Colo. considers near-ban on abortions
DENVER – Calling it “the civil rights issue of our generation”, freshman Sen. Scott Renfroe on Monday asked state lawmakers to outlaw nearly all abortions in Colorado.”Today’s aborted baby is the black slave of our history. When will we stop turning our heads and hiding behind the word choice?” Renfroe said at the beginning of the proposal’s first hearing at the state Capitol.Opponents and supporters were out in force, but were being given only an hour each to speak about the proposal (Senate Bill 143).The Greeley Republican had pledged to support an abortion ban during the campaign and said he had modeled the proposal after one passed in South Dakota last year. Voters later rejected it.Renfroe’s bill bans abortions except those to save the life of a mother. It also redefines when pregnancy begins. Current law says that it begins when a fertilized egg is implanted in a woman’s uterus but Renfroe’s bill states that it begins at fertilization.A coalition of abortion rights groups and Democratic lawmakers said the focus should be on preventing unwanted pregnancies, including providing information about emergency contraception, rather than outlaw abortions.Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald said there is a movement to “rob every woman of the right to make fundamental choices over her body.””We fought for it, we have it and we will not compromise on it,” Fitz-Gerald said at a rally on the Capitol’s west steps.Also Monday, the House Health and Human Services Committee unanimously approved a measure (Senate Bill 60) that would require hospitals to tell rape victims about the availability of emergency contraception.Rep. Anne McGihon, D-Denver, amended the measure to allow pharmacies to post a sign if they don’t keep the drug in stock. She said that would allow pharmacists to adhere to their religious beliefs if they don’t want to provide the drug.
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