility in the country, these have tarps surrounding their parking lot. Men who practice wickedness like to hide. They want to block out the light and the truth. So we put up ladders and talk over the black tarp fences. (Yelling is certainly not preferable. If they park close enough, or walk by, we do talk to them. And we try to make eye contact with the mothers.) We heard one account from this past year where a baby was saved partly because of ladders. The girl couldn’t believe the man talking to her was so tall!

Code enforcement came by Wednesday. He rolled down his window and addressed me at my perch on top of a ladder. “You can’t have those on the sidewalk,” he said.

“Are you kidding me?” I asked, with naivety. I mean, I’ve been doing this a year and a half. The people who own the ladders have been coming out for decades. I’m sure if it was illegal, they would have been stopped already.

He added, “They can’t block the sidewalk.”

“People can get by.” I looked down at the three feet of space between my ladder and the road.

“You can’t have the ladders on the sidewalk.”

I then directed him to the owner of the ladders, whom I knew would know what to say. “Yes I can,” was the thing. “We’ve been to court 100 times, and we’ve won every time about the ladders.”

“I can take them,” he said.

“No you can’t,” she replied. I mean, this is hard for Christians. Because in a constitutional republic, where we have laws that guide our behavior and not arbitrary men telling us what to do, we have the right to act in accordance with those laws. But bossy little people with no real authority try to tell us what to do, and they are working for the government, so should we comply? Do we have to comply every time they talk to us, until we look up the law again and go back to doing it until they stop us again? The court told the sidewalk counselors they could use ladders on the sidewalk. So that’s what she stood for. And she threatened to call 911 if he tried to take her ladders.

So he drove away, and as we suspected he would, he called the police.


Three squad cars and an SUV came shortly, and told my friend to move her ladders. Same story. Except they could ticket her, and they had big sticks and probably guns. (They always remind me of when Jesus asked, “Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me.”) She tends to remind policemen* that babies are about to be murdered just a few yards away, instead of sticking to their topic. Men should know what they are doing, she feels, and which side they are serving.


During her argument, one or two of the police officers went to chat with the abortion clinic security guard. A third, Catholic, chatted with a woman who had been praying her rosary before they arrived, when she spoke up. I went to find my camera and start taking pictures and prepare to video whatever was going to happen. My friend kept talking to the fourth policeman. Eventually she said that she knew the name of their commander, had spoken with her about the ladders, and that she would back her with permission to keep the ladders.

“You can move them into the street,” one officer suggested.


“Why didn’t you just say so?” With evident frustration, she descended her ladder for the first time and tugged the first one into the road. But once she had both of them in the street, they were going to cite her for having had them on the sidewalk. As you may imagine, this was met with further resistance. For one thing, after the last time they had been to court for the same legal action, my friend and her husband had warned the government that if they had to deal with the issue again, they would be in a federal first amendment lawsuit. This was brought up to reinforce the seriousness of her next statement: “I’m calling Commander –“ she said, and took out her cell phone. The station did not pick up my friend’s call, and the officers raced her to speak with their commander first. While the ladder-woman continued to wait on hold, the commander informed her people that as long as the path was not obstructed in a way in which pedestrians could not get by, the ladders could stay.

 
With a short apology, three of the patrol packed up and left. She returned her ladders to the sidewalk, and spent the next half hour or so talking with the Catholic policeman who was the friendliest to begin with.

I would like to point out that during the whole incident the street was rather blocked with patrol cars, including two parked facing the wrong direction.

  • Police, I imagine, got into their line of work because they wanted to defend innocent lives. To be reminded that the law protects murderers and that their official job restricts their involvement in saving lives has to be frustrating. My friend likes to invite them to join the cause, even if only when they’re off duty. And she likes to point out that they will answer to a higher authority.
 
To God be all glory,
Lisa of Longbourn

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This is getting on my nerves.  There are so many laws in this silly country that no person should be held accountable for them all.  It would probably take years just to read all the laws for a given city, county, state, and country – let alone understand them and the precedents for their application.  And yet these laws are constantly changing (because legislators get bored? Power hungry?).  And most of them are silly.  For example, it is fine with me for it to be illegal to shoot someone except in self (or family or friend or property) defense: unprovoked.  But why then do we need laws about registration, about locking the weapons in trunks, about not practicing in city limits?  And do police really intend to enforce these laws, or only when you make them (or some powerful influence on them) mad? 

 

I don’t mind laws against impeding traffic, but why in a free country can people not be allowed to think for themselves and go in or out of the public street as they wish?  A policeman should not be able to ticket a person for engaging in a behavior that, had circumstances been all wrong and the person fail to use any common sense to get out of the situation, could lead to inconvenience (or harm) to another person?  Why are we doing preventative law?  Is this about protecting people and their rights, or about controlling them? 

To God be all glory,

Lisa of Longbourn

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Once upon a time there was a country that belonged to the people.  Maybe you have an idea which one I mean.  The thing about ownership is that property can be stolen.  Two of the ten Mosaic commandments address property rights.  But not only is theft no longer illegal; it has been codified.  Government itself functions on and benefits from theft.  We’re talking about private property, private rights, private liberty. 

 

 

 

It just so happens that the supreme law of this land guarantees a few rights to its people.  For example, we have the right to peaceably assemble, the right to bear arms, the right to free speech, and freedom from federal laws instituting or prohibiting religion’s exercise.  There are a few other little rights that we usually ignore, but that are in this simple list of laws all the same.  We citizens cannot be unreasonably searched, plundered, or seized by our government.  There is a right to trial by jury, prompt and in due process.  (Due process and promptness tend to be mutually exclusive in today’s courts.  But they keep everything legal by allowing you to waive your right to a free trial so that there will be no miscarriage of justice.) 

 

I’ve never been too bothered by conspiracy theories that warn, “Big brother is watching you.”  I mean, our country has ceased to belong to the people, and the rulers in charge have the power, should they choose to declare themselves free of the laws that have kept us complacent, to do whatever they want.  By the time Big Brother has put surveillance in place, you weren’t free anyway.  We were already doomed. 

 

So I’m not sounding any dark warnings here.  (Well… I guess I did begin on a depressing note…)  What I want to do is to tell you a story.  If you wish it were impossible, you are welcome to protest to your elected officials (and the unelected ones).  If instead you see opportunity and power to take to yourself, by all means, step up to the plate. 

 

You probably know if you’re a regular reader of my blog that I do regular sidewalk counseling, a ministry by which, with much prayer, I stand on a sidewalk outside an abortion clinic and try for a chance to talk with a mother about her choice, to share options with her, truth with her, and chances for help.  This is the last ditch effort to save lives – a place for me to meet hurting people and offer them love.  That love tends to look like standing on a ladder increasing my volume as the women move away from me and towards the door through which they will murder their sons and daughters, warning them about side effects, consequences, and the precious life they have this one last chance to save – that is unfortunate.  I wish that more often it looked like a girl sitting in the passenger seat of a car looking at pictures of life forming in a womb, shedding quiet tears and finding out about forgiveness, hope, and crisis pregnancy clinics that can help.  Sometimes it does, and I rejoice to see fruit in my attempts. 

 

So this abortion clinic is on the edge of an ethnic neighborhood caught between mall redevelopment and inner city tradition and railroad industry.  It sits on a wide, empty street.  Directly across is an abandoned parking lot.  On either side is a telephone company building that has no signs and gets about one visit a week, and a fire house no longer in use.  This three-story red brick building is surrounded by no trespassing signs, and displays a few large signs warning that no help can be found at the location any longer.  On top is a disaster siren that is tested on Wednesdays at 11 when the weather and season are right.  Beside that are two white cameras, rounded in a style too modern and artistic to be original to the building.  From their vantage point on the tower, these two cameras can take in the whole street – not to mention the cameras posted high on the lights above the entrance to the abortion clinic. 

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So this building still appears to be public property, with the siren on top – but it isn’t.  Yet the police came last week to ticket another sidewalk counselor.  They parked (side by side, blocking half the road) and sat to watch us for a while.  Mostly ignoring them, we went on as usual.  They have warned us before about “stopping cars by stepping into the street.”  Now, we stand in this empty street near the curb because of sunshine.  Until about 10 AM the black tarp the abortion clinic has erected to keep the truth contained and invisible to the women it entices in with “choice” manages to shade the entire sidewalk.  So I don’t have to step into the street for anything; I’m already there.  But if I do happen to be on the sidewalk instead, I don’t step into the street.  I stand on the edge of the curb and hold out my hand in a stop signal or extend a flyer towards cars driving to the abortion clinic.  This is an effective tactic because it is non-threatening (and a little confusing), so people tend to stop.  When they stop, we go to their cars to give them the promised flyer and try to talk them out of killing children.  No one has ever been unable to access the street or the clinic due to this tactic, nor have we forcibly stopped cars or impeded traffic.  If the conversation is going well, we will have the car pull to one side so we can talk more. 

 

Last week while the police watched, I did that very thing.  I extended the flyer with a large list of facilities and people offering help to moms in need to a couple in a car.  They stopped and I headed to meet them with my paper, but was intercepted by the other sidewalk counselor, who has been doing this for decades and knows what to say much better than I do.  After a few sentences, she had them pull to the curb so she could answer their curiosity about what was going on (they were not clients of the abortionist).  Five to ten minutes after her conversation had begun, the police got out of their cars and came up to her, interrupting and requesting that she come with them.  She complied. 

 

They told her they would have to give her a ticket.  In a few minutes I joined her, confessing that I had stopped the car (which they could see).  The officer, who was considerably taller and larger than me, ignored me.  He said not a word to me, and seemed by looking over my head and addressing my friend to have brushed me aside like a bit of lint blowing across his vision.  After a short plea for the officers to save lives instead of writing tickets that would prevent her from doing so, she decided that her temper could not handle further discussion, and submitted to the citation. 

 

As the police drove away, we the pro-life team gathered around the yellow slip to discuss, question, and criticize all that had taken place.  “They showed me pictures,” my friend said.  And she pointed.  The pictures the police had used for evidence were taken from the old firehouse across the street.  “You were in one of them, standing by the car with me,” she looked at me.  But I hadn’t been by the car today, and how could they get pictures so quickly? 

 The Cameras

“What’s the date?” said another friend, an older man with a golden dog on a leash.  “This citation is written for yesterday.  At 11:38 AM.  Were you here at 11:38 yesterday?”  My friend nodded. 

 

“But I wasn’t.  I was at work…  That picture must have been from a long time ago.  I haven’t been in the street for a while.”  I added. 

 

“The officer signed as the complainant.  He wasn’t here yesterday.” 

 

“[the security guard] complained.  He called them,”  reported the owner of the ticket. 

 

“A police officer can’t be the complainant unless he was a witness.” 

 

That’s how it went.  She’s going to challenge the ticket in court (something she is rather good at by way of experience).  The incident for which she was cited was actually a mom with two little kids in her car driving by asking for directions.  My friend didn’t even do anything to get that woman to stop except to be outside. 

 

So here’s my question.  It only took a little bit of investigation to know that Planned Parenthood owns the cameras that survey the entire public street.  There is no sign on the building on which they were mounted informing the public that they are being video-taped.  Court precedent says that such surveillance is legal if it is in a place where someone can reasonably expect to be seen (parks, streets).  But since when can a private company or citizen take a picture of someone doing something that they think may be illegal, send the picture to the police with a complaint, and the police respond with a ticket?  Can you really be ticketed for something that no one witnessed? 

 

This has come up with the photo-radar machines that measure your speed and then snap a picture of you and your license plate as you drive by.  Some courts, I believe, have ruled that such evidence is shaky. 

 

And I understand that video from security cameras can be used to track down, identify, and convict criminals who rob convenience stores or graffiti buildings.  That’s ok with me.  But seriously – a jaywalking ticket after the fact?  And absolutely no one was inconvenienced?  Can I set up a camera on my street and call the police on random kids – or on cars failing to use turn signals, etc.?  It’s bad enough for the police to do it themselves, let alone a private citizen! 

 

Planned Parenthood loses money every time we educate women and help them to avoid the stain of murder on their conscience.  That wicked company is therefore applying pressure to the public government, asking them to enforce laws that they never enforce (tying up 3 to 4 officers and squad cars to deliver the citations, for some reason) on the rest of the population, so that the calloused businessmen inside can keep brutally murdering the most innocent human children alive. 

To God be all glory,

Lisa of Longbourn

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This may be a little belated for anyone trying to decide how to vote around here.  Then again we have a lot of procrastinators in this country.  Whether you’ve already voted or not, or even if you don’t live in Colorado, I hope that this little study of the ballot issues and why I am for or against them will educate you on my views about government. 

 

Amendment 46: Discrimination and Preferential Treatment by Governments prohibited excepting federal programs, existing court orders or other legally binding agreements and bona fide qualifications based on sex. 

 

The text of this amendment prohibits government discrimination FOR or against people seeking public employment, education, or contracts.  It lists race, sex, color, ethnicity, and national origin as the categories protected against discrimination.  I do not believe that this is any threat to our liberties as a nation, nor an affront to our morals.  The language prohibits affirmative action, which is one of the most frustrating forms of intentional discrimination practiced in our country.  I’m glad to support an amendment restricting this injustice. 

 

YES on Amendment 46. 

 

Amendment 47: Prohibition on Mandatory Labor Union Membership and Dues (as a condition of employment; including government and private employers)

 

For my thoughts on this issue, I am grateful to a friend who works in businesses where membership in a union is the only way contractors are connected with work.  The bidding process is handled by unions, or something like that.  So if membership in a union were not mandatory, then either there would be no work for them or some employees who are union men would carry the financial load for their coworkers in an essential part of their business. 

 

Secondly, this law places restrictions on the employer, which is not healthy for an economy.  I believe that the owner of a business has a right to do as he will with his business, and if employees don’t like the way they’re treated or the conditions of their employment, they can look for a new job.  This is the free market system.  I almost always side with employers and owners. 

 

NO on Amendment 47. 

 

Amendment 48: Definition of Person

 

I have covered this topic at length on this blog.  The Colorado Constitution guarantees certain rights to all persons in this state.  We in the pro-life movement believe that this law, which includes the right to life and due process, should have been applied all along to all persons, no matter how small, including the unborn.  The fact that over 40 abortions are performed in Colorado every day is evidence that this law is not being enforced this way.  Thousands of innocent babies are being deprived of their fundamental and legal right to life because judges have declared this word “person” to be ambiguous.  The campaign argues that medical science and common sense make it clear when life and personhood begins, and it is at fertilization.  There is no other possible and logical place at which to draw the line.  We believe that defining personhood will uplift the value we as citizens of Colorado place on life, from the smallest among us to the strongest and healthiest adult to the sick or the elderly. 

 

Arguments against this amendment center selfishly around the repercussions of acknowledging the inescapable fact that these tiny lives are persons.  Opponents would rather deny the personhood of these babies so that they can continue to murder them for any and every reason.  These campaigners, who stand to lose a profitable industry in abortion, threaten that this law will force mothers to sacrifice their lives for terminal preborn children in cases such as eptopic pregnancies.  However, the law will not assert the rights of one life over another.  If a woman’s life is at risk, or the life of a twin is really threatened by a child, nothing in this law prohibits the defense of the endangered lives.  Do not let these tragic instances keep you from defending 40 babies a day or more by defining them in the law as we already know them scientifically to be: individual living persons. 

 

YES on Amendment 48. 

 

Amendment 49:  Prohibit the government from deducting things like union dues from the paychecks of public employees. 

 

This law will protect public employees from deductions not endorsed by the government.  At present employees must take extra action to prevent the deductions.  This would put the burden of collection of union dues or other contributions on the unions, relieving the government from the burden of collecting the money for them.  We shouldn’t make the government the middle man for other agencies. 

 

YES on Amendment 49.

 

Amendment 50: Return decisions about the limits on Gaming (gambling) in Central City, Black Hawk, and Cripple Creek to the respective communities, including casino hours, types of games offered, and limits on bet amounts. 

 

I am morally opposed to gambling, and thus believe that it should be illegal.  This is not the case in Colorado, but I do not want it expanded.  Additionally, this law directs most of the potential additional revenue to State community colleges.  I believe it is none of the government’s business to be involved in education in any way, let alone in funding.  And I always vote against increases in taxes until the government can prove themselves good and law-abiding stewards of the money already entrusted to them. 

 

NO on Amendment 50. 

 

Amendment 51: Increases the state sales tax and directs the revenue to services for people with developmental disabilities.  

 

Again, I always vote against tax increases until the government can prove themselves faithful stewards of our money.  However, if they were to use part of their existing budget to fund social or charity programs like this, I would consider them failing in their trust.  Charity is best done privately, without government middle men.  I do not want my government taking the privilege of administering help to my neighbors away for me.  When they do this, the people begin to view the government more and more as the savior and provider.  They will continually vote themselves largesse, as Alexander de Toqueville warned.  I believe we should help these people, but I believe the help should be private, led by individuals, charities, and churches. 

 

NO on Amendment 51. 

 

Amendment 52: Use severance tax (which has nothing to do with our normal use of the word severance) revenue for highways. 

 

This law takes budgeting into the hands of the people.  However, it is a narrow-minded and inflexible law not allowing for changing and competing needs of things other than transportation.  Not only does the law limit the use of this revenue to highways; it specifies which highways, which is not at all a fair deal for all of Colorado.  The legislature is responsible for directing money to important projects like government highways and water storage.  Though I have little confidence in our legislature at the moment, I believe the solution is to elect men of integrity to office, who will be competent representatives in our state; not to take responsibility away from them in one of their few legitimate spheres. 

 

NO on Amendment 52. 

 

Amendment 53 has been withdrawn per proponent’s request and no votes for or against will be recorded. 

 

Amendment 54: Campaign Contributions from Certain Government Contractors.  This law would do three things: 1) prohibit contractors working for the government, whose contracts are worth more than $100,000 and whose award of the contract was not the result of solicitation of at least three competitive bids, from contributing to political parties or candidates during the contract’s duration and 2 years after.  2) Encourage government entities to solicit 3 competitive bids for each contract.  3) Set up an online, publicly accessible database of all government contracts awarded to companies for which there was no competitive bid. 

 

I am not opposed to requiring governments to welcome competitive bids for projects.  This is the responsible and honest thing to do.  The online database is a little over the top, but their heart is in the right place.  HOWEVER, I am 100% opposed to prohibiting a company or individual from contributing to a candidate or party of their choice.  The way to prevent corruption is to elect honest officials and to pay close attention to the government, not to restrict the rights of free men in this state.  An honest contractor can have interests in seeing one candidate elected, and ought to be able to do his part to ensure that victory without being accused of paying for the privilege of government contracts.  (For example, a small businessman may want to contribute money to a candidate who says he will lower taxes on small business versus an opponent who will raise them.  The businessman if he is smart will realize it is in his economic interest to help the lower tax candidate to be elected, and ought to be free to contribute money to that candidate.)  We cannot ask our contractors to surrender their right to political involvement simply so they can have work.  Fight corruption other ways! 

 

NO on Amendment 54. 

 

Amendments 55, 56, and 57 have been withdrawn by their respective proponents.  No votes for or against will be reported. 

 

Amendment 58: Increase the amount of state severance taxes paid by oil and natural gas companies, and allocate that revenue to college scholarships, wildlife habitats, renewable energy projects, and transportation projects in energy-impacted areas.  And exempt all oil and gas severance tax revenue from state and local spending limits. 

 

I am against raising taxes.  In some campaigns this season tax cuts for oil companies has been thrown around like a slur, but it is not.  Tax credits are the way that the tax system is designed.  I don’t like it, but until you change the whole thing you can’t just eliminate one part of it.  Oil companies are not bad guys.  The reason people don’t like them is because we were paying $4 a gallon for gasoline earlier this year.  The government took a large portion of that amount in taxes.  If we raise taxes on the companies that supply gasoline, they will either have to cut spending (and reduce supply!) or pass on the price hike to us the consumers.  What’s more, the tax credit is an incentive for oil and gas industries to do business in Colorado.  We do not want the jobs and revenue they provide to leave our state for more competitive areas. 

 

I do not want revenue to go to colleges, to wildlife habitats (since when is this a legitimate concern for a government?), renewable energy (get the energy companies to invest in these technologies themselves; they will), etc. 

 

NO on Amendment 58. 

 

Amendment 59: Eliminate the rebates that taxpayers receive when the state collects more money than it is allowed, and spend the money on preschool through 12th grade public education. 

 

No to tax increases.  Do not eliminate TABOR, the main pillar of which is essentially to balance the state budget by requiring refunds to taxpayers when we are taxed over budget.  No to public schools.  Schooling is a private responsibility, dangerous and inefficient in the hands of the government. 

 

While I’m at it I’ll throw in the State Referendums, too. 

 

Referendum L: lower the age requirement for serving in the state legislature from 25 to 21. 

 

Why not?  The fact that we have so many ages defining maturity in our state is ridiculous.  At sixteen you can get a driver’s license, at 18 you can vote.  When you are 21 you can drink.  And at 25 you can be a member of the legislature.  (There are ages for adopting and renting cars, for buying lottery tickets and being out after curfew.  It’s all a very confusing mess.)  You may say that there are very irresponsible 21 year olds.  Yet 21 year olds can vote, and a stack of voting 21 year olds can do a lot more damage than one 21 year old who must be duly elected before holding office.  If a 21 year old is counted qualified for the job by the people, he ought to have the job.  My brother is 20.  If he did a little research on government and wanted to run for office, I would want the privilege of voting for him.  Because while there are admittedly immature 21 year olds (and 25 year olds, and 50 year olds!), there are also mature and capable ones. 

 

YES on Referendum L. 

 

Referendum M and Referendum N are about removing obsolete provisions from the laws.  I am not opposed to this, but read them; they constitute a mini-history lesson. 

 

Referendum O: Change requirements for citizen-initiated State laws. 

 

Right now citizens (as opposed to government officials/legislators) can initiate state amendments or statutes that must meet certain requirements to make the ballot, and even then must be approved by voters.  And amendment is part of the constitution, originally intended to describe the rights of the people and the limits of the government.  These laws are permanent unless repealed by the people with another constitutional amendment.  Statutes are laws as well, but refer more to the practical application of principles (traffic laws, etc.)  Statutes may be made or altered by the legislature without reference to the people in an election.  Or they may be citizen-initiated.  By nature, statutes are less permanent.  Presently the requirements for getting either an amendment or a statute on the ballot are the same, and they are relatively easy compared to other states. 

 

Referendum O seeks to make statutes easier to put on the ballot by reducing the number of petition signatures required. 

 

The referendum would make amendments harder to get on the ballot in two primary ways: 1) increase the required number of signatures.  2) require that eight percent of signatures be gathered from each congressional district

 

I’m up in the air on whether I want it to be easy or hard for citizens to initiate legislation.  I’ve heard arguments on either side.  HOWEVER, I am completely opposed to this referendum because of the 8% requirement.  An amendment could be blocked from the ballot by a minority, by one section of the state.  I’m not sure what the lines are for congressional districts, but this referendum would say that if Boulder residents didn’t want an amendment, even if Pueblo, Grand Junction, Greeley, Bennet, Denver, and Estes Park wanted it, the petition would be rejected.  This is not republican government.  It is rule by a minority.  This would prevent legislation that would be in the interest of the state as a whole from being even introduced in ballot form because one district decided it was not in their interest.  We cannot do this. 

 

NO on Referendum O. 

 

I’m welcoming you to interact with this “voter guide” for educational purposes.  Please do not campaign in the comment section.  Comments are moderated, and I’m giving fair warning that I may choose not to post some comments.  However, if your comments are gracious and profitable for the conversation, I will post them even in disagreement that we all may be sharpened. 

 

To God be all glory,

Lisa of Longbourn

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Autumn’s Eve Pigfest

 

Sunday night, the day before Autumn, I hosted my second ever pigfest.  We held a potluck autumnal feast that looked fantastic laid out on the table.  And by the end of the night we had discovered that it tasted fantastic as well. 

 

Our discussion went like this (remember devil’s advocacy may be adopted at any time): 

 

Proposition 1: Slavery is biblically acceptable. 

What is slavery?  What is the slavery in the Bible?  Does the Bible accept slavery, or merely regulate it; is there a difference?  Is there slavery today?  How does debt come in?  Are there advantages to slavery (especially indentured servitude) to an economy, a society, or an individual slave?  What makes slavery unacceptable?  What role should the church play in a society that utilizes slavery?  In history, has the church been successful in enforcing the Bible’s limits to slavery? 

 

Proposition 2: Unmarried adults should be allowed to adopt children. 

How is this worse than unmarried people working in orphanages?  Isn’t it better for a child to have one loving parent than none at all?  What are the legal implications when this is allowed?  Is this a selfish decision?  Does a one-parent household enable the parent to spend time with children, or are they raised essentially in an orphanage anyway, by being left to daycare?  If true religion is caring for widows and orphans, should single people be excluded?  How does having children as a single person affect other responsibilities or callings?  Is an unmarried woman less likely to get married if she has a child through adoption?  What about an unmarried father? 

 

Proposition 3: Cohabitation before marriage is the prudent thing to do. 

If everybody does it, how can it be bad?  Shouldn’t you test out a marriage before you make a lifetime commitment?  Are those advocating cohabitation in successful relationships or marriages?  Are they good people?  What is a Christian’s witness if he/she lives with their partner before marriage?  Many people applaud those who wait until engagement for cohabitation; is there any validity to that?  How long a cohabitation is advocated?  Does cohabitation actually sabotage the relationship, whereas starting with commitment (marriage) would enable the relationship to thrive and function?  Is marriage too big a hassle to interrupt a romance?  How should a pastor react to a couple who has been cohabiting?  Should he marry them ASAP or encourage them to repent?  Ought he to refuse to marry a couple living in sin?  Are they still living in sin after a wedding if they have not repented?  What role does a pastor have in a marriage?  Is it endorsement, witness, mere formality?  What about the law?  What makes a marriage? 

 

Proposition 4: We (the US government) should kick out illegal immigrants. 

Where would we kick them?  What would prevent them from coming right back?  Who will pay for deportation?  (It was suggested that the immigrants themselves should be forced to pay, if they can.)  Would this be good for the US economy?  Would it be tolerable for the US economy?  Has the population of illegal immigrants already hurt our economy (for example in the housing crisis)?  How does the lack of border enforcement reflect on our laws?  Are illegal immigrants typically otherwise law-abiding citizens?  What about language issues?  Isn’t America a melting pot?  Shouldn’t new immigrants be expected to assimilate just like immigrants from decades and centuries past?  Could we allow illegal immigrants to remain in the US if they followed a procedure for attaining legal status and citizenship?  Is there a risk to national security?  Since the waiting list for legally entering the US is so long, couldn’t we change that to make it easier to legally immigrate?  Why do we have limits on immigration?  Do other countries limit immigration?  Do they deport illegals?  Is it illegal to be in our country or illegal to get into our country?  Wouldn’t annexing Mexico solve our problem?  Would Mexico welcome that? 

 

Proposition 5: There are some situations in which extreme violence is justified. 

Who decides?  Is self defense the only situation?  What about defending others?  Defending innocents?  What about violent interference with the murder of unborn children?  Does defense only cover defense from murder, or can it be defense from torture or rape?  What about capital punishment?  Is it ever right to take a life?  Is it right to do nothing when lives are at risk – do I have the right to refuse to take a life or use violence if myself or other “innocent” bystanders are at risk of death?  Can I take an innocent life in order to save other lives?  Suppose a two year old is intentionally aiming a gun and pulling a trigger; should extreme violence be used against him?  Why is the Mosaic law so confusing: day or night, inside the threshold or outside, defending life, defending property…?  Does extreme violence refer only to violence leading to death, or to torture, etc.? 

 

Proposition 6: Reading books written in other languages and other eras should be done to encourage independent thought. 

Is independent thought desired?  Can translated works count?  How is that different from traveling to other parts of the world?  Does reading sufficiently immerse you in the culture to widen your perspective?  (It was pointed out that language is often imbedded in culture.  Language is formed to express a certain way of looking at the world, like the difference in description when emphasis is on texture rather than color.)  In what ways does your thought become independent?  Is this practicable?  What about those who don’t read?  Do movies count?  Foreign films with English subtitles? 

 

Proposition 7 (which was interrupted before actually beginning by the coming of 9 PM and the need to go home): Idealism ought to be valued over pragmatism. 

What on earth is idealism and pragmatism?  Do they always contradict?  Is it ultimately possible for them to contradict?  Which ideal? 

 

Some of my favorite things:  People were willing to play devil’s advocate.  The time before the debate enabled a lot of people to meet each other (and one family’s tire to be changed).  There was a lot of participation.  Pigfest format keeps a debate from wearing out the disinterested.  Everyone fit in my house.  One of my friends brought her two infant daughters.  It rained just as the party started, with the sun still shining.  Cleaning up wasn’t too hard.  People had a good time.  I’m able to remember the discussion half a week later. 

 

Things I’ll do differently next time (Nov. 1):  Have more chairs.  Don’t aim for a main meal, but do lots of snacks instead.  Pray by myself ahead of time about my attitude and perspective.  Think more about proposition ideas I might offer and how to present them in the most discuss-able way possible.  Review the rules before we start. 

 

Considerations:  Maybe prescreen propositions.  Increase time from 15 to 20 minutes.  Enlist a new (louder, more aggressive) moderator. 

 

To God be all glory,

Lisa of Longbourn

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