Tuesday, December 04, 2007

“The Colorado Kid”—Kristi Burton's embryonic pro-life fight

The abortion battle may have a new ground zero soon, as a grassroots group in the Rocky Mountain state plans to place a referendum on the 2008 ballot which would not only grant "personhood," but constitutional rights to embryos from the moment of conception.

Even more remarkably, the brainchild behind this new pro-life legal angle is not much more than a child herself. Kristi Burton (a college law student) was still a teenager a little over a year ago, when she conceived the idea, and has since founded a new group, Colorado for Equal Rights, to advance the proposal—as well as to collect the 76,000 voters' signatures necessary to place the referendum on the November ballot.

Meanwhile the panic of the pro-choice people to this brilliant proposal was predictable. While Ted Miller, spokesman for NARAL Pro-Choice America, initially scoffed at the initiative commenting, "I think what you're seeing is frustrated pro-life activists saying 'We've waited too long for change'" (a charge that hardly holds water with the now 20-year-old Burton), his group changed its tune and challenged the proposal up to the Colorado Supreme Court when he realized the passion behind Burton's youthful conviction. But the Pro-Choice America move backfired, as the state Supreme Court not only ruled in Burton's favor that the proposal could proceed, but the case also brought much needed publicity to the Colorado for Equal Rights cause, which at the time was basically Kristi and her dad, Mike, working out of the family basement. The Burtons estimate that since the court's decision, they now have volunteers signing up at the rate of two or three per hour.

While the pro-death people have now taken to hiring dubious bioethicists (who by the way all agree that the embryo is alive) to posing silly questions (Can the family claim the frozen embryo as a dependent for tax purposes? Can the embryo inherit money from a dead parent's estate?), Burton dismisses this nonsense as "scare tactics." "They realize this issue is simple, and they don't have an answer for it. They cannot say when this [embryo] becomes a person. We can."

And so, while this young woman sees the vision, this middle-aged man continues to dream the dream. For between the likes of Kristi "The Colorado Kid" Burton, and Michael "The Bumblebee" Huckabee, there may be hope for a Christian America yet.

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