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March 13, 2014 03:29 PM UTC

GOP Abortion Ban Bill Dead, But Issue Will Be Back in 2014

  • by: Colorado Pols


The Colorado Independent's John Tomasic has a great recap of this week's big local political story, the abortion ban legislation co-sponsored by 19 Republicans in the Colorado General Assembly that met its demise Tuesday:

Although Republican lawmakers, including House leadership, signed on in double digits to co-sponsor humphrey’s bill, something changed in the two months since it was introduced.

None of the co-sponsors came to Tuesday’s hearing. Only four people altogether testified in favor of the bill. Yet dozens of pro-choice activists held a press conference prior to the hearing to rail against it and many of those lined up to argue against it from the witness stand…

Humphrey opposed all the amendments. He said they would change the purpose of the measure. It was a personhood bill, after all. Either a fertilized egg is a person or it isn’t. He took the defeat of his bill in stride, with what seemed like the long vision of a true believer secure in the knowledge that fighting for his convictions mattered as much as victory.

But the arguments made by the Republican lawmakers against the bill as plainly unconstitutional may complicate a politically charged effort to land another personhood initiative on this year’s ballot. Supporters of the so-called Brady Amendment have already gathered 140,000 signatures. The secretary of state only has to certify roughly 90,000 of those signatures as valid in order for the initiative to make the ballot.

The long, unsuccessful fight by Republicans to institute a total ban on abortion in the staunchly pro-choice state of Colorado has done great political damage to that party's viability, factoring heavily in numerous major electoral races from Bob Schaffer in 2008 to Ken Buck in 2010 and Joe Coors in 2012–and now Bob Beauprez in 2014. The damage done by this ideological fixation has slowly dawned on Republicans, which may have led to Secretary of State Scott Gessler making an "extra effort" to keep the Personhood abortion ban off the 2012 statewide ballot.

The growing awareness of the self-injury resulting from their campaign to ban abortion on the part of Colorado Republicans is a big reason we were honestly surprised to see another abortion ban bill introduced in the Colorado General Assembly this year. Even more surprising was the large number of co-sponsors, including House Minority Leader Brian DelGrosso. Not only did Republicans "go there" again in this election year, they did so enthusiastically.

But as Tomasic reports above, something happened between then and last Tuesday when the bill finally came up for debate. The crowd of co-sponsors was nowhere to be found, and the few witnesses who showed up to testify in favor of banning abortion were totally overwhelmed by pro-choice advocates and citizens. If this was a belated realization that getting behind this stillborn legislation was a huge political mistake, we suppose they deserve some credit. But the smart thing would have been to not introduce an abortion ban to begin with–or failing that, to at least not have such a large number of Republicans sign on as co-sponsors.

And, of course, this is just the opening number for the main event. Supporters of this year's "Brady Amendment" abortion ban have submitted a large pad of signatures above the minimum threshold, and are likely to make the ballot. The top-line Republican candidate in Colorado this year, Republican Cory Gardner, is on the video record as an ardent supporter of the Personhood abortion bans. Whether Republicans like it or not, their ticket in Colorado at all levels is on a collision course with the issue of abortion. They can't hide from it, and their irritation at having to keep answering for it year after year can't protect them from voter backlash.

Because the voters don't seem to be changing their minds, either.


24 thoughts on “GOP Abortion Ban Bill Dead, But Issue Will Be Back in 2014

  1.  Colorado was the first state to decriminalize abortion-in 1969-years ahead of Roe. These people are slow learners. How many times has the electorate said "no" to these initiatives? I've lost count. What ever makes them think we would ever go back more than 40 years? I also resent them calling this a "Brady bill". That was a case where a woman suffered a miscarriage of a wanted pregnancy because of a wreckless driver. It had nothing whatever to do with abortion. Oh, well, If they want to keep banging their collective head against a brick wall, bless their addled little brains.. 

    1. If you can't pass it in Mississippi you certainly aren't going to pass it here so it's no longer an effort to get it to the Supreme Court for the purpose of overturning Roe v Wade. Obviously without getting that done it couldn't stand even if they did pass it. But that was the old motivation. Now they know it can't pass so the only reason for bringing it back is GOTV. 

      Apparently they still think it does more to motivate their base to come out in support than it does to motivate the opposition to come out. I think they're mistaken. It lost by even more last time than the time before. The lopsided turn out at the Capitol is another red flag for them. 

      They aren't going to attract anybody new. On the other hand young Dem leaning women who might have skipped the midterm may come out just to protect their freedom of choice and vote for Dem candidates while they're at it. Maybe this has belatedly dawned on the Repugnican grown ups. If so, it's too late since Dems have all the ammo they need on this issue for their own GOTV already. 

  2. So, in other words:

    "We GOPers are God's chosen patriots, and the ONLY remaining defenders of liberty, freedom, the Constitution, the unborn, and all tradiotional American values —  UNLESS OF COURSE being so interferes with our getting relected and continuing to ride the taxpayer-funded gubmint gravy train — that of course being the same evil gubmint we otherwise so love to hate, denigarate and deride at every possible opportunity…."

  3. It's either a person or it isn't.  Since this is a philosophical/religious discussion of very long standing lasting thousands of years, I doubt we are going to come to any universal agreement any time soon.  There is some evidence that over 25% of pregnancies are spontaneously aborted.  The chaos created by inforcing this would make in the court system a virtual quagmire. 

    It is interesting that they have stopped using the word fetus.  Calling a developing, potential human a fetus ignores the first stages of development.  That defeats the overall purpose of inacting into law personal religious beliefs. And that is what this is all about, as most of us know.

  4. Republican leaders will continue to act on their conscience. Liberals either forget or don't care that half of the country is against them on almost every issue, including abortion. It only becomes an issue in election years when partisan Democrats try to entrap Republicans with lurid extreme examples that don't cover 99% of cases. Most abortions are performed on healthy young women as a matter of convenience, not rape or incest or even birth defects.

    One thing I think is wonderful out there happening now is Save the Storks. These are luxury vans equipped with mobile ultrasound equipment, to allow women considering an abortion to instantly see the consequences of their decision. The key to stopping abortion is information. Once women really understand what's happening inside them, most choose not to go forward with an abortion.

    I absolutely believe that abortion is murder, and I'll never be convinced otherwise.

    1. In other words, in 2016, 2018, 2020, 2022, 2024 . . . 

      . . . so long as the so-called right-to-lifers remain the useful idiots that they have been for the GOP. 

    2. Sorry, Mods, but that is really not true. Women, given a chance to see ultrasound images, or via counseling from no doubt well-intentioned people, do not typically change their minds about abortion.

      In the Los Angeles study linked above, and published in Obstetrics and Gynecology, only some of  the 7.4 % of women who came in feeling ambivalent about abortion decided not to abort, after viewing an ultrasound. The other 93% of women who were sure about their decision going in were still sure about it, even after seeing the ultrasound images.

      I know when I went to the clinic,  through the line of people who wanted to yell and bully me out of my decision, it emphatically did not change my mind to have people yelling "Murderer" at me.  So the only purpose of that would be for the Right to Life folks to feel self-righteous and holier than me, do a little venting, go home feeling proud that they shouted at a "sinner". Perhaps you all would feel happier if we just went all Taliban and brought stoning back.

      It's the same dynamic.

    3. So Moddy, thank God and the Constitution you still have the right NOT to have an abortion.

      The Constitution also guarantees that you can't impose Sharia Law upon the women of the U.S.

      Your conscience is not our problem.

    4. As a matter of convenience?  Wow, this pregnancy is really starting to make me late for meetings, I should terminate it.  I really wanted to wear these jeans to the party tonight, but the belt I want to wear with them doesn't quite fit.  Maybe I can get a quick abortion and only be a few minutes late to the soire.

      All of the women I know who have had an abortion faced what they explain to me was a heart wrenching choice.  And while I'm sure that not every woman who has one suffers both while making the decision and after, I haven't met one of them.

      Disagree with allowing women to choose an abortion if you must, but stop demeaning them by making the decision sounds as banal as whether to have a fruit cup or fries with lunch.

    5. Can you provide a citation that 99% of abortions are not rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother? Maybe that's true, I don't know.

      But let me ask you this: did my wife have an abortion when the not-planned-but-wanted-once-discovered pregnancy stayed at 6 weeks for 2.5 weeks and she took a pill to clear everything out? Because, to me, that was a miscarriage. 

      Of course, I am also in the minority that believe a woman should be able to do what she wants with her body at any time, and I absolutely belive that abortion is a woman's right and will never be convinced otherwise.

      1. @Moderatus,

        I just realized that if you do consider a miscarriage by prescription rather than D&C or letting the body clean it out, like what just happened to my wife and I, then please include that in your citation that 99% of all abortions are by conveince and not rape, incest, to preserve the life of the mother,

    6. You are a complete idiot if you think women need the government to teach them what's going on inside them or what having an abortion means. We don't need an ultrasound to understand what it means to be pregnant. And you are a complete idiot if you think women who have abortions take the decision lightly or that having an abortion is a day at the beach.  Forget the "ifs". You are an idiot. Period.

      If you really think abortion is murder then you must think that the women who have them should be tried for murder and sentenced accordingly along with the doctors who perform them and so should all who use the services of fertility clinics that dispose of unused embryos. You must think that the penalty should be no different than the penalty for killing a 6 year old or a 20 year old.  If not then you can't really claim to consider abortion as equal to the murder of a person who has been born. 

       If you do support treating it exactly the same with the same penalties, such as life in prison without parole or the death penalty (that would be rather ironic for "pro-lifers", wouldn't it?), then why don't you and your candidates say so?  Why is there always evasion when your side is asked what you believe should be the penalty for abortion once you get it banned? Because you're idiots. That's why.

    7. Nobody needs to convince you of anything jerk off.  You also believe tha your ego with it's billion thoughts about itself is indispensible to God and you will live forever.  You also believe that our government which you claim is the best in the world can't keep guns out of the hands of the criminally insane.  I on the other hand believe you are an accomplice to murder with your demands for no gun regulations and you can't convince me otherwise.

    8. OK Moddy- I absolutely believe that capital punishment is murder and that the other humans I killed during my walking tour of the sun and fun capitol of southeast Asia were murdered,even though they may have been trying to kill me.You'll never convince me otherwise. I'm generally astounded that wingers think( or maybe I'm just astounded that wingers think they think) that erecting a prohibition against the procedure will somehow end it.

      1. My husband was there, too. It's always good to have a view from someone who knows WTF being in real, rather than metaphorical, life and death situations means, what fighting for your life in a context other than athletes talking about play offs means. Thank you.

  5. 1)Everybody knows that the personhood amendment would NOT ban abortion in Colorado, unless Roe. V. Wade was completely overturned.

    2) This is a legislative ritual…….most republicans like to get their tickets punched…so to speak.

    3) the Republican who won in the special election "swing district" in Florida was radically pro-life, calling for the overturn of Roe and the abolition of abortion and still he won.

    1. Dwyer,

      1) I worked on both Personhood campaigns, and the people that run that amendment have a two-fold goal: A) drain Planned Parenthood resources; B) pass an amendment or bill that will generate a lawsuit in the hopes of overturning Roe v. Wade.

      2) I don't remember this bill being run before (not at least in the last decade), but correct me if I am wrong.

      3) As Phoenix Rising (I believe it was him/her) pointed out, the "swing district" had a 20% Democratic Party turnout versus a 40-50% turnout and the person won by a small majority.

      1. The seat had also been held by a Republican for the last 60 years and had a margin of victory of 40 percentage points as recently as 2010.  The fact that a Republican won it as a open seat by a narrow margin means nothing regarding national political trends.

      2. @Mr. Toodles,

        1) Of course the Personhood campaign has the goal of generating a lawsuit that will allow SPCOTUS to overturn Roe – that is why abortion will not be outlawed in Colorado by the Personhoold amendment until or unless Roe is overturned – that is exactly what I wrote….   Planned Parenthood is a or was a strong supporter of Democratic candidates. The repubs have been successfully attacking the financial foundations of PP, in many ways – outlawing direct funding of PP as well as restricting access to clinics, etc,  in order to reduce its ability to support Democratic candidates.

        2) The legislative tactic that the repubs have used successfully in the US Congress for twenty years is to SPONSOR either a bill or a constitutional amendment to outlaw abortion, that legislation is referred to a committee and it

        DIES in committee.  Republicans NEVER vote to outlaw abortion…they only sponsor bills… dems are still charlie brown with the football…..

        3) When personhood gets on the colorado ballot and it appears that it will,then I suspect that the bishops and other clergy will do exactly what they did in 2012 and say that the are "pro-life" but that this amendment is not the "way to go."…….and for various reasons they will not support it….nor will Beauprez or Garnder….  The amendment will energize the base, however….I suspect the bishops will say that Catholics don't HAVE to vote for the amendment….but they may if their conscience so dictates…..

        4)RE: the Florida loss, Mr. Toodles, I have another brilliant insight for you…..the Bronocs lost the Superbowl because they didn't make more touchdowns than the Seahawks.

        The dems failed to get their vote out because their vote did not WANT to turn out….it was not important to them that a democratic win..  The margin for the republican would have been larger if there had not also been a Libertarian candidate on the ballot that took votes away from the Republican.

        Romney lost in 2012 because he couldn't get his vote out.  The dems evidently believe that there are hundreds of thousands of democratic voters, just sitting there like frozen embyros, and all they have to do is "energize" them.  I don't think so.  I think the dems got out their vote in Florida.

        What is absolutely fascinating abour your comment is that you said you worked on the Personhood campaign twice.  Were you a true believer then and if so, what changed your mind?  Or, were you a "mole" collecting intelligence?  Either way, I would love to hear what motivated you.

        Finally, your wife did not take one pill, she would have had to take two…on a staggered schedule and she did not have a miscarriage, she had a medical abortion….abortion always "clears everything out."

        1. Consider this a meaningless and vindictive response if you will, but considering that the last No on Personhood campaign was four years ago,and campaigns are not long term jobs, there are other options than those you have restricted the choices to, you braying jackass.

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