- - Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Last week, the Colorado House of Representatives will begin hearings to pass a radical pro-abortion bill that removes any restrictions on abortion from Colorado, including parental notification, and specifically bans preborn children from having “rights under the laws of this state.”

Isn’t Colorado already a pro-choice state? Yes. Since 1967, Colorado has allowed abortion up until the moment of birth. Although attempts to restrict abortion in Colorado have failed, this bill goes so far beyond what Coloradans are willing to support.

Americans are generally opposed to unrestricted abortion. Only about 1/3 of Americans want abortion to be legal under any circumstance. The remaining 2/3 either want abortion to be illegal in all circumstances or legal only under certain circumstances.

Lawmakers introducing a bill to refuse rights to a class of human beings is shocking. Some of the worst moments in American history are when governments codify into law that classes of human beings are not worthy of rights under the law. This is an appalling first for abortion law in the state of Colorado.

I have spent years working at the Colorado state capitol in an effort to advance the sanctity of life. I have noticed that when discussing abortion, pro-abortion lawmakers almost always ignore the preborn child being killed in an abortion. The baby is not part of the equation in their mind. It’s simply discussed as a medical procedure.

Now we know why. The quiet part is finally being said out loud in this bill. Lawmakers want vulnerable preborn children to be banned by law from having any rights in the state of Colorado.

It continues to get worse. The bill does not allow for any parental notification or age restrictions for abortion. It would also get rid of the “clear and convincing evidence” standard that a judge would use to determine if a minor is mature enough to choose to get an abortion without parental involvement. Young women, of any age, of any maturity, could receive an abortion without parents even being notified it happened to their daughter.

The bill would invalidate any existing restrictions on abortion and prevent any locality from restricting access to abortion in the future. In fact, a locality might be unable to keep an abortion facility out of their neighborhood. A significant amount of Colorado counties, 80%, don’t want abortion clinics. This law could force them to accept abortion clinics against the will of their people.

The bill also seeks to restrict any common-sense safety regulations on abortion facilities. For example, requiring abortion doctors to have admitting privileges to a local hospital would be banned by this law. Requiring a woman to have a consultation with a doctor before taking abortion pills would also be banned. This seriously threatens the health of women receiving an abortion.

Finally, the bill would ban efforts to protect preborn children from abortion based on sex, race or disability. Our state could not protect the disabled from abortion simply based on their disability.

With the likelihood that the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade’s legal precedence, all 50 states will need to confront their abortion laws. Some states will ban nearly all abortions. Some will seek to provide some access to abortion. This bill happily seeks to make Colorado a travel destination for the killing of preborn children with no restrictions whatsoever. Young women will travel to the state to get an abortion without their parents’ knowledge. Localities will be unable to keep abortion facilities out of their communities. And the state specifically is writing into law that the preborn child has no rights within its territory.

Coloradans should encourage their state representative and senator to reject this extreme effort to ban rights for vulnerable people and threaten the health of Colorado women.

• Jeff Hunt is the director of the Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University.

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