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Colorado Dems Push Sweeping Pro-Abortion Law

Law would limit the ability of state, local lawmakers to regulate abortions

Demonstrators rally against Colorado Senate Bill 175 / AP
• April 16, 2014 3:50 pm

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Colorado Democrats will attempt to push through one of the most extreme pro-abortion laws in the country on Wednesday evening.

The Colorado Senate will debate a bill that would prevent lawmakers at the state and local level from enacting any regulation "that denies or interferes with an individual's reproductive health care decisions." Democrats are calling the bill, SB 175, "symbolic" since legislatures cannot bind the hands of future legislatures.

However, critics suggest the bill’s effects could be sweeping.

Republican State Sen. Greg Brophy said that the bill exploits the most vulnerable members of society to appease campaign supporters and "gin up an imaginary war on women." He cited Dr. Kermit Gosnell, the Philadelphia abortionist who murdered several live-born babies and whose clinic saw at least one woman die as a result of unsanitary conditions.

Gosnell was allowed to stay in business despite health and safety violations because state regulators had not inspected the clinic in years. SB 175 could prevent future governors from ordering health and safety inspections on abortion clinics, according to Brophy.

"They jeopardize those women. We don’t have any health and safety regulations on abortion clinics beyond normal … this legislation could keep a future Republican governor from reversing that policy," he said.

The bill would also prevent any actions from being taken at the local level, according to one state senate source. Republicans and activists say popular regulations and abortion limitations are already in place, such as parental notification laws for minors, could be impacted by the law.

The bill defines reproductive healthcare as "treatment, services procedures, supplies, products, devices, or information related to human sexuality, contraception, pregnancy, abortion, or assisted reproduction." Brophy fears that such a broad definition would allow a defense lawyer in a cyber bullying case "to argue that sending nude photos is an expression of human sexuality and thus protected."

"I’m worried that a clever lawyer would take this bill passing and argue that because the legislature spoke on this in 2014, then all statutes covered by this are now overruled," he said.

Denver Archbishop Samuel Aquila penned a letter condemning the law that was read at Catholic Churches across the state.

"This over-reaching piece of legislation would essentially shut down any attempt to pass life-affirming legislation in Colorado ever again. More than that, it enshrines the ‘right to abortion’ into Colorado law," the letter says. "Advocates of this bill seek the absolute ‘right to abortion’ for girls as young as 10 or 11 without a parent’s knowledge, guidance or advice."

Catholics responded to Aquila’s call to pressure lawmakers on Tuesday evening when the bill scheduled for debate. Hundreds of opponents rallied outside the capitol. Democrats, who enjoy a one-seat majority in the Senate, cancelled the vote after a member called in sick.

"I think it’s fairly clear that Democrats stepped in it here. There’s nobody rallying for this bill," Brophy said.

SB 175 is the latest example of Democrats "going farther to the left than the average Colorado Democrat," he said. Democrats passed gun control measures that limited magazine size and forced gun buyers to pay for background checks in 2013. Two Democrats were recalled after voting for the measures.

"They’ve won almost every election here since 2004 and they’re confident in their ability to win," he said. "You couple this virulently anti-life bill together with the extreme gun control and it’s clear that this is a new radical left Democrat we haven’t seen in Colorado before."

The vote is scheduled for 5 p.m. Mountain Time.

Published under: Abortion