Colorado bishops urge Coloradans to vote yes on late-term abortion ban in November

Archdiocese of Denver

The bishops of Colorado have issued the following letter regarding Initiative 120, the late-term abortion ban that will appear on the ballot in November.

On June 8, with bipartisan support, the people of Colorado acquired enough signatures to ensure that the late-term abortion ban (currently referred to as Initiative 120) is on the November ballot.

We, the bishops of Colorado, implore Coloradans — especially the Catholic faithful — to vote for the late-term abortion ban during the November elections. We are placing the late-term abortion ban under the patronage of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, “Mother Cabrini,” given her role in helping orphaned children and immigrants in Colorado.

We ask Mother Cabrini to intercede on behalf of all the families and children directly impacted by abortion, and for the success of the effort to prohibit late-term abortion.

Colorado is one of seven states in America that has no restrictions on the gestational age of a child for an abortion. This means that in Colorado unborn children can be killed at any moment up until birth. Most states in America have imposed restrictions on abortion at 20 weeks’ gestation or at viability of life outside the womb. Colorado is far behind other states in protecting the lives of the unborn.

Ending the legal protection for abortion is the most important political objective of Colorado Catholics because these children are deprived of their right to live. While the late-term abortion ban will not ban abortion entirely, it does protect children who are older than 22 weeks’ gestation. This is a positive change from the status quo and promotes a “culture of life” that values unborn children. It is a step in the right direction.

The Church teaches, and human reason based on the findings of science affirms, that human life begins at conception. The Church objects to abortion on the moral principle that each and every human life has inherent dignity, and thus must be treated with respect due to a human person. This is the foundation of the Church’s social doctrine. There has never been or will be a legitimate need to abort a 22-week-old baby in the womb.

It is our duty as faithful Catholics and Coloradans to take advantage of this unique opportunity to address Colorado’s unjust law and scale back abortions by limiting them up to 22 weeks. This requires your participation by voting YES for the late-term abortion ban on the November election ballot.

Mother Cabrini, pray for us.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Samuel J. Aquila
Archbishop of Denver

Most Reverend Jorge Rodriguez
Auxiliary Bishop of Denver

Most Reverend Stephen J. Berg
Bishop of Pueblo

Most Reverend Michael J. Sheridan
Bishop of Colorado Springs

COMING UP: Colorado late-term abortion ban will officially be on the November ballot 

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Colorado late-term abortion ban will officially be on the November ballot 

Initiative 120 qualified by successfully gathering over 150,000 signatures 

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It’s official: Colorado voters will have the opportunity to ban late-term abortion in the state later this year. 

The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office announced Monday that the Due Date Too Late campaign collected enough signatures for Initiative 120 to make the November ballot. Secretary of State Jena Griswold notified the Initiative 120 Committee that after a line-by-line count, 153,204 signatures have been verified and the effort to take the issue to Colorado voters in November 2020 has succeeded. 

“I am overjoyed to hear that so many Coloradans have signed the petition to successfully place Initiative 120 on the November ballot,” said Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila, who expressed his support for the initiative early on. “Protecting children in the womb is an essential part of building a society that treats all life, no matter its age or ability, as sacred. God has given each person a dignity that comes from being made in his image and likeness, and the degree to which our laws reflect that will be the degree to which we experience true freedom and happiness.” 

The desire to change the culture of death in Colorado is real,” said Deacon Geoff Bennett, Vice President of Parish and Community Relations at Catholic Charities of Denver. “We have seen strong bipartisan support with the signature collection effort… During this pandemic Colorado has become a destination place for those seeking abortions from other states. 

According to the Secretary of State, the campaign initially submitted over 137,000 petition signatures of which only a little over 114,000 were determined to be valid signatures. However, during a two-week cure period granted after falling short, over 400 volunteers worked diligently and collected another 48,000 signatures by May 28, nearly five times the amount sought during the cure period. Of those signatures, 38,557 were validated.    

“This is an incredible victory for Due Date Too Late and our dedicated volunteers, who worked tirelessly to ensure that Coloradans will have the chance to vote to save lives from late-term abortion in November,” said Lauren Castillo, spokesperson for the Due Date Too Late campaign. The numbers handed in are indicative of the overwhelming support for Initiative 120 and we are prepared and excited for the next step in the campaign.  

If passed, Initiative 120 would restrict abortions after 22 weeks of pregnancy in the state of Colorado, with the only exception being if the mother’s life is at risk. Under Initiative 120, a person conducting the abortion could be subject to having a medical license suspended and would be subjected to a fine, but it wouldn’t impose a penalty on the woman receiving the abortion. Colorado is one of several states in the country that allows unborn babies to be aborted for any reason up to birth. 

This is a great opportunity to limit the assault on children in the womb,” Deacon Bennett added. “Colorado has allowed the killing of the unborn up until birth since 1967. 

In 1967, Colorado was the first state to eliminate abortion restrictions and it remains a destination for late-term abortions just as Deacon Bennett stated. However, this could change if state residents vote to restrict abortion laws by passing Initiative 120, in the November ballot 

Featured image by Christian Bowen | Unsplash