(Feb. 27) – The last of many House GOP bills to diminish women’s reproductive rights and limit personal medical decisions was killed in committee today by House Democrats on a party-line vote.
Not once but twice, Colorado voters have resoundingly rejected proposed amendments to the state constitution that sought to outlaw abortions by conferring “personhood” on fetuses. Surveys continue to show most Coloradans have no interest in imposing government in the middle of the relationship between a woman and her doctor.
Even so, when the 2013 session rolled around Rep. Stephen Humphrey (R-Severance) introduced a full abortion ban without even an exemption for victims of rape and incest, and Rep. Janak Joshi (R-Colorado Springs) brought a bill attempting to impose “personhood” by legislation. Finally, today Rep. Lori Saine (R-Dacono) brought a bill to prohibit sex-preference abortions. One problem with this legislation is the burden lies on a woman to prove her reasoning for getting an abortion, again infringing on women’s personal medical decisions.
“When a woman decides to get an abortion, it is a personal and painful decision, and not one taken lightly,” said Rep. Su Ryden (D-Aurora), chair of the State, Military & Veterans Affairs Committee where the bill was heard. “Legislation banning abortion based on the reason for the abortion turns a doctor into an interrogator, undermining the provider patient relationship.”
Rep. Saine said her bill targeted Asians, saying there are more men being born in that particular population than others. She provided no evidence this is an issue in the U.S. or Colorado.
“There is zero evidence this is a problem in Colorado,” Rep. Dominick Moreno (D-Commerce City) said. “This is simply an attempt to limit a woman’s reproductive rights masked as a fix to a problem that doesn’t exist.”
Rep. Joe Salazar (D-Thornton) was particularly concerned with the possible discriminatory reasons behind the bill.
“The sponsor says this is a problem in Asian communities, so would Asian women be subject to discriminatory interrogation when seeking medical attention?” Rep. Salazar said. “She said she did not reach out to anyone in these minority communities and not one person from those minority communities she targeted testified in favor of the bill.”
Rep. Ryden questioned the intent behind the numerous Republican abortion bills.
“It’s a mystery why Republicans keep trying to defy the expressed will of the people of Colorado,” she said. “Why don’t they trust women to make their own medical decisions? I hope that this is the last time we see these attacks on women, but somehow, I doubt it.”