Pro-life Democrat leaders are urging Coloradans to vote “yes” on Proposition 115 on Nov. 3 to save thousands of babies from late-term abortions.
Speaking with the Catholic News Agency, Dr. Tom Perille, president of the Democrats for Life of Colorado, said many Democrats and even some pro-choice voters support ending late-term abortions in their state.
“Prop. 115 should pass because it appeals to the moral sensibilities of Coloradans and reflects a popular consensus when abortion restrictions are appropriate,” Perille, a retired physician, told the news outlet. “If a baby born prematurely at 22 weeks enjoys all the rights and privileges of other Colorado citizens and is protected by state/federal law, a fetus in utero at that exact same gestational age should not be able to be legally and cruelly killed.”
The ballot measure would protect viable, pain-capable unborn babies by banning late-term abortions after 22 weeks of pregnancy. Exceptions would be allowed if the mother’s life is at risk.
Colorado is one of the few states with no limits on abortions, and abortionists there openly advertise abortions in the third trimester.
Though Coloradans lean left, Perille said they also understand science and basic human rights.
“Most Coloradans recognize that a 22-week fetus is a fully formed, if immature, human being. They are repulsed by those who refer to this vital human being as ‘pregnancy tissue,’” he said. “Coloradans are willing to accept reasonable restrictions on abortion after fetal viability.”
Even some pro-choice people whom he has encountered support the proposition.
“I recall one woman, in particular, who said she was pro-choice, but quickly added that she was born prematurely at 28 weeks gestation. She knew what it was like to be born premature,” he told CNA. “She was emphatic that at 22 weeks ‘It’s a baby.’”
A recent poll by 9 News/Colorado Politics found that more than one in four Colorado Democrats support the proposition. According to the report, the poll showed a near-even split with 42 percent of voters planning to vote “yes” and 45 percent “no.” Broken down, the “yes” voters include 63 percent of Republicans, 28 percent of Democrats and 35 percent of independents.
Kristin Vail, vice president of Democrats for Life of Colorado, said most people are shocked when they learn that Colorado allows unborn babies to be aborted for any reason up to birth.
“People travel from all over the U.S. and even the world to Colorado to get late-term abortions,” she told CNA. “I don’t think people want our state to be known for that.”
If it passes, the ballot measure could save thousands of babies’ lives. Colorado reported 171 abortions at 21 weeks or later in 2019, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. However, a department official admitted that the number is almost certainly an under-count, and pro-lifers estimate the number is closer to 300.
Colorado is very liberal politically, and pro-life advocates have had a difficult time passing pro-life laws 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, pro-lifers believe 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.
Doctors and scientists support Proposition 115, too, citing evidence of the value and humanity of unborn babies.
“As healthcare professionals we are totally aware of the science of human development. The humanity of a 22-week fetus is apparent to each of us. There can be no doubt that the 22-week fetus is fully alive and fully human,” they wrote in an open letter in September.
They said premature babies are surviving at 22 weeks, and their survival rates are growing. At some hospitals in the U.S., the survival rate of a premature baby born at 22 weeks of pregnancy is 70 percent, they wrote.
Abortion lobbyists admit that most late-term abortions are done on healthy mothers carrying healthy babies. According to research by the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, “most women seeking later terminations are not doing so for reasons of fetal anomaly or life endangerment.”