Coloradans submitted more 135,000 signatures Wednesday for a ballot initiative to protect unborn babies from late-term abortions in their state.
The Due Date Too Late campaign leaders expressed confidence that they collected enough valid signatures for the measure, Initiative 120, to qualify for the November ballot, CPR News reports.
“It was an all-volunteer effort,” organizer Lauren Castillo said. “It was just really exciting, and I think it was really indicative of the grassroots movement. As the word-mouth continued to spread, the momentum just continued to build.”
Colorado is one of several states that allows abortions for any reason up to birth, and women across the country travel there for late-term abortions. The ballot measure would change that by prohibiting abortions after 22 weeks when babies are viable outside the womb. Exceptions would be allowed if the mother’s life is at risk.
To qualify for the November ballot, Initiative 120 needs at least 124,632 valid signatures from registered voters, according to Page Two. Then, to become law, a majority of voters would have to vote in favor of the initiative.
Pro-life leaders said they submitted more than 135,000 to the Colorado Secretary of State on Wednesday. The secretary has 30 days to verify the signatures and certify that there are enough to qualify.
“We’re excited that the momentum that built behind this initiative has allowed us to turn in more than the required number of signatures to the Secretary of State,” Castillo said. “It really matches the belief of Coloradans in their desire to place a ban on abortion after 22 weeks of pregnancy.”
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Colorado is very liberal politically, and pro-life advocates have had a difficult time passing even moderate abortion regulations in the state. Even fetal homicide laws to punish criminals who kill unborn babies in situations unrelated to abortion have been repeatedly rejected by the state legislature.
However, a 22-week abortion limit could gain the support of moderate voters who do not think abortions should be outlawed but do support modest restrictions. Polls consistently show that most Americans oppose late-term abortions after a baby is viable.
A June Gallup found that 60% of Americans want all (21%) or almost all (39%) abortions made illegal. Similarly, a Harvard CAPS/Harris poll found that just 6% of Americans said abortions should be allowed “up until the birth of the child.”
If the ballot measure passes, it could protect thousands of viable, late-term unborn babies from abortion. In 2015, there were 5,597 abortions after 21 weeks of pregnancy in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control. However, the number almost certainly is higher. There are 11 states that do not report gestational age abortion data to the CDC.
Abortion lobbyists admit that most late-term abortions are done on healthy mothers carrying healthy babies. Guttmacher Institute statistics also confirm that “most women seeking later terminations are not doing so for reasons of fetal anomaly or life endangerment.”