by Steven Ertelt
August 8, 2006
Denver, CO (LifeNews.com) — Colorado pro-life advocates were unsuccessful in their bid to place a ban on late-term abortions on the November ballot. Activists wanting to put state referendums before Colorado voters had until Monday to turn in enough signatures to qualify.
Tim Dore, executive director of the Colorado Catholic Conference, who sponsored the ballot effort, said the group will instead watch developments at the Supreme Court, which will hold hearings on the national partial-birth abortion ban case this fall.
Had the measure qualified it would prohibit abortions after the point of viability when an unborn children can survive on her own outside the womb. The abortion ban would only have an exception in rare cases when the life of the mother is at stake or there is a chance she could develop a serious injury.
The proposal would have made it a felony for an abortion practitioner to perform an abortion on a viable unborn child or to do an abortion with "reckless disregard" by not determining if the baby can survive outside the womb.
Abortion advocates claimed a victory with the abortion vote to moving forward.
Ellen Brilliant of the Protect Families, Protect Choice coalition, told the Rocky Mountain News, "I think they couldn’t garner enough support to place such an intrusive measure on the ballot."
The idea was the brainchild of Denver attorney Mike Lawrence and Dore.
"It’s meant to have a mild effect," Lawrence told The Denver Post back in January. "It is not meant to prohibit women from access to abortion. It simply tells them, ‘If you’re going to have an abortion, do it in the first five months or so of pregnancy."’
"We’re looking at human life that can survive outside the womb," Dore added. "I don’t think anyone would say we should destroy human life at that point when it can survive on its own or with even a little assistance."
In order to qualify for the November ballot, the sponsors of the initiative needed 68,000 signatures from Colorado residents.
Crystal Clinkenbeard of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains said the abortion business would have opposed the late-term abortion ban.
Warren Hern of Boulder, one of the few late-term abortion practitioners in the country, said the measure was meant to target him. He told the Denver newspaper he performs late-term abortions in cases when the unborn baby has severe deformities and he accused the sponsors of wanting to ban all abortions in Colorado.
According to NARAL, 39 states ban abortions after the point of viability, which is normally considered to be between 22-24 weeks into pregnancy, depending on the health of the baby and the medical care needed.
In Colorado, 2.4 percent of the 7,757 abortions that took place in 2002 were on unborn children 21 weeks or older.
Colorado was one of a handful of states to legalize abortion prior to the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision.
Related web sites:
Colorado Catholic Conference – https://www.cocatholicconference.org