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January 27, 2023 10:17 am

They Just Can't Help Themselves, Personhood 2023 Edition

  • by: Colorado Pols
Freshman GOP state Rep. Scott “There Is No” Bottoms (R-HD15).

It was an unexpectedly defeated Republican representative who declared the 2022 elections in Colorado to be an “extinction-level event” for their party, leaving the GOP with their smallest legislative minorities since the Great Depression and breaking the longstanding curse of ticket-splitting that had allowed Republicans to win lesser statewide offices against the state’s overall blueward political trajectory. Thinly (or not at all) repackaged Republican candidates fielded in last November’s elections were kicked to the curb by Colorado voters in an election that served as a referendum on both the direction of the GOP under Donald Trump, as well as the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning last summer of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision federally guaranteeing abortion rights.

After nearly two decades in the political wilderness leading to the low point they find themselves in today, Colorado Republicans are very accustomed to losing. As it has in previous years, defeat invariably leads to a period of conflict between the far right who is generally in control of the party at the grassroots level and the “corporate wing” of the GOP who, despite their own immoderate blind spots, realize that a major change in the party’s message and platform is required in order to have a hope of rolling back the tremendous losses they’ve suffered in the last few elections.

And just like it has in previous years, this period of soul-searching ends with a thud the following January as Republican legislators introduce their bills for the session–like House Bill 23-1119, “Abolishing Abortion in Colorado.”

The bill defines a “person” to include an unborn child at all stages of gestation, from fertilization to natural death, as it relates to a private right of action and current homicide and assault provisions.

The bill declares that any existing state law relating to prenatal homicide or assault or regulating abortion or abortion facilities is superseded to the extent it conflicts or is inconsistent with the provisions of the bill.

The bill authorizes the state to disregard any federal court decision that purports to enjoin or void this requirement and subjects a Colorado judge to impeachment or removal if the judge purports to enjoin, stay, overrule, or void the requirement.

While Republican abortion ban bills perennially introduced in recent years by now-departed hard-right lawmakers like former Rep. Steve Humphries have simply declared the performing of an abortion to be a felony, freshman Rep. Scott Bottoms’ approach harkens back to the “Personhood” ballot measures that Colorado voters soundly rejected in multiple general elections–measures that are generally agreed to have damaged Republican candidates sharing the ballot with them. If it were to pass, which of course it won’t being dead on arrival at its first committee hearing, it would rely on a maze of litigation to define its sweeping terms much like the “Personhood” ballot measures would have upended laws well beyond reproductive rights.

Though pleasing to a vocal component of the Republican coalition, the GOP’s perennial abortion ban bills serve pro-choice Democrats much better as a political rallying point–a reminder in this off-year that Colorado Republicans have no desire or intention of moderating their position on abortion, even after the issue played a major role in their defeat in Colorado and lackluster midterm performance across the country. Republicans don’t have to run these bills year after year, they choose to do it and willingly invite the political consequences.

And of course, they’re allowed. If Republicans prefer ideological purity and pandering to a shrinking minority to ever holding majority power again, Democrats should be pleased to accommodate them.


28 thoughts on “They Just Can’t Help Themselves, Personhood 2023 Edition

  1. "The bill authorizes the state to disregard any federal court decision that purports to enjoin or void this requirement and subjects a Colorado judge to impeachment or removal if the judge purports to enjoin, stay, overrule, or void the requirement."  I see your bill and raise you the Supremacy Clause.  Stupid asshats. 

    1. "The bill authorizes the state to disregard any federal court decision that purports to enjoin or void this requirement"

           Because We said so!  And You Must Believe what We Believe!…..

      ……….Sweet Baby Jesus, please protect us from your followers.

    1. Apparently, your principles involve protecting fetuses, but not protecting children after they're born.  They apparently also involve continuing to dig a deeper hole, because your party LOOOOOOOVES losing.  

      Also, isn't it funny that there have been a number of posts on this topic over the last three months and you haven't been here to do your little drive by posts?  Because, maybe you were hoping you wouldn't be RIGHTLY ridiculed for being a total loser with faux principles?  Sorry loser.  This is why your party only has NINETEEN out of SIXTY-FIVE seats in the State House, TWELVE out of THIRTY-FIVE in the State Senate.  But, they seem to have a 64 county plan.  As in, how they can try to LOSE all 64 counties in the state.  Aim high, loser.


    2. Hey Moderatus. Long time no see. Regarding your comment about the left and principles……

      Guess who said this about abortion: "it's not a conservative issue. It's a matter between a woman and her doctor."

      Answer: Mr. Conservative himself. The late Senator Barry Goldwater (R-AZ).

        1. There is a 4th aspect to Moderatus. He drops what he thinks is a "bombshell" comment and then usually doesn't return. I suspect he does track the answers provided for his "bombshell."

                1. Taller Coffman is pro LGBT and endorsed Phil Weiser for reelection as AG.  

                  She tore his still beating heart out of his chest, so he could see how black it is, and stomped on it.  Shitboy might never recover from that.

  2. My first thought is that not only is this guy a freshman legislator, he must be a newcomer to the state. How many times have we rejected bans? How many more times will we have to say NO to these zealots? Someone ought to tell the hard-right Republicans how good it feels when you stop banging your head against a wall.

    1. Considering  their lack of any true principles, regardless of what ModdyLoser says, and just overall vileness, I am fine with watching them bang their heads.  Fuck 'em.

  3. I get that the GAVEL Amendment requires that every bill which is introduced gets a hearing in committee. But for the life of me, I don't understand why the pro-choice side participates in this.

    Here's a suggestion: Demonstrate contempt for the egg-lovers' fixation with these bills by refusing to engage with the wing nuts.

    When the speaker sends the bill to state affairs, only the Dem chair and the four committee Republicans attend the hearing. The other six wait until the vote is called to show up. Give Bottom his 15 minutes of Warholian fame. Let him put on his dog-and-pony show. Call the vote, have the other six Dems parade into the hearing and vote the damn thing down without asking any questions of any of the witnesses or engaging in any debate. (Everyone knows where everyone stands on these symbolic gestures.)

    1. I track the legislature off and on during the session. Last time I showed up for a “kill committee” hearing was to testify against a bill calling for the state to take over all the federal land in the state. It’s been a while, then.

      This new Personhood bill might be worth an appearance again.

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