Colorado and California are moving to codify abortion while waiting for the Supreme Court to hand down its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which could overturn or weaken Roe v. Wade.
What’s most concerning to pro-life groups is language in both measures that could potentially give legal cover for infanticide in cases of botched abortions.
On April 4, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed into law a bill that is one of the most aggressive abortion rights statutes in the country. HB22-1279 “declares that every individual has a fundamental right to use or refuse contraception; every pregnant individual has a fundamental right to continue the pregnancy and give birth or to have an abortion; and a fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent or derivative rights under the laws of the state.”
The law has no definable limits, which makes abortion legal until the moment of birth. And its use of the term derivative rights is left undefined.
In a letter to Gov. Polis, the American Center for Law and Justice wrote, “House Bill 22-1970 is yet another in a long line of bills to use these sorts of euphemistic terms, namely, ‘reproductive health equity,’ in an attempt to disguise the fact that it would strip an entire classification of human beings—preborn babies—of all dignity and human rights.”
The bill also states that no one can interfere with the “pregnancy’s outcomes,” which some have interpreted as potentially providing legal cover for infanticide if an abortion procedure goes wrong. Colorado remains the home of late-term abortionist Warren Hern, who runs an infamous Boulder clinic.
California is considering a similar bill that is even more problematic in its language.
Created by policymakers who are part of the “Future of Abortion Council,” the bill would add new language to AB 2223. According to the California Family Council, it would “shield a mother from civil and criminal charges for any ‘actions or omissions’ related to her pregnancy, ‘including miscarriage, stillbirth, or abortion, or perinatal death.’ Although definitions of ‘perinatal death’ vary, all of them include the demise of newborns seven days or more after birth.”
“For years, pro-life advocates have argued there is no moral difference between ending a child’s life days before birth or days after birth. California’s pro-abortion legislators now seemingly agree,” said Jonathan Keller, president of California Family Council. “A political culture that justifies killing millions of children in the womb is now declaring open season on unwanted newborns. Every Californian must oppose this heinous bill.”
Botched abortions are rare, but a reality.
In the third trimester of pregnancy, the abortion process has a much higher degree of failure. To abort a child late in pregnancy, the abortionist attempts to kill the child by injecting him or her with poison while the baby is still in the womb. Eventually, throughout a days-long ordeal, the mother will go through labor and give birth to what the abortionist hopes is a dead child.
A report from 2019 found that 40 babies, from Minnesota, Florida and Arizona, were born alive in the span of three years after failed abortions. There are no indications that any of these children survived.
Some pro-life groups believe the number is much higher than reported.
Photo: Ivan Kmit/Alamy