The Catholic bishops of Colorado are asking voters to protect unborn babies from late-term abortions by supporting a state ballot initiative in November.
In a letter published Wednesday by the Archdiocese of Denver, the bishops urged Coloradans to vote “yes” on Initiative 120.
“Colorado is one of seven states in America that has no restrictions on the gestational age of a child for an abortion,” they wrote. “This means that in Colorado unborn children can be killed at any moment up until birth.”
Initiative 120, if it passes in November, would limit abortions to 22 weeks of pregnancy, the point at which unborn babies are viable outside the womb. It qualified for the ballot in June after receiving more than 135,000 signatures of support from registered Colorado voters.
The bishops said science confirms what the Catholic Church teaches, that human life begins at conception. Catholics believe that every human life has inherent dignity and must be treated with respect. While the bishops said they do want all unborn babies’ lives to be protected under the law, Initiative 120 is a step in the right direction.
“Ending the legal protection for abortion is the most important political objective of Colorado Catholics because these children are deprived of their right to live,” the bishops continued.
They said they are placing the pro-life initiative under the patronage of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, or Mother Cabrini, because of her role in helping orphaned children and immigrants in Colorado.
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“We, the bishops of Colorado, implore Coloradans — especially the Catholic faithful — to vote for the late-term abortion ban during the November elections,” the bishops said. “It is our duty as faithful Catholics and Coloradans to take advantage of this unique opportunity to address Colorado’s unjust law and scale back abortions by limiting them up to 22 weeks.”
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.
Abortion activists and Democrat leaders are working aggressively to stop pro-lifers from succeeding. 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 may 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 activists 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.”