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Ken Buck: Opponents rally rape and incest survivors to decry his abortion policy

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Abortion is seldom a major debating point in campaigns these days -- not because it's deemed an unimportant issue, but because most people already have made up their minds on the subject.

It's an interesting twist, then, that the Campaign for a Strong Colorado, which opposes Republican senate nominee Ken Buck, is putting the topic front and center at news conferences today featuring survivors of rape and incest.

The reason, says campaign executive director Ellen Dumm, is Buck's opposition to abortion even for rape and incest victims.

"I've never in all the time I've been involved in politics -- which is longer than I care to admit -- seen a viable statewide candidate who ran and said they were against abortion even in the case of rape and incest," Dumm maintains. "Ken Buck is the first I've heard of. There may have been some fringe candidates who felt that way, but I've never heard a candidate say that in public and get elected."

Dumm also mentions Buck's past support for Amendment 62, the "personhood measure," which would apply personhood status from the first spark of life.

"It's interesting that these extreme groups are back in Colorado, because we defeated virtually this same amendment, 73 percent to 27 percent, two years ago, and Colorado has been a pro-choice state since the '70s," Dumm points out. "I think people in Colorado understand that government doesn't belong in these personal decisions and that decisions and choices should be made by families."

Buck initially backed Amendment 62. In recent days, however, a Buck campaign spokesman said the candidate would now vote against the measure -- a shift that Dumm views with maximum cynicism.

"My question is, if he didn't understand what it meant, why did he tell everyone he was for it in the primary?" she asks. "It's the same amendment we voted on two years ago. It's not like it just popped up again. I don't think he's stupid; he went to Princeton. So my sense is, he's either not paying attention, or he's lying -- and I don't think Colorado women can trust him."

Dumm hopes to reinforce this message via events in Denver and Colorado Springs today featuring Emilie Ailts, a onetime victim of date rape, and Ginger Smith, an incest survivor. Page down to get the details.

Rape/Incest Victims Say Ken Buck Is Wrong for Colorado Women

News Conference Tuesday

What:

Personal stories from women about dealing with rape and incest and why U.S. Senate candidate Ken Buck 's stand on abortion is out of touch with what Colorado women face.

Who:

• Emilie Ailts of Denver, a victim of date rape as a young woman.

• Ginger Smith, a nurse from Colorado Springs and an incest survivor.

• Jennifer Eyl, an attorney and licensed professional counselor who has advocated on behalf of victims of sexual violence for more than 15 years.

• Statement from Marilyn Van Derbur Atler, a Denver native and an international activist on adult survivors of childhood sexual violations. A former Miss America, she has been public with her own story of incest at the hands of her socially prominent father.

When/Where:

Denver -- 10:00 a.m. September 21, 2010, Columbine Room, Colorado Education Association, Colfax Avenue & Grant Street

Colorado Springs -- 12:30 p.m. September 21, 2010, Penrose Library Adult Room, 20 N. Cascade Avenue

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