EDITORIAL: Colorado voters can ward off another needless battle over yet another abortion ban


Refusing to listen to the doctors, the scientists, the women and the lawyers, another misguided band of anti-abortion activists are closer to pushing yet another unwanted anti-abortion question onto the Colorado general election ballot.

Ballot title language for a measure that would ban abortions at 22 weeks of gestation has received preliminary approval from state officials, clearing the way for proponents to begin collecting signatures to put the question on the 2020 ballot.

Sadly, Colorado has long been plagued by these anti-abortion activists, usually from out of state. They are always intent on inflicting here the same misery and abuse that plagues women in states like Texas, Missouri and other places in the South.

It’s not hyperbole to insist that women in those states are abused by their government, which usurps their rights and access to medical care. The abuse imposes undue and untold emotional harm, physical risk and serious financial burden. More times than not, abusive anti-reproductive rights laws, like in Missouri, Georgia and Alabama, are inflicted on helpless women by male-laden state legislatures.

For years, Colorado voters have reliably made it clear that this is a state where science, compassion and women’s most critical rights — those of privacy and control of their own bodies — are not discarded nor dismissed.

Voters here have a strong enough grasp of science to understand the absurdity of “personhood” and laws that seek to pit the rights of a woman against those who think a zygote is a human baby.

Colorado voters have long rejected the vicious cruelty inflicted on women in states where they are forced to witness and undergo unwanted, invasive procedures on their bodies just to get needed medical care.

And now, Colorado voters must brace again for a river of propaganda and outright lies about how limiting access to abortion by choosing an arbitrary week of gestation is a fair “compromise.”

The measure is sinister and cunning. By leveraging deceit about so-called “infanticide” and other baseless myths, proponents will seek to make this measure seem reasonable.

It is never reasonable for legislators and the government to impose political will on a woman’s right to control her own body and her life. That’s the basis of the famous Roe v Wade Supreme Court decision and the basis for Colorado abortion law.

The matters of reproduction, women’s medical treatment and abortion are all matters for a woman and her physician. They are never matters for political intervention.

The Constitution and decency demand that women have the same right to privacy as do men, who do not permit political whim to dictate their healthcare.

The reality of abortions performed in later pregnancy is illustrated by the tragic story of Robin Utz, courageously told and retold by her and her husband.

First made public in the Washington Post, Utz tells how a medical catastrophe cornered her into terminating her desperately wanted pregnancy, and she details her abuse during that process.

“It felt utterly terrible to realize that politicians — who knew nothing about our circumstances, or worse, wouldn’t care if they did because their supporters are so dogmatically pro-life — have such control over our options,” she wrote for the Post.

She paints an accurate picture of why this proposed Colorado law is anathema to decency, medicine and humanity. Her story and updates are at defendinggrace.org. Her stunning Moth Radio podcast about her journey and abuse are at https://ow.ly/G7Tg30p6hgr.

If you’re considering signing a petition to put this latest abortion ban on the Colorado ballot, read or listen to the Utz’s story and those like hers.

Seek out reliable information from credible professionals who actually deal with the medical and ethical issues surrounding women’s reproductive rights.

Given Colorado voter’s past record on refusing abortion-bans, and the rising level of educated and savvy residents, we have confidence that if this measure makes the 2020 ballot, voters will defeat this ban like it has many others in the past.

The record of Colorado voters and the vast majority of state lawmakers is clear. This is a state that will not diminish the rights of women, and everyone can illustrate that by refusing to sign petitions when they become public, saving everyone needless anguish.