Next stop for life, the Supreme Court

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Deacon Geoff Bennett is Vice President of Parish and Community Relations at Catholic Charities in the Archdiocese of Denver, including the Respect Life Office.

It is inspiring to see states across the country significantly restrict abortion this year, primarily by banning the destruction of life within the womb once a fetal heartbeat is detected. These laws are also a challenge to Roe v. Wade, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that nationalized the question of abortion and legalized the subsequent killing of tens of millions of babies.

Advocates of abortion and defenders of life are on a collision course at the Supreme Court. The only morally acceptable outcome to this issue is to outlaw abortion and to embrace the gift of life. The battle is rapidly intensifying. Any advocates for life standing on the sidelines need to join the fight with their voices and their votes. There is no room for complacency.

And while some would like to paint this as a purely partisan issue, consider that Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, recently signed a fetal heartbeat abortion ban in that state.

Meanwhile, consider how emboldened abortion activists have become in recent years. Have you ever seen someone on a power trip? I know I have, and they are people who think they are the smartest ones in the room. If they were half as smart as they thought, they would be dangerous. Unfortunately for children about to come into this world, they are dangerous. I’m talking about those people who  have taken it upon themselves to decide if a child should live or die.

Ever since Roe v. Wade, we’ve seen people debate where to draw the line on killing a child in the womb. Should the life of the child be terminated prior to detecting a heartbeat, before the child can survive outside the womb, or maybe just prior to being born? The bottom line is that we are talking about killing a human being out of convenience. But even being born may not protect a child from a mother’s choice of life or death.

Science has proven what those in the pro-life movement have always known: The child in the womb is a unique human being, never to be duplicated. Some abortion supporters have now crossed the line into advocating for infanticide. They argue that it is a woman’s choice — even after birth. So, what we have now is the mother being given the role of judge and jury, with a doctor enrolled as executioner.

Explaining his support of a proposal to loosen abortion restrictions, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam was asked in January about a woman going into labor who desires a third-trimester abortion. Northam, a pediatric neurologist, said, “The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired. And then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother,” according to a video.

That discussion would be about whether mom wants the baby to live or die.

As of this writing, the U.S. House of Representatives has refused at least 50 times to vote on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.

And just when you think that our elected officials (those who think they are the smartest ones in the room) can’t say anything more foolish, we have Alabama state Rep. John Rogers. During debate over the abortion ban in that state, he said, “Some kids are unwanted, so you kill them now or you kill them later. You bring them into the world, unwanted, unloved. Then you send them to the electric chair. So, you kill them now or kill them later,” according to a video.

Who is qualified to make the decision that anyone is “unwanted” and should be killed? I challenge even those who support abortion to stand up and condemn these misguided and callous politicians. When is this kind of rhetoric going to have consequences? Are these the type of people we want representing us?

COMING UP: Late-term abortion ban reaches signature goal

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Late-term abortion ban reaches signature goal

Volunteers gathered nearly 50,000 signatures for Initiative 120 within two-week cure period

Aaron Lambert

In a final push, supporters of the initiative seeking to prohibit abortions after 22 weeks in the state of Colorado have gathered enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot.

During a two-week cure period granted after falling short of required signatures to get Initiative 120 on the ballot, over 400 volunteers worked diligently and collected over 48,000 signatures by May 28, nearly three times the amount sought during the cure period. The Due Date Too Late campaign spearheaded the charge to gather signatures with support from Catholic Charities’ Respect Life Office and other pro-life communities across the state.

“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.”

Initiative 120 would prohibit abortion in Colorado after 22 weeks, with an exception for the life of the mother. According to a recent Gallup poll, 74% of Americans believe that there should be limitations on late term abortion. Due Date Too Late submitted the bulk of the needed petition signatures in March but fell short 10,000 signatures after review by the Secretary of State. The cure period began on May 15, with Due Date Too Late needing to collect those 10,000 additional verified signatures of registered Colorado voters during the 15-day cure period to meet the 124,632 threshold and qualify for the November ballot.

“We are thrilled to take this next step towards protecting lives in Colorado by exceeding our goal of signatures we are turning into the Secretary of State,” said Lauren Castillo, spokesperson for the Due Date Too Late campaign. “We are thankful to have this opportunity to work together with communities across the entire state of Colorado. The hundreds of volunteers we have who are so passionate about ending late-term abortion are helping to make this a reality.”

Due Date Too Late will be turning in the notarized packets containing almost 50,000 signatures on May 29 at 2 p.m. to the office of the Secretary of State to assure that the ballot initiative will meet the statutory threshold.

The field collection effort by Due Date Too Late went forward amid a recent executive order by Gov. Jared Polis regarding how petition signatures may be collected. Under Gov. Polis’ order, he declared that ballot initiatives could gather signatures electronically in response to the coronavirus pandemic; however, Initiative 120 was the only ballot initiative that wasn’t allowed to collect signatures electronically because it was in a cure period.

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story stated over 30,000 signatures were being turned in, based on the information that was available at the time of publication. The actual number is closer to 50,000. The story has been updated to reflect this fact.