A Colorado initiative that would ban abortion at 22 weeks of pregnancy moved one step closer to appearing on the 2020 ballot when the state’s title board ruled Wednesday the proposal deals with a single subject as required by law.
Colorado is one of only seven states that don’t restrict late-term abortion, according to USA Today and the Guttmacher Institute.
The state’s title board OK’d the initiative, although it still could face legal challenges. Supporters must collect more than 124,000 signatures.
It includes an exception to save the mother’s life if she is threatened by a “physical disorder, physical illness or physical injury.” The proposed initiative explicitly does not include exceptions for “psychological or emotional conditions.”
A clinic in Boulder, Colo., specializes in late-term abortions.
“This is not a theoretical argument for us. This a very home-based issue,” said Suzanne Staiert, an attorney for supporters of the initiative.
The initiative says there is “substantial medical evidence that an unborn child is capable of experiencing pain by 22 weeks gestation.”
Additionally, unborn babies at 22 weeks can survive if given the chance, the proposed initiative says.
“Modern medical science has the ability to treat a child who is born alive at 22 weeks gestation,” it reads. “And these children survive in hospitals across the nation. The state of Colorado and the people of Colorado have a compelling state interest in protecting the lives of children who feel pain and who can survive outside the womb.”
Late-term abortion doctor Warren Hern, who works at Boulder Abortion Clinic, said the initiative could prevent him from performing several hundred abortions each year.
“I'm the collateral damage,” Hern said, according to the Associated Press. “The target is the freedom and health and welfare of women.”
Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com.
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