Colorado lawmaker gets some support after abortion comment
The Associated Press
DENVER — A Republican lawmaker under fire for an abortion comment got some support Tuesday from a fellow Republican who publicly disagreed with the GOP’s response.
Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt, R-Colorado Springs, has apologized for remarks he made after a Colorado woman was accused of cutting an unborn child from her mother’s belly.
Klingenschmitt said the attack was God’s curse on the country for tolerating abortion.
A former Navy chaplain, Klingenschmitt made the comments on a personal weekly video he records called “Pray In Jesus’ Name.” After the comments made headlines, Klingenschmitt was denounced by fellow Republicans and removed from a post on the House Health, Insurance and Environment Committee.
On Tuesday, another Republican said that Klingenschmitt shouldn’t be removed from a legislative position because of something he said on his own time.
Rep. Justin Everett of Littleton said he doesn’t agree with Klingenschmitt’s comment, but the punishment means lawmakers are having speech rights curtailed.
“We are solely accountable to citizens who elected us,” Everett said. “It is not the role of leadership of either party to punish just to do damage control or save face.”
Everett’s comments came a day after a fellow Colorado Springs Republican Sen. Owen Hill called on Klingenschmitt to resign. Hill called the abortion comment “antithetical to the Christian gospel.”
Klingenschmitt insisted he won’t resign and said he worries about a precedent being set by his removal from a committee.
He said he didn’t think speech on his own time would be penalized.
The Republican turmoil in the House chamber passed quickly, as lawmakers from both parties rose to applaud a team of first responders who helped Michelle Wilkens, whose unborn child did not survive after being cut from her belly.
“Thanks you for reminding us that there’s still good in the world,” said Rep. Jonathan Singer, D-Longmont.
The woman accused of the attack, Dynel Lane, faces charges including unlawful termination of pregnancy.
In the Colorado Senate, Republicans have said they plan to introduce a bill giving Colorado a crime of fetal homicide.
A ballot measure that would have created such a law was rejected by Colorado voters last year amid concerns the measure could have impacted abortion rights.
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