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Horton hears a controversy?

DENVER – The film "Horton Hears a Who!" opened in theatres nationwide Friday. For one Colorado group, the film could have been called "Horton Has an Agenda!"

Colorado for Equal Rights, a pro-life organization, is praising and using the movie to spread its message.

The 1954 Dr. Seuss book tells the story of an elephant who discovers a civilization whose entire world in located on a dust speck. The message of the movie: "A person's a person no matter how small."

Colorado for Equal Rights is using that message to try and get an initiative on the November ballot. What the group hopes to do is amend the Colorado constitution to define a fertilized egg as a person entitled to legal protection, a concept that has the potential to outlaw abortion.

The group was asking for support and passing out bright green T-shirts on the 16th Street Mall Friday.

"We're using the statement, 'A person is a person no matter how small,' and that is clearly a pro-life statement. I think Dr. Seuss is a wonderful author and obviously he was directing to children," said Kristi Burton with Colorado for Equal Rights. "We should teach children from the time they're small that every life is valuable."

Using a G-rated children's film to promote a political issue has some people upset.

"I think it's unfortunate. I mean, this is not about a movie, this is an extreme ballot initiative that goes too far," said Jody Berger with the Rocky Mountain Region of Planned Parenthood. "To use a mainstream movie to get their message off, I think just doesn't work."

The widow of Dr. Seuss, Audrey Geisel is quoted as saying: "I don't like people to hijack Dr. Seuss characters or material to front their own points of view."

20th Century Fox, the film's distributor, says it made the film to entertain families worldwide and didn't intend for it to be a platform for any political concerns.

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