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April 15, 2024 05:36 PM UTC

Inaugural March for Life Attacks Colorado Abortion Policy and Prop 89

  • by: Heidi Beedle

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

This story originally appeared on the Colorado Times Recorder.

Colorado anti-abortion activists spoke out against Colorado’s abortion policy and Proposition 89, the ballot initiative that would enshrine abortion access in Colorado’s Constitution, during the inaugural March for Life event in Denver on Friday.

While Colorado anti-abortion groups have held annual marches and rallies to commemorate the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Friday’s event was the first affiliated with the national organization March for Life, which is held annually in Washington, D.C. The audience consisted of students from Colorado Christian University and members of a variety of anti-abortion advocacy groups such as Catholics for Life, Love Life, and Save the Storks. Organizations supporting the event with booths included the Heritage Foundation, the D.C.-based conservative think tank that has driven Republican political priorities since the Reagan administration, and the Leadership Institute, an “explicitly conservative” 501(c)3 nonprofit that conducts a variety of political trainings across the country.

“Colorado has become a state focused on death, and not only for residents of our state, but a sanctuary of killing babies for residents of other states,” said Rep. Brandi Bradley (R-Littleton). “Sixty-six babies a day are aborted in our states. We have the most radical and the most extreme abortion laws in the country, including day-of-birth abortions. It’s appalling. We are not a pro-choice state. We are a pro-murder state.”

While the Reproductive Health Equity Act, Colorado’s broad reproductive health law passed in 2022, allows abortions throughout the course of a pregnancy, such procedures in the third trimester of pregnancy account for 1% of all abortions in the United States. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, “These abortions receive a disproportionate amount of attention in the news, policy and the law, and discussions on this topic are often fraught with misinformation; for example, intense public discussions have been sparked after several policymakers have theorized about abortions occurring ‘moments before birth’ or even ‘after birth.’ In reality, these scenarios do not occur, nor are they legal, in the U.S. Discussion of this topic is further obscured due to the terms sometimes used to describe abortions later in pregnancy– including ‘late-term,’ ‘post-viability,’ ‘partial birth,’ ‘dismemberment’ and ‘born-alive’ abortions—despite many medical professionals criticizing and opposing their use.”

Bradley also criticized last year’s legislation designating so-called “abortion pill reversal” — the prescribing of progesterone to a patient who has taken the first treatment in a medication abortion in an effort to reverse the abortion — unprofessional conduct.

“There’s no choice in Colorado anymore,” said Bradley. “This state has attacked a woman’s right to receive help from alternative pregnancy centers. This state has attacked and limited a woman for taking life-saving progesterone for her baby after the first chemical abortion pill. This state is not pro-choice. It’s pro-abortion only, and the people of Colorado need to hear that. They are attacking your ability to choose life-saving tactics and methods to keep your baby.”

Democrats and abortion advocates argue that abortion pill reversal is not supported by medical science. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, “A 2012 case series reported on six women who took mifepristone and were then administered varying progesterone doses. Four continued their pregnancies. This is not scientific evidence that progesterone resulted in the continuation of those pregnancies. This study was not supervised by an institutional review board (IRB) or an ethical review committee, required to protect human research subjects, raising serious questions regarding the ethics and scientific validity of the results. Case series with no control groups are among the weakest forms of medical evidence. Subsequent case series used to support use of medication abortion reversal have had similar limitations, including no ethics approval, no control group, under-reporting of data, and no reported safety outcomes. A 2020 study intending to evaluate medication abortion reversal in a controlled, IRB-approved setting was ended early due to safety concerns among the participants.”

In 2023, Colorado’s medical, nursing and pharmacy state boards each declined to designate abortion pill reversal an accepted medical practice, but stopped short of declaring it unprofessional conduct. The medical board ruled it as outside of “generally accepted standard of practice,” and the nursing and pharmacy boards declined to classify it as either unprofessional or accepted conduct. All three boards decided to review abortion reversal on a case-by-case basis.

Bradley also shared how her personal experience has shaped her views on abortion. “January of 2007, I was pregnant with twins,” she said. “I was going to doctor’s appointments weekly. I was watching my babies grow, feeling them hiccup, watching them kick each other back and forth. At 32 weeks, my daughter died. Now, for her to have died means what? She must have lived, correct? So I will not tolerate anyone telling me that my daughter, Emerson Riley, was not a life, and that she did not deserve to be here on this earth. I will not continue to listen to the lies being spewed by pro-choice advocates and legislators in the statehouse Capitol.”

Jeanne Mancini, president of the national March for Life, warned the audience about Prop 89. “Our bigger and more lofty goal is to change hearts and minds, to make abortion unthinkable,” said Mancini. “You’ve heard about this proposed constitutional amendment right here in Colorado, and you learned about the threats that are facing moms and babies here in the state. You know what’s at stake.”

On Friday, Coloradans for Protecting Reproductive Freedom, the organization behind Prop 89, announced they had surpassed the number of required signatures to get the initiative on the November ballot. The campaign required 124,238 valid signatures to qualify for the ballot, including 2% of the total registered electors in each of Colorado’s 35 state senate districts. As of Friday, the coalition has collected over 225,000 signatures — of which 48,175 have been collected from over a thousand volunteers, and has qualified in all 35 state senate districts.

“Recent events have made it even more critical that we in Colorado restore what the Dobbs decision took away from us and secure abortion rights in the Colorado Constitution,” said Cobalt President Karen Middleton, co-chair of Coloradans for Protecting Reproductive Freedom, in a news release. “As a fundamental, shared value, Coloradans trust people and their doctors, not politicians, to make decisions about abortion. That value has been reinforced in 2024 with the overwhelming enthusiasm for our ballot measure, as demonstrated by thousands of volunteers in every corner of the state collecting signatures. And we firmly believe that this energy and enthusiasm will carry us through to winning in November.”

The success of Prop 89’s signature-gathering campaign is not a surprise, given Colorado’s history of rejecting anti-abortion ballot measures and legislation. In 2008, Colorado saw the nation’s first attempt at a “fetal personhood” ballot initiative with Amendment 48. Kristi Burton Brown, former Colorado Republican Party Chair and vice president for conservative activist group Advance Colorado, was the sponsor behind that measure, and has built her political career on her anti-abortion stance. Amendment 48, and a 2010 attempt, Amendment 62, were both rejected by voters with over 70% of voters opposed, and did not receive a majority vote in any county in Colorado. Amendment 67, in 2014, was rejected by nearly 65% of voters, and 2020’s Proposition 115, which would have banned abortions after 22 weeks of pregnancy, was defeated with 59% of the vote, after opponents spent $9.5 million to campaign against the measure. In 2022, an attempt to classify abortion as “murder” failed to gather enough signatures to even make it on the ballot. In addition to the string of failed personhood amendments, Colorado Republicans have consistently introduced doomed legislation to restrict abortion access in Colorado.

Abortion has also proven to be a potent electoral motivator nationally. Last year, Ohio passed the ballot initiative Issue 1, which enshrined reproductive rights in the Ohio Constitution — contraception, fertility treatment, abortion, and miscarriage care — restoring Roe v. Wade-era access in Ohio and protecting “the right to abortion up to the point of fetal viability.” Former President Donald Trump carried Ohio with 53% of the vote in 2020, but 56.6% of voters supported Issue 1. Ohio joins California, Michigan, and Vermont in amending their state constitutions to protect abortion.

Trump recently issued statements that abortion should be left to the states and that if elected in November he would not support a federal abortion ban. His statements have caused consternation among anti-abortion activists.

Rich Bennet, the president and CEO of Life Network, which runs three anti-abortion pregnancy centers in Colorado Springs, expressed disappointment over Trump’s position on abortion. “Personally, I would like to see as a country that we would acknowledge that life at a certain point — and he’s thrown out in the past 10 or 15 weeks — But, I mean, we know that lives can be born alive at 21, 22 weeks. Why in the world would we think, even if you’re not coming at things from a faith perspective, that aborting life after that point would be okay? So, I mean, even just having a starting point of agreement where we, as a civilized society, could say, ‘Hey, nationally, like Europe, let’s say after the first trimester that we’re not going to do abortions.’ And so I was a little bit disappointed [with Trump], to be honest, not surprised, but disappointed.”

Kristen Waggoner, president, and general counsel of Alliance Defending Freedom, the group behind the overturn of Roe and which is currently representing the plaintiffs suing the FDA in an effort to restrict access to medication abortions, responded to Trump’s statements in a news release last week. “All lawmakers have an obligation to protect mothers, families, and unborn children from conception to natural death,” she said. “President Trump today rightly celebrated the Supreme Court’s courageous decision to end Roe v. Wade’s unlawful abortion regime. And he correctly pointed out that pro-abortion advocates hold the radical position that abortion should be available on demand through the moment of birth — a position rejected by vast majorities of the American people and embraced by totalitarian regimes like North Korea and China. Unfortunately, consistent with its extreme pro-abortion agenda, the Biden Administration is using taxpayer dollars to fund abortions abroad, imposing abortion mandates on emergency room doctors throughout the nation, and seeking to use the federal administrative state to push an unlawful abortion regime that would circumvent state laws that protect life. President Trump should commit to ending the Biden Administration’s abuse of federal power and all-out assault on life, reinstating pro-life policies that support women and save lives. We must continue to pursue pro-family policies that result in the flourishing of women and the protection of every single child, born and unborn.”

Will Duffy, the president of Colorado Right to Life, was also critical of Trump’s comments on abortion. “Trump is an idiot,” he said. “Trump is not pro-life and the Arizona law [a near-total abortion ban from 1864] is correct. Abortion should be illegal without exceptions, and so we’d encourage him to support it. We encourage everyone to support it. Some Republicans started coming out against it, and they’re wrong too, and I consider them cowards and spineless. It’s election season, and so they’re just afraid of what might take away their votes as opposed to standing for truth.”


12 thoughts on “Inaugural March for Life Attacks Colorado Abortion Policy and Prop 89

  1. When marches include mothers whose lives are at stake, those on death row, indigenous women, or LGBTQ+ individuals, they can call it a "March for Life." Until then it's just a "March for Strife." Coloradoans have overwhelmingly spoken on this issue numerous times and WILL enshrine a woman's right to choose this fall. Everything else is just noise.

  2. Back when I was in college our conservative, midwestern college town had several "Pro Life" activists that would line the streets holding hands in a "Life Chain" to protest abortion rights every January 22nd, the anniversary of Roe.

    Several of us who respected women's capacity to make decisions around their own reproduction free from governemental interference serenaded them with Aretha Franklin's "Chain of Fools" blaring from the beds of our pick up trucks.  

  3. LOL these fuggin idiots actually think babies are murdered as they're being born. You can't argue with, nor fight that kind of stupid. The only recourse is to constantly point and laugh at them because they're cartoon caricature fools.

    It's too bad these idiots don't just flee to a regressive red state to enjoy their 2nd class status they've chosen.

  4. Is it just me? But does the "pro-lifer" crowd; also known as the proponents of one state religion in the US; look smaller than in past years?

      1. Thanks. Taking a rest. Last post and site visit was January 6. Didn't even visit the site again until about 10 days ago. Not sure how regular I'll be. Spending too much time on Yahoo commenting which isn't good either, but……

  5. Hey CHB – It's nice to see you commenting again. In my opinion, the crowd size in that photo is at least 200 people – a moderate crowd at a Capitol rally.

    But in the "What Really Matters" department, abortion rights advocates have enough signatures to put an abortion access amendment on Colorado's ballot this year.

    The proposed amendment would amend Colorado's state constitution to enshrine the right to get an abortion, prohibiting the state from restricting access to abortion. It would also stop Colorado from "prohibiting health insurance coverage for abortion."

    That last part is going to get massive pushback from Colorado's hospitals, most of which are owned by the Catholic church, and deny patients abortion procedures, or even contraception coverage, along with physician-assisted dying.  If a hospital has "Saint" in its name, medical care will be restricted. Even if it doesn't, 79% of hospitals are  Catholic owned, and will restrict medical care, although they may not tell consumers that.    It will be a huge fight. But it's a fight that needs to happen.

    1. KW – present-day Church issues aside, if you haven’t seen Cabrini  I’d ask you to do me a favor and give me your feedback. I was very pleasantly surprised, especially given the right-wing bias built into Angel Studio’s last big rollout.  Legitimately a testament to my belief that if women ran the world it would be a better place. 

    2. kwtree … the Choice amendment will "prohibit the state or local governments from denying or impeding the right to an abortion and allow abortion to be a covered service under health insurance plans."  Hospitals and individual doctors would still have the right to NOT participate in abortions (outside a very few ER situations).

      I'm guessing the biggest impact would be allowing the state's Medicaid program to cover costs of abortion, a move toward greater health equity.

  6. As the challenger to the current representative of House District 39, consider my Bottom Line on Abortion, which I published the day after the march. The concluding section of my post appears below the link.


    One readily sees that Colorado’s Proposition 89 does not include the nuances of Ohio’s Issue 1. I sympathize with those who might have supported a less-sweeping amendment in Colorado, one more like Ohio’s. Nevertheless, I am comfortable sharing that I signed the petition for Proposition 89 and will vote for it in November.

    Reasonable people can disagree about all of this, and I value and respect those with whom I am in earnest disagreement – including the current representative of House District 39, Brandi Bradley.

    My bottom line is that government ought to uphold the freedom of individuals and families to make such intimate and consequential decisions for themselves, free of the moral dictates of others, no matter how sincere (or insincere) their motives.

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