Colorado Measure to Ban Late-Term Abortions Qualifies for November Ballot

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jun 9, 2020   |   11:13AM   |   Denver, Colorado

Colorado voters will have the opportunity to protect unborn babies from late-term abortions in their state this November.

On Monday, the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office announced that the pro-life ballot measure, Initiative 120, received more than enough valid signatures to qualify, according to the Colorado Daily.

“What a victory!” said Lauren Castillo, spokesperson for the Due Date Too Late campaign, which led the ballot initiative. “Now Colorado voters have an opportunity to save lives from late term abortion! What an incredible blessing.”

If approved by voters, the ballot measure would prohibit abortions after 22 weeks when unborn babies are viable outside the womb. Exceptions would be allowed if the mother’s life is at risk.

Colorado is very liberal politically, and pro-life advocates have had a difficult time passing abortion restrictions there. Even fetal homicide laws to punish criminals who kill unborn babies in situations unrelated to abortion have been rejected repeatedly 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.

“The numbers handed in are indicative of the overwhelming support for Initiative 120, and we are prepared and excited for the next step in the campaign,” Castillo said in a statement.

The pro-life campaign has been working for months to collect enough signatures for the measure to qualify for the ballot. Their efforts came to a temporary halt during the coronavirus shutdowns but resumed in late May.

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The ballot measure needed at least 124,632 valid signatures from registered voters. In March, pro-life advocates submitted more than 135,000 signatures to the Colorado Secretary of State; however, not enough qualified as valid. The state gave the Due Date Too Late campaign an additional 15 additional days to collect the needed 9,985 signatures.

Colorado Politics reports the campaign surpassed that goal by nearly 30,000. According to the Secretary of State this week, the campaign submitted an additional 48,689 signatures, and 38,557 were valid.

Abortion activists and Democrat leaders quickly blasted the effort. The Colorado Democratic Party slammed Initiative 120 as a “cruel, calculated” measure that would put the government between “patients and their doctors.”

But most Americans do not see it that way. They understand, and the U.S. Supreme Court has confirmed, that states should be allowed to protect the lives of unborn babies once they are viable.

A 2019 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.”