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February 27, 2015 10:30 AM UTC

GOP's Self-Injurious Abortion Ban Bill Up Today

  • by: Colorado Pols

FRIDAY UPDATE: 9NEWS reports on the bill's eventual death Thursday on a 7-6 party line vote:

Thursday's bill was the second of three anti-abortion bills introduced this year. A bill to increase the regulation of abortion clinics was defeated in committee earlier this year. The third bill, banning partial birth abortions, is scheduled for committee debate next Tuesday.

HB15-1041 would make abortion unlawful with violations resulting in a class 3 felony. An exemption is made for the life of a woman, though exemptions for rape and incest are not included.

Testimony before the house judiciary committee was limited to three minutes due to the number of supporters and opponents signed up to testify…

When pressed by committee chair Rep. Daniel Kagan (D-Cherry Hills Village) about cases of rape and incest, supporters of the bill defended the non-exception saying that abortion often hides incest or causes the women affected to feel victimized twice.


Photo courtesy NARAL.
Photo courtesy NARAL.

The Colorado House Judiciary Committee is set to debate (and barring unforeseen circumstances, to kill) House Bill 15-1041 Thursday afternoon, the bill sponsored by a number of House and Senate Republicans to make abortion in Colorado a class 3 felony. It's the same essential language that Republicans introduce in most legislative sessions, including and preceding now-U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner's bill to impose the same penalty on doctors who perform abortions in 2007.

A press release from NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado recounts the effort that organization is making, as in previous years, to ensure that the bill not only dies, but politically damages Republicans who sponsored and enabled it:

For the second time in two weeks, anti-choice legislators are wasting time in the General Assembly with HB 1041, yet another “personhood” bill that would ban all abortion and many forms of birth control. This comes after Colorado voters defeated a personhood measure by landslide margins in 2014 for the third time. The bill will be heard in the House Judiciary Committee Thursday afternoon…
In 2014, the voters of Colorado overwhelmingly reiterated a belief that they had previously declared in 2012, 2010 and 2008: they believe women have the right to make their own personal, private medical decisions about abortion and that abortion bans are wrong. This is a mainstream value held by the vast majority of Coloradans for decades.
The will of Colorado citizens is clear: they want to focus on the economy and other  issues currently affecting our state. Colorado voters appreciate the work being done to reduce the numbers of teen and unintended pregnancy by over 40% and in turn reducing the number of abortions by over 30%, but access to safe and legal abortion is still a necessity for many women.

As everyone knows, this legislation has absolutely no chance of passing the Democratic-controlled House Judiciary Committee today, nor would it pass the House if it made it to the floor–and maybe not even the GOP-controlled Senate, where we have to think there is a moderate Republican vote left to stop a felony abortion ban bill. And of course, Gov. John Hickenlooper would veto it in the worst case. These simple realities have made even some Democrats complacent about opposing–and as a result, publicizing–continuing Republican efforts to ban abortion in Colorado.

Morally and politically, that's a huge mistake. In last year's elections, the principal response to Democratic attacks over reproductive choice from Republicans was that the "war on women" was overblown. Cory Gardner morphed from the sponsor in the Colorado legislature of the same felony abortion ban up for debate today to a supposed "champion" of access to birth control who had only voted for hypothetical abortion bans. Gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez, who in 2006 had promised to sign a total no-exceptions abortion ban as governor, tried to claim last year that he would not do anything of the kind. Republican surrogates and the Denver Post's editorial board told voters flat-out not to worry about abortion rights.

Well folks, what if Bob Beauprez had won? What if Republicans had picked up just a couple more House seats, and 2014 abortion ban co-sponsor Brian DelGrosso was now Speaker of the Colorado House? We're not talking about big margins in either case. If Democrats aren't out there every day extracting maximum damage from the GOP for these bills, reminding voters every time how close last year's elections were, and pushing back on the GOP's insistence that the "war on women" is mythical with this irrefutable proof that it is not mythical at all…if they're not doing that, they're not doing their jobs. And they'd be missing a priceless opportunity.

Because in addition to being politically expedient, making these bills costly for Republicans at the ballot box is the only way to make them stop.


51 thoughts on “GOP’s Self-Injurious Abortion Ban Bill Up Today

  1. I use to think that the Dems should simply refuse to engage in debate over these bills, simply let the GOP members talk, then call the vote and PI the bill. But you're right, they're rich opportunities for photo ops for '16 campaign commercials. There's usually a good chance that one of the morons will say something memorable, like "buyer's remorse," "legitimate rape," or my personal favorite from this week, the guy in Idaho talking about have women swallow tiny cameras to view in utero development!    

    1. Frank: the comment about the Idaho state rep & swallowing cameras has been taken grossly out of context. He is definitely an anti-abortion/anti-contraception kind of guy. But one should read the entire dialogue. 

      1. What context is needed to clarify that this guy is completely ignorant of reproductive biology, yet unstopped in his zeal to restrict it via legislation? 

  2. Got to love my Party and its continuing fixation on female anatomy and female body functions. But let's be intellectually honest here. Why is this bill even introduced? Because the grassroots of the Party was hijacked some years ago by the religious right and THEIR fixation on controlling women by banning abortion and most forms of contraception. Read my Party's platform sometime. It's full of contradicting statements, like a section on religious freedom and a section supporting personhood. Candidates are expected to follow this piece of crap, which just happens to violate the section of the US Constitution on no religious tests to hold public office.  

    Thank you for participating. This vent is now concluded.    C.H.B.

      1. Calling one's self a libertarian while voting for and defending slimeball Republicans is one of the great cop-outs of our age. You're not the only one who pulls this but it's bullshit. You're either irrelevant or you're faking it. Which is it?

        I'm a proud true blue Democrat and that's the way I vote. Why can't you own up to your votes? Your votes are GOP.

          1. Something else you can blame on the liberal media. I'm old enough to remember 1976 presidential election when the network maps had Ford/Dole in blue and Carter/Mondale in red. Somewhere along the line, the colors were swapped.


        1. JeffcoBlue writes: "slimeball Republicans……."  The law creating the EPA; plus the National Environmental Policy Act; Endangered Species Act; Clean Water Act; the law banning DDT; all were signed into law by Richard Nixon. Focusing ONLY on these great environmental laws that are continually under attack by far right wing, big-money interests, I assume that Nixon is also a slimeball. And, since the signing of the Wilderness Act in 1964, the president who signed the most wilderness bills into law was Ronald Reagan; of course, another "slimeball" in JeffCo Blue's eyes. 

          1. These are all valid points, C.H.B. – and I'm stlll awaiting a response from my Open Letter to Chairman Call.  President's (the good ones) are always going to be a mixed bag.  I'm loving so many things Obama is doing right now, although the TPP and continuing to give Wall Street a pass give me great pause.  What Reagan gave us in wilderness bills he took away from us via the Laffer Curve.  In all deference to BC, David's mom is an absolute gem; I was a guest at her home when I was in Honolulu lobbying the hemp legislation there last month and we talked about why she hadn't changed her affiliation.  She's a pro-environment, pro-choice, pro-marijuana legalization Republican and smart as a fricking whip.  She said that after a lifetime of affiliation (and her positions on women, the environment and marijuana aren't a result of an 'evolution') she believed her voice was important and needed in the party, although she is only one of about three R's in the Hawaii House and the others are bat-shit crazy.  I can understand her perspective and value her steadfastness in not wavering on her positions, no matter how hard the nutters come after her.  She is really a special lady – if my own mom had gone in to politics, she'd be just like Cynthia.

          2. Those Republicans are ancient history now. What you like to call real conservatism is ancient history now. You and the past Republicans you cite are no longer operational in this, the 21st century GOP landscape.

                1. I left early…mostly what I heard was just politspeech…he knew he was in hostile territory at the Bagel group table, so he was quite talkative..

                  I cannot think how a conversation between he and I could be informative, enjoyable, rewarding, etc., so I came home and started a load of laundry…much more interesting and it will produce a useful result, unlike a dialog between Scott and I…

              1. For functioning in today's political landscape, why bother? The people you see in office across the country and in Congress who call themselves conservative are the only ones that matter in the here and now.They define conservatism today and they are fully in charge politically.They are fully in charge of the GOP. Nostalgic "real" conservatives are simply quaint, misguided, possibly delusional.

          3. CHB — all the things you list happened 30 – 40 years ago, so inadvertently, you've confirmed JeffcoBlue's dismissal of today's Republicans.

            What significant GOP legislative achievements can you think of in the past 5 years that you are proud of?

            Sure, I mock and disparage many Republicans myself.  I'm not proud of the fact that I'm reduced to disrespecting a large portion of our citizenry.  But when so-called responsible elected officials act like clowns, it is hard not to treat them that way as well.

            Respect is earned, and oh how I would love to show respect to the other side.  BTW, I have Republican, Independent and Libertarian friends and family.  They do have my respect, even if we disagree on politics and how to solve today's issues. 

              1. Blue Cat:  "Headbanger just can't handle the truth……."  Look further than the tip of your nose so that you can escape the liberal fog.     😉

                1. No fog in my world.  I know what  today's versions of liberal, moderate and conservative, Republican and Democratic You refuse to accept that the rules an definitions have changed. The political landscape you insist on dwelling in is a foggy dream landscape peopled by long gone ghosts. These aren't real conservatives, you're always saying. I am.  Well dear, they're the real ones now.  The only ones that matter. Things change. Hot dogs aren't a nickle anymore either, old soul.

            1. Davie:  GOP legislative achievements of the past 5 years……..

              Let's start here. Passage of Hermosa Creek wilderness bill in 2014, House sponsor Rep. Scott Tipton (R-CO)

              Proclamation of Browns Canyon National Monument in 2015. Original backer was former Rep. Joel Hefley (R-CO)

              Passage in 2014 of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore wilderness bill. House sponsor Rep. Dan Benishek (R-MI)

              You can visit Conservation Colorado's legislative scorecards for the past few sessions to find out more.

              1. Yeah, right:

                Obama should "cut it out," said Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo. "He is not king. No more acting like King Barack."

                Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., said he was outraged by what he called "a top-down, big-government land grab by the president that disenfranchises the concerned citizens in the Browns Canyon region."


                And Hermosa Creek hasn't been enacted because Tipton loaded it up with poison-pill amendments (sound familiar?). 

                Sorry CHB, all ya got is Sleeping Bear, a little sliver of dunes on Lake Michigan that was already protected.

                  1. AJB: you're behind the times. Hermosa was enacted. And the bulk of those poison pills got removed. Also, wasn't necessarily Tipton's doing. Suggest you research to see who the #1 and #2 guys were, at that time, on the House Resources Committee. Tipton was a junior member.

                    Did you bother to research Republican legislator grades for the past few sessions in Conservation Colorado's scorecards? Or are you just into spouting here? I'll offer that Blue Cat needs to do the same; and did you bother to check out the web sites I listed?   C.H.B.

                    1. Grasping at straws. Look at the bills that get top priority as soon as Republicans take over a house or legislature here in Colorado, including recently, or in any other state.

                      Of course you can always find something to throw out there just like Rs can always a find a few African Americans to put on their podiums and always will as long as the percentage of African Americans aligning with Dems isn't 100%.  It's insignificant. You're pathetic party is what it is. Your wing of the party isn't even a wing any more. More like a single feather. And your counter to ajb isn't much of a counter. Not necessarily? Take that, ajb!

                      Weak tea, buddy. 

                      PS. Just to please you and not because Idon't know most of what I'll probably foind there i'll check your links, OK?

                    2. OK. Checked all your links and didn't see any evidence that a majority of R elected pols are on board with any of it. One link did mention 5 (wow) specifically.

                      A group can call itself Republican Majority for Choice but the elected Republican pols who support choice with their votes is next door to nothing while the proportion that vote for every anti-choice bill and every restriction that comes down the pike is almost, and in many cases, all.

                      Come on. I never said there weren't any Rs who are concerned about conservation or support choice. Just not enough, if any, serving in elected office to be anything other than an insignificant exception to the rule. Weak tea, my dear.

  3. So it was a party line vote? There isn’t a single mod-cons Repub on Judiciary? I remember the days when Marcy Morrison, bill Kaufman and Gary McPherson provided some sanity on GOP

    1. Eactly. Headbanger's Republican Party no longer exists and isn't coming back any time in the foreseeable future. He's just going to have to get used to it, like R36 has.

      1. Fully agree, BlueCat.  The party of my grandparents, parents and early adulthood is gone and isn't likely to come back anytime soon (if ever).  I do appreciate those who are the 'stick in the eye', standing for those true Republican principles and vote their conscience in spite of the backlash they suffer: they are as scarce as hens teeth battling those who are as worthless as teats on a boar hog (that's all the farmyard eupheisms I'll bestow upon you today).

        1. To be clear, Republican individuals exist who meet the traditional description but no Republican pols of that description are available for them to vote for. There aren't any, or at least not enough to have any influence, in elected office any more or even making it through primaries. Sadly, the traditional Republican voters who haven't left the party mainly vote for the candidate with the R and have no idea that most Dems are not the frothing at the mouth far lefties the spin machine tells them Dems are, but almost exclusively no farther left and more often to the right of Eisenhower.

          Dems have done a really lousy job of countering GOTP propaganda out of political cowardice, afraid of looking like lefties being mean to Republican pols. The Dem party today is far more like the majority true moderate (left leaning by today's standards only) Republican party of yesteryear, the one that still existed when so many of today's Republican voters first registered.

          1. I couldn't agree more on the political cowardice and your other points as well.  They are there, there just isn't enough of them to make any practical difference in the outcome of the discourse.  Did you catch the latest Republican cause du jour today?  They have all suddenly seen the light on the utter failure of cannabis prohibition.  Jeb "we're just like everybody else" Bush  and Teddy "Green Eggs and Ham" Cruz have jumped aboard.  Any politician who can't grow a pair over this issue, should be removed from office.

  4. Once again, our elected Rs demonstrate that, despite what they say about the economy and jobs being their top priority and Dems being divisive to try to make it about choice, the economy and jobs are nowhere near their top priority. This stuff is.

    Dems keep letting them get away with it because Dem pols are spineless and think if they criticize Rs on economic issues everyone will think they're too (horrors) liberal. Never mind we have decades of proof that conservative economic policy has always been a complete failure for the overwhelming majority while putting more in the hands of the majority via living wages, as the unions did back in the day, really does lift all boats.

    Rs don't want to lift all boats. The only Darwinism they accept is fabricated "social' Dawinism where only a few get to the top and everyone else deserves to live like losers. They believe the top .1% and their top 1% lackies deserve to lord it over everybody else because they won.

    The late 20th, early 21st century crop of Rs also want to control everyone's religious and moral choices. After all, you can't let the loser majority be in charge of anything, not even their own lives and bodies. Money is speech and those with the most deserve to set all the rules. That's what being a 21st century Republican and Conservative is all about. Benghazi. Freedom. Blah, blah, blah.

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