Abortion Rights Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Congressman Cory Gardner isn't the only wolf in sheep's clothing on the abortion issue. Extremist Republican candidates routinely attempt to hide their actual agenda regarding abortion rights.

Another recent, albeit lower-profile "evolution" in Weld County is the flip of HD 50 candidate Isaia Aricayos.

In 2013 Aricayos' website included: "I oppose abortion in all cases except where the life of the mother is in imminent and mortal danger." (Screenshot from July 2013 below the fold.)

But now in March 2014, his website includes only that he believes in the "sanctity of life" and that "life begins at conception." For a lot of voters, what's important isn't that politicians play games to get elected. What's important is what the politicians really think, and what they're going to try to do once they're in office.

So what does Aricayos really think should be our policy?

Well, in January earlier this year, he trumpeted the endorsement of Steve Humphrey, and praised Humphrey's HB 1133. (This screenshot below the fold also, although as of today the post is still up on his Facebook page.) Which is a law to make prescribing anything that aids in an abortion a class three felony. Which means a doctor that prescribes an abortion for a woman who's fetus is badly damaged and would never have a normal life, or a hospital that provides an abortion to an underage rape victim, would be going to jail for four years. Depending on how you read the statute, even a store that sells plan B over the counter or someone who purchased Plan B for a friend who couldn't afford it, would be going to jail for four years, because the statute appears to ban even Plan B, which can prevent implantation of a fertilized egg. (Note: an earlier version of this diary did not recognize that the statute is a little ambiguous with respect to whether Plan B would be included in the ban. See the comments.) Or more–four years is the standard minimum sentence for a class three felony.

Don't believe me? Here's the main text of the bill:

"A person shall not knowingly administer to, prescribe for, procure for, or sell to a pregnant mother any medicine, drug, or other substance with the specific intent of causing or abetting the termination" [of a pregnancy].

"A person shall not knowingly use or employ any instrument or procedure upon a pregnant mother with the specific intent of causing or abetting the termination of the life of [the pregnancy].

A violation of this section is a class 3 felony."

This kind of extremist politics may work for people like Humphrey who live in districts that pull the lever for whatever Republican wins the primary. But as Ken Buck learned in 2010, extreme positions on abortion rights are a major liability for candidates in competitive general elections, such as the ones facing Congressman Gardner and Mr. Aricayos.

And so they lie.

Here's what we know about Mr. Aricayos:

1. He opposes a woman's right to choose, even in cases of rape and incest. His only exception is when the life of the mother is imminently threatened.

2. He supports a bill that would send anyone prescribing or helping someone get an abortion to jail for 4 years or more.

3. He doesn't see any problem with hiding his true views from voters.


Aricayos Old Website


Aricayos on HB 1133


5 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. dwyer says:

    It is important not to confuse Plan B with the aborton pill:  Here is the link to one website that explains the difference:



    How Emergency Contraception Works

    How are emergency contraceptive pills different from the abortion pill (Mifeprex, also referred to as RU-486)?

The abortion pill, also known as mifepristone or RU-486 ("medical abortion" or "medication abortion"), is a different drug from ellaPlan B One-StepNext Choice One Dose, My Way and Levonorgestrel Tablets, which are approved for sale as emergency contraception in the United States. Emergency contraceptive pills (also called “morning after pills" or "day after pills") prevent pregnancy primarily, or perhaps exclusively, by delaying or inhibiting ovulation; they do not cause an abortion.  For more about how emergency contraceptive pills work, read this comprehensive academic review of emergency contraception.

  2. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    Good info, dwyer. I was a little unclear on some of that myself. I didn't know, for example, that the "Plan B" or morning-after pills do not work if one is already pregnant.  

    All of this came along long after my childbearing days were over, but I deal with many young women daily, and it's good to have accurate information. 

    • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

      I would bet real money that Mr. Aricayos doesn't know the biology, either. And probably would crusade against Plan B even if it prevents, but doesn't interfere with a fertilized egg. Good job, DanleySteel. 

  3. DanleySteel says:

    Hey Dwyer, thanks for the comment re: Plan B versus medical abortion. There are important distinctions between the two, which I'd completely forgotten about, and your links were thorough and helpful. What's most damning to me is that Mr. Aricayos is hiding his real views. Wolves I can deal with–that's democracy–but it's wolves in sheep's clothing that I can stand.

    Anyway, it's completely clear that Mr. Aricayos has implied he would support a 4-year prison sentence for a Dr. who proscribed RU-486 to end a pregnancy, but has since begun to realize maybe he doesn't want people to know that. It's a good bit less clear where he is on Plan B, and given his newfound shyness, we may never know.

    However, if you read the relevant text of HB 1133, I think you'll agree that the bill appears to establish a 4-year prison sentence at least in theory for prescribing, providing, etc., anything that prevents the implantation of a fertilized egg, which includes Plan B. My reasoning is that the bill defines a "unborn human being" or "unborn child" to begin existing at fertilization and defines "fertilization" as occuring when sperm meets egg. Putting these definitions together, the bill outlaws anything that interferes with a post-implantation pregnancy, or with a fertilized egg that has not implanted. Your own webmd link notes that Plan B can prevent implantation of a fertilized egg. So, since Plan B can prevent implantation of a fertilized egg, it seems to me that the law creates a 4-year sentence for Plan B also.

    Maybe I'm misreading the bill, which also has a "specific intent" requirement that I'm not sure what to make of. And, it's hardly clear that Mr. Aricayos was thinking about Plan B versus RU-486 when he gushed about HB 1133, so even if my read of the bill is right, it's probably not fair to assume Mr. Aricayos had the same read of the bill that I do. 

    What really gets me is when politicians lie to cover up extreme things they actually want to do when they get elected. Definitely Mr. Aricayos appears to be doing that.

  4. dwyer says:


    You are absolutely right that there may be the possibilty that Plan B could prevent implementation. I don' t know if  there is medical consensus about that. I believe that now, the medical definition of pregnancy may be that is begins at implementation and not fertilization.

    My main reason for posting the distinction was to clarify the role of Plan B. I would hate for someone young or relatively new or re-entering the "dating game" to conclude that if one had a positive pregnancy test, then Plan B could be purchased to eliminate the pregnancy.  That could not happen, and could cause real grief.

    I know that this issue is really political in terms of how Mr. Aricayos is presenting himself. I certainly don't support him. But, I did think that clarification was necessary. 

    Thanks all for the discussion.

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