The following Truth Test looks at a commercial being run by Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colorado) and it targets his opponent, Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck (R-Colorado). The 30-second ad features Dr. Eliza Buyers, who is an OB-GYN practicing in Denver. As of earlier this spring, she served as the legislative chair for the Colorado section of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), which describes itself as a non-profit organization of more than 52,000 members whose primary mission is to serve "as a strong advocate for quality health care for women." (Source: ACOG website: http://www.acog.org/from_home/acoginfo.cfm)
Campaign finance records in Colorado show that since 2000, Buyers has donated less than $500 total in the past to Democratic candidates Bill Ritter ($250) and Sen. Mike Johnston (D-Denver) ($100), Republican State House candidate Ramey Johnson (R-Lakewood) ($30) as well as to the main pro-choice election campaign organization, Protect Families, Protect Choice ($50). (Source: Colorado Secretary of State's Campaign Finance Records:
QUOTE: Ken Buck would ban common forms of birth control.
TRUTH: It is true that Ken Buck supports an amendment to Colorado's Constitution that would lead to the banning of some common forms of birth control.
The claim here stems from Buck's stated support of Amendment 62, the so-called "Personhood Amendment," that defines life in Colorado's Constitution as "the beginning of the biological
development of that human being." (Source: Colorado Blue Book: http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite?blobcol=urldata&blobheader=application%2Fpdf&blobkey=id&blobtable=MungoBlobs&blobwhere=1251656388879&ssbinary=true)
Buck's support of the measure has been chronicled in numerous media outlets and celebrated by pro-life advocates throughout the state. (Source: Colorado Right to Life: http://coloradorighttolife.blogspot.com/2010/08/ed-hanks-analysis-of-gop-primary.html)
The "beginning of the biological development" for supporters of the measure is when the sperm meets the egg and it creates a single cell called a zygote which expands into a multi-cell organism called an embryo. (Source: Phone conversation with Gualberto Garcia Jones, Sept. 17) However, that phrase is not legally defined in Colorado law and critics say its ambiguity would leave its interpretations to judges. (Source: Colorado Blue Book: http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite?blobcol=urldata&blobheader=application%2Fpdf&blobkey=id&blobtable=MungoBlobs&blobwhere=1251656388879&ssbinary=true)
This is how it relates to birth control and Buck. The candidate believes life "begins at conception," so birth control methods that don't impact that (i.e. condoms, spermicide) are fine with him. Other forms of birth control that would keep a fertilized egg from implanting into a woman's uterus (i.e. IUDs, emergency contraception), are not supported by him. (Source: E-mail from Buck spokesman Owen Loftus to 9NEWS, Aug. 26)
As it relates to the most popular form of female contraception, what's commonly known as "the pill," there seems to be some agreement between the proponents and opponents of the amendment. If the contraception prevents fertilization, it's not impacted. If it does not, it would be banned under the amendment's passage. The primary way the pill works is to prevent pregnancy, but it can also work by preventing a fertilized egg from implanting in a woman's uterus. (Source: Ortho Tri-Cyclen(R) Tablets," Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, http://www.ortho-mcneilpharmaceutical.com/sites/default/files/shared/pi/cycltri.pdf, Trinessa(R) Tablets," Watson Pharmaceuticals, http://pi.watson.com/data_stream.asp?product_group=1321&p=pi&language=E)
We have included complete statements below, without editing, that answered the question, "What impact would the passage of Amendment 62 have on common forms of birth control, specifically the pill?"
"True contraception prevents fertilization and personhood for pre-born babies will legally protect every baby from the beginning of his or her biological development," wrote Leslie Hanks with Colorado Right to Life in an email to 9NEWS. "Only those forms of "birth control" that extinguish a life that has already begun will be impacted. Many of the oral "contraceptives" have an action that makes the womb inhospitable to a developing embryo and hence, the new living, growing baby is prevented from residing where his or her Creator intended until birth."
"There is no debate as to whether the pill would be banned under Amendment 62," wrote Fofi Mendez, who runs the Protect Families, Protect Choices coalition that formed to fight the amendment. "The proponents are attempting to deceive the general public and Colorado voters on how Amendment 62 would impact and ban commonly used forms of birth control."
So back to the claim made in the commercial, "Ken Buck would ban common forms of birth control." It is more accurate to say "Ken Buck supports a policy that would lead to the banning of some common forms of birth control," but the premise of the assertion is true.
As for whether these forms of birth control are common, a report issued last month by the Centers for Disease Control, showed 43.8 million American women used the pill from 2006-2008 and 5.2 million women used some form of emergency contraception in that same time frame. (Source: CDC website: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_23/sr23_029.pdf)
QUOTE: And Ken Buck wants to make abortion illegal even in cases of rape and incest.
TRUTH: TRUTH: This is true.
Buck says he would only support abortion if it were to save "the life of the mother." (Source: YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bh0iWCqAkps)
"I am pro-life and I'll answer the next question," Buck said in the YouTube video clip. "I don't believe in the exceptions of rape or incest. I believe that the only exception, I guess, is life of the mother. And that is only if it's truly life of the mother. To me, you can't say you're pro-life and say if there is, and it's a very rare situation where one life would have to cease for the other life to exist. But in that very rare situation, we may have to take the life of the child to save the life of the mother. In that rare situation, I am in favor of that exception. But other than that I have no exceptions in my position."
He elaborated further in a recent appearance on KHOW radio with Dan Caplis and Craig Silverman: "Silverman: You're saying even in the cases of rape or incest, you're not for abortion? Buck: That's correct. You know, Craig, if you believe that life begins at conception, which I do, then with the exception of rape and incest, you're taking a life as a result of the crime of the father. And even though I recognize that the terrible misery that that life was conceived under, it is still taking a life in my view, and that's wrong." (Source: Caplis and Silverman, KHOW Radio, Aug. 4: http://www.khow.com/podcast/fullshows_capsil.xml).
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