Colorado’s New Law for Abortions Up to Birth Calls Women “Pregnant Individuals”

State   |   Steven Ertelt, Micaiah Bilger   |   Apr 5, 2022   |   10:28AM   |   Denver, Colorado

As LifeNews reported yesterday, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed a radical new pro-abortion law Monday that denies all rights and protections to babies prior to birth.

Legalizing abortions up to birth is absolutely evil, but Polis supposedly signed the bill to advance women’s rights.

“In the State of Colorado, the serious decision to start or end a pregnancy with medical assistance will remain between a person, their doctor, and their faith,” Polis said. “No matter what the Supreme Court does in the future, people in Colorado will have a right to choose.”

Yet the bill never mentioned the word women. In fact, the new law is a slap in the face to women, as it refers to them merely as “pregnant individuals.” As HotAir writer Ed Morrissey noticed:

The new law goes out of its way to pander to wokery, too. Its reference to “pregnant individual[s]” is both nonsensical and superfluous to a bill legalizing abortion until the final contractions. The words “woman” and “female” don’t appear once in the text of the bill, and the word “women” only appears in the citation of Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the case by which the Supreme Court might overturn Roe v Wade. For a law that supposedly involves removing oppression from women, females have been oddly erased from this issue in Colorado. As have babies, for that matter.

The law puts Colorado on par with the worst nations of the world when it comes to abortion.

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This law goes way beyond Roe or even Casey in its reaction to the potential reversal that may come in Dobbs. It strips rights from babies at all stages of pregnancy, even at viability, where Casey attempted to draw the line. It’s as radical an abortion-legalization law could be, on the extremes not just in the US but in the entire world, where only seven nations outstrip or match the US in abortion legalization — and that’s in the Casey context.

So congratulations, Colorado … you’ve put yourself on par with North Korea and China when it comes to human rights.

The new law declares abortion to be a “fundamental right” under state law and denies all rights and legal protections to any “fertilized egg, embryo or fetus” up to birth. It also prohibits cities and municipalities from banning abortions through local ordinances such as others have done through the Sanctuary City for the Unborn movement.

Pro-life leaders warned that the legislation also jeopardizes one of the only abortion regulations left in Colorado: its parental notification law for minors.

In March, Republican lawmakers fought against pro-abortion House Bill 1279 in record-long debates, but they did not have enough votes to block bill. Democrats control the Colorado Legislature by a strong majority, and the bill easily passed both houses in March.

Pro-life, Republican, evangelical Christian and Catholic organizations all urged lawmakers to reject the bill. These included Catholic Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver, who testified against the bill in a state Senate committee.

“We take the gift of life seriously because each human being is a unique creation of God the Father,” Aquila said. “… The government’s only duty and task is to recognize the right to life and to protect life, if it is truly a just government.”

Students from Colorado Christian University also testified against the bill in front of a state House committee in March.

“Each person is made in the image of God,” student Emily Downs told the committee. “We want to support everyone involved in this situation: baby, mom and dad.”

Democrats crafted the bill in response to the likelihood that the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade later this year and allow states to protect unborn babies from abortion again. They also expressed anger that Texas has been allowed to enforce its heartbeat law, which protects unborn babies from abortions once their heartbeats are detectable and already has saved thousands of lives.

According to the Colorado Catholic Conference, the law:

  • Allows on-demand abortion for the full 40 weeks of pregnancy;
  • Allows abortion discrimination based on sex, race, or disability;
  • Could remove the parent notification requirement if their minor has an abortion;
  • Enshrines in law that “a fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent or derivative rights under” state law;
  • Prohibits regulation of abortion based on the health of the woman or her baby.

Colorado is very liberal politically, and pro-life advocates have had a difficult time passing any pro-life laws there. The state legislature even has rejected fetal homicide laws to punish criminals who kill unborn babies in situations unrelated to abortion.

It is one of the few states with no limits on abortions, and abortionists there openly advertise abortions in the third trimester. In 2020, state voters rejected a ballot measure that would have protected viable, pain-capable unborn babies by banning late-term abortions after 22 weeks of pregnancy.