UPDATE: Late Wednesday, Colorado Democrats abandoned the radical bill after not having enough votes:
Colorado Democrats abandoned their own divisive abortion proposal Wednesday, axing the bill after one lawmaker expressed indecision and it became clear they might not have the votes to pass it in a chamber where every vote matters.
Democrats used a legislative maneuver to shelve a bill that would have banned any state regulation of reproductive decisions such as abortion and contraception. It had been scheduled for a vote Wednesday evening in the Senate, where the party holds a slim one-seat majority.
The move came after Sen. John Kefalas, D-Fort Collins, said he wasn’t sure if the measure was the “right tool” to protect a woman’s right to manage her reproductive health.
“I totally support a woman’s right to make decisions,” he said. But referencing an outpouring of opposition in recent days, Kefalas added, “I had concerns about the outpouring that I heard from folks.”
All Republicans planned to vote against the measure, but they insisted they had no plans to use the abortion debate to stall other matters.
“That’s ridiculous,” Senate Republican Leader Bill Cadman said after the bill died. “What they ran into was a firestorm of public dissent.”
Hundreds of pro-life people turned out for protests yesterday at the state capital in Denver, Colorado to oppose a radical pro-abortion bill that would allow abortions up to birth, declare abortion a fundamental right and prevent any pro-life legislation.
With pro-abortion Democrats controlling the Colorado state legislature and the governor’s office, abortion activists are pushing what pro-life groups are calling the most radically pro-abortion legislation in the state’s history.
While pro-life people rallied outside, Colorado Democrats were forced to delay the vote as one of their members of the state Senate was out ill.
The Senate was scheduled to debate a bill to guarantee that state or local policies won’t interfere with reproductive decisions such as abortion and contraception. Sponsored by Democrats, the proposal was pitched by backers as a safeguard against future attempts to chip away at reproductive rights.
But with a one-seat majority, Democrats were unable to vote on the measure as planned Tuesday when a Democrat left because he fell ill.
“It is both extreme and dangerously ambiguous,” said Denver Catholic Archbishop Samuel Aquila, speaking through a bullhorn to protesters before the planned Senate vote.
“I’m not a big protester,” said Denver’s Sarah Rodriguez, who brought two children to the Capitol protest. “But I worry about no regulations in this area.”
Colorado Family Action has alerted its members about SB 175, that it says pro-life advocates need to steadfastly oppose.
“This is a radical bill that would create a “fundamental right” to abortion among other things defined as “reproductive healthcare” in this bill,” the group says. “No Colorado State governmental body at any level would be able to enact a policy that “denies or interferes with an individual’s reproductive health care decision.”
“SB 175 is an extreme piece of legislation that would have a destructive impact on Colorado’s ability to limit or regulate abortion and other items defined as “reproductive healthcare” in this bill,” CFA goes on to say.
Colorado Family Action says the legislation has the potential to eliminate a broad range of laws including: parental notification laws, parental involvement laws, laws promoting maternal health, government programs and facilities that pay for or promote childbirth and other health care without subsidizing abortion, conscience protections laws, laws requiring that abortion only be performed by a licensed physician, laws regulating school health clinics, laws concerning abstinence education, laws affecting pregnancy centers and so on. When passed in other states, these sorts of laws have been proven to reduce the number of abortions to historic lows.
ACTION: Contact your members of the Colorado Senate and urge them to OPPOSE SB 175. Go to https://www.coloradoaction.org/senate/