How many times have we heard someone say, “Well, the abortion laws in Colorado are bad, but at least they’re not as bad as they are in New York or California. We are not as extreme here in Colorado. Are we?"
What many people don't realize is that Colorado was the first state to decriminalize abortion back in 1967, even before Roe v. Wade. Today, Colorado remains one of only seven states in the nation where abortion is legal up to the moment of birth. Not only that, but Colorado is known as the Capital of late-term “abortion tourism”. Boulder, Colorado is a destination for abortion procedures as late as 36 weeks gestation in procedures too gruesome to describe here. Recently, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains (PPRM) announced its effort to increase late-term abortion services in Colorado as they advertised nationally seeking physicians willing to perform these extreme, unsafe, and horrific procedures. Because the sentiment across the nation has been turning towards restricting abortion, PPRM is looking to increase its revenues by making Colorado the late-term abortion destination.
So, is there any good news with respect for life in Colorado? Actually, the answer is a resounding, “YES"! For the first time since 1967, Coloradans will have an opportunity to vote on an initiative that has a chance to pass and will actually save lives. Initiative 120 will criminalize abortion at 22 weeks gestation or later in state statute.
Petitions are currently being circulated by volunteers for signatures across the state to gain a spot on the November 2020 ballot. This carefully worded initiative provides for a criminal penalty and revocation of the medical license of any abortionist performing an illegal procedure. There is no criminal penalty for the mother, and an exception is allowed when the mother's life is in danger because we are pro-life, not anti-woman. We care about these precious babies and their mothers.
We understand that Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers have long thrived because their methods of misleading young mothers into a decision they often regret for the rest of their lives have worked. In many cases, these women choose to terminate their pregnancies under pressure because of temporary circumstances, then discover, tragically, that they too have been victimized. We would love to save every child from the moment of conception but know that we work within a political reality that has for a long time, been challenging for the issue of life in Colorado.
The Coalition for Women and Children is an issue committee that formed earlier this year with the dual purpose of running a late-term ballot initiative and educating voters on the beauty of every life -- that there are life-affirming options for women even under non-ideal circumstances.
We need only 125,000 signatures to make the ballot but have set a goal to collect 200,000 signatures to overcome any possibility of a disproportionate number of signatures being thrown out due to the relationship that exists between the Colorado Secretary of State and Planned Parenthood.
Opponents of the measure claim that ending late-term abortion is unnecessary because abortions in the second and third trimester are rare in Colorado and only performed in cases that involve either a horrible fatal fetal anomaly or in cases where the health of the mother is in jeopardy. In Colorado, it is true that only 3.6% of abortions occur after 21 weeks of gestation, but this represents at least 323 pre-born children based on the latest (2018) report from the Colorado Department of Health and the Environment. The pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute’s own reporting suggests that that CDPHE’s figures are significantly understated because abortion providers consistently under-report data on procedures.
We know that in Colorado the Boulder Abortion Clinic (BAC), which specializes in late abortions, advertises abortion services on their website through 26 weeks for any (including a purely elective) reason. In published data from their own practice, 70% of BAC's late abortions are performed on normal babies. Moreover, reputable media outlets such as FactCheck.org have debunked the notion that most, or even a small majority, of late abortions are related to fetal abnormality. Diane Greene Foster, a prominent University of California San Francisco abortion rights activist and authority on abortion science, has stated that abortions for fetal anomaly “make up a small minority of late abortions”.
According to a recent Gallup poll, 72% of Americans believe that there should be at least some limitations on abortion. Therefore, we believe that Coloradans will pass the measure into law when they vote in November 2020. We ask for your prayers, and, if you also agree, then please, please get involved in the petition circulation process, our second hurdle to clear (the first was legal challenges to the ballot title, which we were able to navigate and win!).
We need many more signatures by February to get on the ballot in November. As Bishop Berg recently said, “The Bishops of Colorado fully support every effort to get Initiative 120 on the 2020 ballot. I encourage the clergy and lay faithful to take every step possible to collect the signatures needed to do so. Now is the time to act. We can’t stand by any longer. The unborn and the marginalized rely on us.”
We are very grateful to Bishop Berg for his commitment to life. As Petition and Training Coordinators for the Initiative 120 Committee, we have thankfully found our roles in this effort. Our request to you is that you prayerfully consider what your role might be in ending late-term abortion in Colorado.
Contributors: John and Kerith Ebel are empty-nesters living in Lone Tree, Colorado. They have four grandsons and one grandbaby in production, but unfortunately, they don’t currently have a dog. They have long been involved in public policy matters in Colorado with their faith in Christ Jesus as their salvation and their guide.