by Steven Ertelt
April 6, 2005
Denver, CO (LifeNews.com) — Colorado Governor Bill Owens vetoed a bill Tuesday that would have required Colorado hospitals to tell victims of rape that they can obtain the morning after pill. Pro-life advocates opposed the bill because the so-called emergency contraception sometimes causes an abortion.
Catholic hospitals also opposed the bill because it would have forced them to go against their religious beliefs by offering the drugs.
Owens, who is Catholic, said the bill was likely unconstitutional and worried that it didn’t give women who suffer from a rape enough information about the drug and its effects.
"Without informed consent, a woman could innocently violate her personal, moral and religious beliefs about when life begins,” Owens said Tuesday.
State Rep. Fran Coleman, who sponsored the legislation, told the Associated Press she was upset at Governor Owens’ veto.
"This was about emergency contraception. Rape victims didn’t ask for that procreation,” said Coleman.
The state House had approved the bill by a 46-19 margin and the measure found Senate approval on a 22-13 vote. That’s below the two-thirds mark needed to override a gubernatorial veto.
Executives at Exempla St. Joseph Hospital in Denver and St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction and Martin Nussbaum, a Colorado Springs lawyer representing the Colorado Catholic Conference, opposed the bill.
Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput wrote editorial columns in the Catholic newspaper to urge Catholics to contact lawmakers and vote against the measure. He asked Owens to veto the bill.
Abortion advocates spend tens of thousands of dollars on a campaign to contact Owens and urge support for the bill, but the governor’s office received only 100 emails and 30 phone calls, some of them in opposition to it.