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March 08, 2022 10:56 AM UTC

Wayne Laugesen's Late-Term Lunacy Could Actually Be Dangerous

  • by: Colorado Pols
Wayne Laugesen.

For as long as we’ve been writing about Colorado politics in this space, the Gazette newspapers serving Colorado Springs and now foraying into the Denver media market have had a stridently conservative editorial board, consistent with the family of news outlets owned by local gazillionaire and nationwide GOP funder Phil Anschutz that includes the right-wing Washington Examiner. Longtime editorial board editor Wayne Laugesen has regularly used the unsigned editorial space in the Gazette as a blunt partisan political tool to defend Republicans and bash Democrats–often with absurd and offensive results, like when Laugesen accused the state’s first Jewish governor of ties to the KKK. After Laugesen attended the January 6th rally that degeneration into violence at the U.S. Capitol, Laugesen was convinced that Antifa was behind it.

Today, however, we’re not laughing off Laugesen’s latest serving of “shock jock” partisan misinformation. Because in his latest attack on House Bill 1279, the Reproductive Health Equity Act to protect abortion rights ahead of a possible repeal of Roe v. Wade later this year, the Gazette editorial board so grossly misrepresents the bill that it could lead to unhinged people who believe them going off the deep end:

In the latest attack on culture and law, 59 Democrats — with no Republican sponsors — may legalize the killing of newborns. [Pols emphasis] The right to kill birthed children is cleverly hidden in House Bill 22-1279, titled the “Reproductive Health Equity Act.” The Colorado House Health and Insurance Committee will consider it Wednesday.

Attempting to rationalize the outrageous suggestion that Democrats want “the right to kill birthed children,” Laugesen invokes former Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, who faced a wildly inflated controversy two years ago over words omitted from their context:

Though it fits Colorado’s break-the-mold image, this is not new. Former Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, a pediatric neurologist known for black face and a racist college yearbook page, spoke in defense of euthanizing or medically neglecting unwanted infants.

“The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired. And then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother,” Northam said on the radio in 2019, explaining the option of killing unwanted, fully birthed children. [Pols emphasis]

Northam’s comments have been thoroughly fact-checked and the lurid allegation that he was justifying the death of “unwanted infants” debunked in the two years since then, but Laugesen recycles the false narrative like none of this ever happened:

Northam was referring to “third-trimester abortions” that are done in cases “where there may be severe deformities. There may be a fetus that’s non viable” he said…he was talking about a “tragic and extremely rare case in which a woman with a nonviable pregnancy or severe fetal abnormalities went into labor.” [Pols emphasis]

The truth is that abortions later in pregnancy are very rare and almost always the result of dire medical necessity. Laugesen’s suggestion that this law could lead to parents frivolously deciding to kill healthy babies after a normal childbirth simply has no rational basis. Meanwhile, the very real and tragic circumstances faced by some families with the help of doctors bound by their own oath to do no harm are disgustingly trivialized.

In November of 2015, a deranged lunatic imagining himself to be a “warrior for the babies” and acting on misinformation about the supposed sale of “baby body parts” at abortion clinics killed three people and injured nine more in a mass shooting at the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood office. It was a lesson about the consequences of misinformation in pursuit of a political objective that goes too far and incites misguided violence.

This misinformation is just as bad, and Laugesen of all newspaper editors should know better.


8 thoughts on “Wayne Laugesen’s Late-Term Lunacy Could Actually Be Dangerous

  1. You really haven't figured out yet that Wayne Laugesen just doesn't care?

    More could be coming. A recent issue of The Week magazine noted that all three candidates for the Republican nomination for attorney general in Michigan believe that banning birth control is a "states rights" issue. None of the three support the SCOTUS decision from 1965 that allowed married couples to obtain contraception, Griswold v. Connecticut.

  2. I see a lot of faux outrage but Pols doesn’t actually say how the Gazette is incorrect. If the law says postnatal “outcomes” can’t be questioned, doesn’t that mean an abortion could take place during the postnatal period?

    if the goal was just to put Roe into statute that’s one thing, but this bill seems to go much farther than that.

    1. The legislation summary prepared by the nonpartisan staff says "The bill prohibits state and local public entities from:

      • Denying, restricting, interfering with, or discriminating against an individual's fundamental right to use or refuse contraception or to continue a pregnancy and give birth or to have an abortion in the regulation or provision of benefits, services, information, or facilities; and
      • Depriving, through prosecution, punishment, or other means, an individual of the individual's right to act or refrain from acting during the individual's own pregnancy based on the potential, actual, or perceived impact on the pregnancy, the pregnancy's outcomes, or on the pregnant individual's health.
        (Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)

      If a mother consults with a medical professional and kills a child, existing statutes and penalties would apply.  If Laugesen, Moderatus, or state legislators want to explain specifically how the language is flawed, how it would grant some greater flexibility, I'm willing to read what they say. 

      But in the US as a whole, "In 2019, 79.3% of abortions were performed at ≤9 weeks’ gestation, and nearly all (92.7%) were performed at ≤13 weeks’ gestation." Very, very few are performed after what is the earliest sense of "viability" — abortions "at ≥21 weeks’ gestation (<1.0%)." 

    2. Moderatus, I don't think that take is accurate. The bill as introduced states "the individual's right to act or refrain from acting DURING the individual's own pregnancy" before mentioning "potential, actual, or perceived impact" on… "the pregnancy's outcomes." I emphasized "during" as a key word, and Wayne did not mention the "during" part in his editorial. Birth ends pregnancy, and it seems to me that this section only addresses actions taken during pregnancy.

      But everyone can read the actual bill for themselves.

    3. "Post-natal" means subsequent to birth. Abortions are performed prior to birth. So, there is no such thing as an abortion during the post-natal period.


      1. When Republicans care as much about kids after birth as before, I’ll be impressed. Until then, not so much.

        Children in the United States are sicker and more likely to die as infants, and more likely to die from gunfire as young teens, compared to children from other wealthy countries. We’re right there with Somalia and El Salvador, when it comes to caring for  our young people. 

    4. While it's true that infanticide was a key component of the "good old days" the GOP wants to bring back, the notion that 1279 legalizes the practice is straight up idiotic.

      If the law says postnatal “outcomes” can’t be questioned,

      It doesn't.

      doesn’t that mean an abortion could take place during the postnatal period?


      That's breathtakingly stupid even by your standards.

      if the goal was just to put Roe into statute that’s one thing, but this bill seems to go much farther than that.

      You have no idea whatsoever what the holding of Roe v. Wade was, what's happened to that holding in the intervening decades, or what 1279 actually says. Perhaps you should limit yourself to topics on which you have actual knowledge and experience, like kiddie porn.

    5. "I see a lot of faux outrage"

      Moderatus is back. Did the Kremlin find a way to pay him under the table or is shilling pro bono?

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