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January 21, 2014 09:28 AM UTC

Photo: Owen Hill Speaks At Saturday's Roe v. Wade Protest

  • by: Colorado Pols

Sunday's Denver Post included a story about protests that occurred Saturday marking the 41st anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court decision, which established the right of American women to abortion of unwanted pregnancies. The story goes into some detail about the fact that the battle over abortion in Colorado is ramping up yet again, with a Republican-sponsored bill to ban all abortions introduced in the state legislature, and yet another flavor of the "personhood" abortion ban headed for the statewide ballot this November.

For as much useful background on abortion politics that Christopher Osher's story supplies readers, he focuses almost exclusively on the protest organized Saturday by the Catholic Church–making only the briefest of mentions of another protest, organized by Colorado Right to Life, "at the state Capitol." The problem is, that protest was certainly the event more relevant to the political backstory Osher lays out. Frustratingly, we've not been able to find any coverage of the CRTL protest, not even on the organization's own websites and social media. If anyone has links to coverage of this event, please give us them in comments or email us, and we'll update this post.

What we do know is that hard core anti-abortion group Colorado Right to Life held a protest at the state capitol on Saturday, and that the keynote speaker at this event was none other than Republican U.S. Senate candidate Owen Hill. We know that only due to this photo, sent to us from the event via a passer-by:


With all due respect to Archbishop Samuel Aquila, shouldn't this be part of the story? Our guess is Hill is trying as hard as he can to pump up his pro-life credentials while Ken Buck and Amy Stephens flail away at each other. That said, it may honestly be that Owen Hill's so-far minor Senate candidacy just doesn't rate much coverage.

But somebody tell us what Hill had to say to that horrifying little doll, who is also nowhere to be found in news coverage.


62 thoughts on “Photo: Owen Hill Speaks At Saturday’s Roe v. Wade Protest

  1. When even late professor Gerald Gunther of Stanford Law School thought Roe v. Wade was poorly reasoned, faulting Owen Hill for appearing at a rally criticizing the decision seems like whining/nitpicking as opposed to a legit "gotcha" moment. 

    1. It doesn't sound to me that Pols is faulting Owen Hill for appearing at the rally. It sounds like Pols is faulting coverage of the event. It sounds like Pols thinks there ought to have been much more coverage of Owen Hill appearing, much more publicity for his campaign.


        1. Colorado Pols thinks that pro-life candidates are doomed in the general election. As such, they believe any exposure of a candidate's pro-life stance is good for them. I respond that in the latest polls, more Americans identify as pro-life than pro-abortion. Also, you're absolutely right that Roe v Wade is overreach, and many pro-abortion legal scholars agree.

    2. I'm quite sure Hill's remarks were about the legal reasoning of the decision.  In fact the whole anti-Roe movement has nothing to do with the belief that the products of the union of sperm and egg are the moral equivalent of born humans, and is in fact a crusade to tighten up Supreme Court jurisprudence.

      Are you really that stupid?

      1. If you think that is the case, then find some remarks of his saying something dumb.  As it is, his mere attendance at a rally criticizing Roe v. Wade is not controversial as even eminent pro-choice legal scholars have done just that.

          1. Whether the people at the rally understand nuance is not the issue.  The issue is whether Owen Hill's criticism of Roe v. Wade (as for what we know, that is all that he did as of now) is a "gotcha" moment.  Quite simply, it is not.  I had Kathleen Sullivan for a prof at Stanford.  Rumor is that she was considered by Obama for the Supreme Court.  Even she criticized Roe v. Wade in class a few times. 

            1. It's only a gotcha if being caught endorsing an idea rejected by 2/3 of the electorate is one.  The question is whether you understand nuance.  All evidence points to no.

                1. don't know whether he signed, but CO-RTL believes he's on board:

                  Owen Hill (R) is pro-life, supports Personhood, and responded to the CRTL survey with 8 out of 9 questions answered correctly (he still believes anti-abortion regulations are helpful, but is willing to listen further about how they undermine the Right to Life).

                  1.  At that link, you'll find this along with lots of info on the question and responses.

                    Owen Hill (R) is pro-life, supports Personhood, and responded to the CRTL survey with 8 out of 9 questions answered correctly (he still believes anti-abortion regulations are helpful, but is willing to listen further about how they undermine the Right to Life).

        1. EF.

          This argument about  legal scholars and going to Standford and the Lochner decision is a rerun from a discussion, here, a few years ago.

          Only, I don't think that you were the name of the person who made the argument. Was it you?  Or could you have been posting the same argument only using another name?  I am not criticizing, I am just trying to remember correctly.

    1. Nitpicking? Aren't you the same guy who lamented Buck's latest gaffe/honest explanation of his beliefs as "off-message?"  Unless you seriously believe that Hill is really considering a CD5 run, where bloody crucified babies might actually play well, isn't a US Senate candidate appearing with this crowd pretty "off-message" in advance of the primary?

      1. Huge difference.  The issue with Buck's statement isn't what he said, but rather that it gave indications that Buck hadn't learned anything from 2010 (i.e. he would be liable to make same foot-in-mouth mistakes again if he gets nomination).  Hill here, from what I can tell, was just criticizing judicial overreach in Roe v. Wade.  That isn't even a controversial POV because many liberal legal scholars do the exact same thing (even when they are pro-choice)

        1. And you can tell that he was "just criticizing judicial overreach" and not loudly & proudly advocating an anti-choice position so extreme that it has cost his party countless elections…how?

          1. I'm saying without you having more info, it is premature to conclude that his mere attendance at the rally was anything other than a non-controversial criticism of judicial overreach. 

                    1. So how much are you willing to wager that "undecided voters" will have no problem getting past the crucified baby? The company you keep matters in politics. 

                    2. I think people expect that when talking about the choice/life issue that emotions will run hot.  What they do not expect is that the candidate will go flying off the rails by putting forth charged rhetoric in either direction.

                1. Repeat. This is not targeted toward people who make subtle distinctions.It's for th personhood crowd and they consider most birth control options to be methods of birth control that qualify as causing abortions. 

                  1. The undecided voter is not limited to abortion – it is the person who doesn't know for which, if any, major party's candidate he/she will vote for. 

  2. Before Roe v Wade: 33% of emergency room admissions for women were due to septic,  or complications of, attempted abortions.

    [Abortion-related] deaths among young women were not always young single girls having their first pregnancy. It was very often the woman who had three or four children, more children than she could already handle.


    Around the world, in countries where abortion is illegal, it remains a leading cause of maternal death. An estimated 68,000 women worldwide die each year from unsafe abortions.2 (National Abortion Federation – medical facts & references)

    And, from the history of Cleveland Planned Parenthood:

    In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Roe v. Wade, ruled that the constitutional right of privacy extends to a woman's choice of whether to bear a child. Before this decision, complications of illegal abortions represented the number one cause for emergency room admissions among American women.

    After Roe v Wade: (from the same articles linked above) maternal health increased,  septic abortion admissions to emergency rooms went down to almost zero. Nixon had signed Title X into law, so contraception was accessible to almost all women. Nixon would be too liberal for Tea Partiers today. These were good decisions that even a Libertarian could love.

    Elliott, this link's for you: Libertarian thinker Ayn Rand on abortion:

    An embryo has no rights. Rights do not pertain to a potential, only to an actual being. A child cannot acquire any rights until it is born. The living take precedence over the not-yet-living (or the unborn).

    Abortion is a moral right—which should be left to the sole discretion of the woman involved; morally, nothing other than her wish in the matter is to be considered. Who can conceivably have the right to dictate to her what disposition she is to make of the functions of her own body?

    The Supreme Court in 1973 made a decision that the right to "privacy" extended to women's decisions on whether or not to bear a child. Since that time, women's and children's health has improved.  What overreach, specifically, are you complaining about?

                  1. What would you know about constitutional arguments?  This thread is conspicuously bereft of them. To you, the term appears to mean "catch phrase plus name drop famous professor at my famous school."

                    1. DaftPunk.

                      I know plenty.  However, I don't like to do brief writing/scholarly writing in online discussions so you will usually catch me writing in shorthand. 

                    2. Meaning,"I don't like to defend my arguments, I just hope you'll be as impressed by my CV as I am."

  3. But somebody tell us what Hill had to say to that horrifying little doll, who is also nowhere to be found in news coverage.

    Maybe: "Didn't I see you in the 1981 John Waters movie Polyester?"

    1. I remember a Sarah Palin presser a few years back around Thanksgiving where she was speaking while turkeys were being slaughtered in the background.  Just kind of sends that unintended DON"T TAKE ME SERIOUSLY message to everyone watching regardless of the politics.

  4. I would like to thank DT for introducing the latest republican "buzz word"…judicial overreach.  The republican crowd has two arguments against Roe v. Wade that have morphed over the years.  Logically, the two arguments are diametrically opposed but that doesn't bother the republicans nor, quite frantkly, the  pro-choice crowd. I am the only one who evidently can not tolerate the  cognitive dissonance…it is like chalk screeching on a blackboard, but then I am probably the only one who remembers chalk and blackboards.

    Here is the "judicial overreach" argument.  It is best presented in the dissenting opinion written by Colorado's own Bryan White.  He argued that abortion was a medical matter and that it was left to the states to regulate medical matters and therefore the Roe majority decision was an "overrreach" because it overrode states' rights.  Originally, the so-called pro-life argument put forward by the republicans (read the Hyde Amendment of 1978) was that life began at conception and that abortion was killing a life and therefore Roe violated the right to life of the unborn.  The republican ran on that platform for decades, hence the alliance with the religious right, and the marches with the bloody pictures.  For the most radical criminals, this argument became the  justification for the clinic violence and murder of abortion doctors.  The Republican platform includes a right to life amendment based on this argument or at least it was once based on this argument…

    In 1994, when the republican gained control of Congress and were in a position to  vote on a right to life amendment, they became suddenly shy… a virgin who got cold feet so to speak.  So  then the argument morphed over the years into the argument that the problem with Roe was that it was decidedwrongly because abortion was a matter that should be left to the states.  In all the years that the Republicans have controlled one of both houses of Congress, they have NEVER voted on the right to life amendment. although one get introduced periodically and referred to committee that NEVER votes on it.  Now their hue and cry is to bring a case before SCOTUS and let SCOTUS overturn Roe and let the states decide.  That is what Personhood is all about, as well as some of the more awful state regulations.

    This is where the cognitive dissonance comes in.  If the republicans believe that life begins at conception and therefore a person exists from that point forward, why would you want each state to vote on what rights that person has?  Wouldn't that be a fundamental right guaranteed by the US Constitution?  But nooooo, the repubs go merrily on their way crying about poor babies and poor states rights….and nobody points out that they are holding two contradictary positions at the same time….

    I also think that the pro-choice people ought to be pursuing a right to abortion constitutional amendment simply because it is the only civil right unique to women and such an amendment would secure that right once and forever.

    The issues are so fundamental that I believe the use of them to raise money and stir up the bases is repulsive.





    1. "Judicial overreach" has been a rightie favorite in publications now for a couple of decades, mimimun . . . 

      . . . may not have made it onto the Boyles show yet, however . . . 

      . . . way too many syllables!

      1. @Dioetc.etc.

        You are right, I don't hear "judicial overreach" on talk radio.  What I hear is "activitist judges"…some times preceded by unelected, black robed "fascist" communist", etc.  See.  "judicial overreach" is a concept.  It is difficult to rouse the ire of an audience if the target is an abstract concept.  Therefore, on talk radio, at least that which I listen to,….the target is never abstract, always a person, usually a stereotype or a straw man.  Propaganda 101.


        1. On the right the issue isn't judges striking down laws (a law abriding right to free speech, for example, should be struck down unless various limited exceptions apply).  The issue instead is that judges are striking down laws on reasons that they should not.  Since we are on abortion, the argument goes that even if you are pro-choice, nothing in the Constitution enshrines that position.  As such, to the extent a judge/justice says to the contrary, they are an "activist judge" per the argument. 

  5. So, Owen wants the approval of the bloody baby doll crowd, while EF provides him with the standard spineless synchophant spin of "not necessarily" agreeing with the extremity of the position presented.  Definitely a match made in GOP heaven. Who's bringing the Popeye's chicken?

    Say what you want about Moddy (and heaven knows I have), he's not afraid to wear his extremism on his sleeve, and agree with him or not, he has his own sense of decency. 

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