Despite his best efforts, Republican Senate candidate Cory Gardner just can't shake the Personhood issue; but it's not just Democrats who keep bringing it up. The following is an open letter, reprinted in its entirety, released via the Christian Newswire by Keith Mason of Personhood USA to Gardner, lamenting Gardner's recent reversal of support for the organization's namesake abortion ban initiatives:
Let's start by taking a deep breath–myself included. The life and death issues surrounding abortion and personhood elevate passionate responses of most Coloradans. In the midst of all the passions and political posturing ahead of the election, I want to extend my hand to Representative Cory Gardner and offer a return to the pro-life principles that many of his constituents hold so dear.
Representative Gardner, you've long said you stood in defense of unborn life from the moment of fertilization, including by co-sponsoring the federal "Life Begins at Conception Act." That act would guarantee the rights and protections of personhood for all unborn children, just like the personhood bills here in the state of Colorado.
Tarnishing that pro-life record by repudiating personhood now makes you untrustworthy–the worst kind of politician. I don't want to think the worst of you, but it's hard not to draw the conclusion that you jettisoned your core principles in a transparently desperate attempt to win a few extra votes. But Cory, this move isn't winning over any Democrats or Independents, it's just alienating to your base. [Pols emphasis]
This type of action prevents me and tens of thousands of Colorado voters from ever voting for you again, or voting for what you represent to us, because we're bound by conscience and completely sick and tired of politics-as-usual. We're weary of candidates who base their positions on polls rather than principles.
But Cory, it's not too late. Retract the false statement, instigated by Planned Parenthood and NARAL, that a personhood bill could ban contraception, when in fact it could not. Of course this is just a talking point, a scare tactic.
Mason's open letter continues after the jump.
Return to the legacy of President Ronald Reagan, who counseled in his 1988 Personhood Proclamation, that "the well-being and the future of our country, demand that protection of the innocents must be guaranteed and that the personhood of the unborn be declared and defended throughout our land."
Return to the Republican Party's pro-personhood platform, which reads, "We support a human life amendment to the Constitution, and we endorse legislation to make clear that the 14th Amendment protections apply to unborn children."
By showing humility–that virtue so rare among politicians, yet indispensable to statesmanship–and admitting your brief reversal against personhood was profoundly misguided, you would demonstrate yourself worthy of our support. We would welcome you back to the fold with open arms.
Don't solidify your position within that pantheon of politicians who sold their souls for seats at the table. How can we trust that you will follow your campaign promises and count on you to help put an end to Obamacare when you are already changing your stance on key issues? We are seeking a principled, pro-life leader in the U.S. Senate. Please return to the values that got you into office, and to the values held by the Republican party, before it's too late.
As much as Republicans supporting Gardner would like for the entire issue of abortion to go away until November, it may well be that Gardner's flip-flop on Personhood guarantees he'll never be able to live it down. That's one of the reasons his decision to flip on the issue was so questionable: as Keith Mason says, Gardner isn't winning any support from Democrats or independents from his flip-flop, and he's alienated a significant portion of his Republican base. Gardner's decision to drop Personhood late on a Friday afternoon creates an appearance not of principle, but cowardice. It puts Gardner in a position where, regardless of how a voter may feel about the divisive issue of abortion, they can't trust Gardner either way.
For these reasons, we agree, as strange as that may sound, with Personhood USA: "repudiating personhood now makes [Gardner]…the worst kind of politician."