Colorado Public Radio reporting, with the earth-shaking news this week that the U.S. Supreme Court is internally circulating a draft opinion that overturns Roe v. Wade as well as the Casey v. Planned Parenthood decisions upholding abortion rights, Colorado’s enthusiastic anti-abortion minority is plowing ahead with the next version of what Colorado voters have repeatedly rejected in statewide votes: a constitutional statewide ban on abortion.
The leaked opinion has emboldened abortion-rights opponents. Jeff Hunt from Colorado Christian University’s Centennial Institute, said that his organization will continue to fight on a state level and plans to sue over Colorado’s Reproductive Health Equity Act law.
“It does not bode well for laws when you specifically carve out rights against a class of people,” Hunt said. “So, if you say a class of people — in this case, the preborn — do not have rights in the state, that does not work well in constitutional law. And we may challenge it there.”
Abortion-rights opponents are trying to bring the issue before Colorado voters this year. Angela Eicher and Rebecca Greenwood want to put Initiative No. 56 on the ballot for this year’s midterm elections, which would make abortion illegal.
In addition to a suit against the law just signed by Gov. Jared Polis codifying abortion rights in Colorado statute and the latest version of the so-called “Personhood” constitutional abortion bans headed for the statewide ballot this November, as the Colorado Sun reports, Jeff Hunt wants to roll out billboards touting highly controversial “abortion reversal” for medication abortions:
Anti-abortion groups, meanwhile, are already making plans about how to change the minds of women who come to Colorado seeking to end their pregnancies. Expect more billboards saying it’s not too late to reverse an abortion after ingesting abortion pills, [Pols emphasis] said Jeff Hunt, director of the Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University.
He predicts more out-of-state money coming to Colorado to fund crisis centers for pregnant women, more volunteers offering “sidewalk counseling” outside abortion clinics, and more money to care for babies.
Just because patients travel to Colorado for care, it doesn’t mean it’s too late to persuade them to keep their pregnancies, Hunt said. “They don’t give up, in our opinion, until the murder has taken place,” he said.
With respect to so-called “abortion reversal,” the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists does not support the practice, saying it is “not supported by science.” As for “more out of state money” to hype abortion politics and harass patients outside Colorado abortion clinics, we’re filing all of that in the same category as another statewide ballot measure to ban abortion on the ballot this November.
A massive political gift to Democrats.
For years before Donald Trump and the MAGA movement scrambled the circuits of Republican politics, smart Republicans in Colorado were desperately working to de-emphasize divisive social wedge issues in their message. The reason is simple: in Colorado, where politics have been trending blue for almost two decades, strident conservative grandstanding on wedge issues is repellent to a majority of voters. After two successive “Personhood” ballot measures went down in flames in 2008 and 2010 burning Republican candidates on the ballot with them, then-GOP Secretary of State Scott Gessler nixed the 2012 Personhood ballot measure by a small number of signatures leading to some accusations of bad faith. But as the Denver Post reported at the time, smart Republicans breathed a sigh of relief:
Republican political consultant Katy Atkinson, when asked if Republicans candidates were relieved to hear personhood would not make the ballot, replied: “If they’re not, they probably should be.”
Well folks, abortion is back in a big way! The anti-abortion single-issue activists Republicans tried to squelch to win elections are energized like they haven’t been in a generation. Local Republican candidates like Heidi Ganahl are disregarding good advice to not talk about abortion and blasting away at the state’s new abortion protection statute. The principal organizer of the early statewide Personhood measures is now the chairwoman of the Colorado Republican Party. Emboldened by Trump’s treacherously skewed Supreme Court, it’s full speed ahead for the “culture war” right in 2022…
Right into the brick wall that awaits them in November. The dynamics of this issue on the ground in this state have not changed. The voters of Colorado can be expected to turn out in overwhelming numbers to support abortion rights just as they have in past elections–perhaps like never before with the threat of losing those rights now very real. At some point, there will be a need for a ballot measure from the left that takes the statutory protections passed by the Colorado legislature this year and enshrines them permanently in the state constitution. We expect that measure will meet a very different fate.
History repeating, plain and simple. Colorado Republicans lost sight of the restraint that might have changed their course after 2014. Now they are plowing heedless into the same mistakes that cost them everything.
In every sense, they are the dog that caught the car.