Colorado Pro-life group gathers 135K signatures needed for ballot measure to ban late-term abortion
DENVER, March 6, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – A Colorado pro-life initiative has submitted more than 138,000 signatures supporting a ballot measure proposing to end late-term abortions.
The signatures were delivered to the Colorado Department of State, headed by Democrat Jena Griswold, on March 4.
The pro-life campaign called “Due Date Too Late” needed roughly 125,000 signatures to get the ballot measure approved. The Department of State will determine whether the signatures are valid. If not, “Due Date Too Late” has another two weeks to get the number needed.
Then, voters get a chance to determine if late-term abortions should be banned in Colorado.
“We are pleased to exceed the number of signatures required to submit to the Secretary of State,” said Deacon Geoff Bennett, who works in a leadership position at Catholic Charities of Denver.
“With the leadership of Archbishop (Samuel) Aquila we are proud how the Catholic community supported the moral teachings of the Church against the attacks on the most innocent among us. We realize there is still work to do and we are ready for the challenges that lie ahead in putting an end to late-term abortion in Colorado.”
The ballot measure would outlaw abortions after 22 weeks, when babies can definitely feel pain. At this gestational age, they can also survive outside the womb.
One example is James Elgin Gill, born at just 21 weeks, five days in 1988. According to Verywell Family, he “set a record when he was born for world’s most premature baby. James was born so early that he was expected to die at birth or — if he survived — to have multiple and severe handicaps. James beat all of the odds, growing to be a healthy adult.”
The Colorado campaign to end late-term abortions explained in graphic detail what actually happens during such procedures.
“Abortion is a violent procedure and commonly involves the dismemberment of the fetus in the second trimester. In the third trimester, the injection of potassium chloride or digoxin may inflict excruciating suffering before the child dies over a period of minutes to hours,” the initiative states on its website.
According to numbers provided by “Due Date Too Late,” about 400 late-term abortions are performed every year in Colorado. “Most of these abortions are performed on normal fetuses. One abortion rights activist admitted that abortions for fetal anomaly ‘make up a small minority of later abortions.’”
A quarter of late-term abortions are done “because the child has been diagnosed with Down syndrome,” the campaign reported Colorado’s late-term abortion clinic as admitting.
“Due Date Too Late” does not intend to make a mother getting an abortion a criminal. “The mother is not subject to any criminal penalties whatsoever. Neither is a pharmacist who unwittingly fills a prescription for an abortion beyond 22 weeks.”
However, physicians performing the abortion “can be charged criminally,” without being subject to jail time.” Instead, they would be “subject to a three-year suspension of their medical license.”
The Colorado initiative provides for exceptions in the late-term abortion ban “to save the life of the mother.” Such concessions, some pro-life groups argue, make it easier for voters and politicians to support pro-life policies.
“Colorado voters have indicated that they will not pass” an initiative ending all abortions. “Our effort is to bring an initiative to the ballot in November 2020 which the voters will support. We want to save as many babies as possible,” the campaign explained.
At the same time, “Due Date Too Late” pointed out that a C-section “is much safer than an abortion” in most, if not all, emergencies.
The initiative is expecting massive backlash from organizations like Planned Parenthood, which advocates for abortion as a women’s right.
In fact, Griswold, who is responsible for the official count of the signatures delivered to her office, was found to have worked with Planned Parenthood to smooth out a press release of the Department of State.
“Before Colorado’s Secretary of State put out a news release calling for a boycott of Alabama over the state’s new abortion ban, her office sent the news release to Planned Parenthood for suggestions and edits,” 9NEWS.com, an NBC-affiliated TV station in Denver, reported in May 2019.
Two hours before the news release was sent out, Griswold’s communications director had emailed a draft to Whitney Phillips and Jack Teter. “Phillips is the vice president of communications for Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains and Teter is Planned Parenthood’s political director,” according to the 9NEWS.com article.
Phillips said of the draft, “We don’t recommend using right to choose/pro-life/pro-choice language anymore. All polling indicates it is further polarizing and turns folks off.” Accordingly, the official press release no longer included such language.
Confronted with the ethics of editing a government press release, Phillips claimed it was appropriate. “Yes, of course. PP (Planned Parenthood) provides messaging guidance around abortion. That is our job as reproductive health experts.”
Former Deputy Secretary of State Suzanne Staiert had a different take.
“Whether you agree with Planned Parenthood’s platform or not, I think we can all agree that we should not have our policies in the state dictated to us by special interest groups and lobbying organizations,” she said, according to the article. “I don’t think it’s appropriate. I don’t think it’s ethical. I think it’s wrong.”