(Feb. 11) – Two particularly extreme pieces of anti-choice legislation were once again rejected by House Democrats in committee this afternoon.
HB16-1007, by Rep. Janak Joshi, R-Colorado Springs, would have expanded legal personhood to fertilized eggs. Personhood amendments have failed by wide majorities in three statewide votes in Colorado, most recently in November 2014. The bill was postponed indefinitely by an 8-4 vote in the Business Affairs & Labor Committee with Rep. Kit Roupe, R-Colorado Springs, excused and Rep. Dan Thurlow, R-Grand Junction, siding with Democrats.
“It’s time that radical extremists learn that what a woman does with her body is none of their business,” said Rep. Angela Williams, D-Denver, Chairwoman of the Business Committee. “This assault on a woman’s right to choose is offensive and has shown time and time again to be against the will of the people. Isn’t it time we focus on priorities like job creation, our transportation system and quality education instead of fighting the same battles of the past?”
HB16-1113, by Rep. Stephen Humphrey, R-Severance, would have banned all abortions in Colorado, except when a woman’s life is at risk, and changed the definition of pregnancy from implantation to fertilization. There was no exception for rape or incest. The bill was rejected by a 7-6 party line vote in the Health, Insurance & Environment Committee.
“This bill would impose the opinions of a few politicians on every woman in Colorado,” said Rep. Beth McCann, D-Denver, Chairwoman of the Health, Insurance & Environment Committee. “I strongly believe that decisions like this should be left to a woman, her family, her faith and her physician. This is no place for the government to step in.”
“Under this bill, I could be thrown in prison for providing care to a woman in a life-threatening situation,” said Dr. Aaron Lazorwitz, an obstetrician-gynecologist from Aurora. “The ambiguous language in this bill could place every woman in Colorado at risk should she have a complication with a pregnancy.”
“Slavery is repugnant, and to use it in this context is unacceptable,” said Rep. Janet Buckner, D-Aurora, after a witness made comparisons between slavery and access to abortion during the testimony phase.
House Democrats made it clear from opening day of session that they would continue to defend the rights of women.
“These attacks on women’s health will not be tolerated,” Speaker of the House Dickey Lee Hullinghorst, D-Boulder, said in her opening day speech.