The State Senate Democrats in the Colorado abandoned a NARAL-supported bill that would have banned “interference with an individual’s reproductive health care decisions” after Denver Archbishop Samuel Aquila led a rally with more than one thousand pro-life activists on the steps of the statehouse Tuesday.
The SB 175 bill, also known as the “Reproductive Health Freedom Act,” would have helped in “strengthening the precedent that was established under Roe v. Wade,” and prevent legislators from enacting further restrictions on abortion, according to Think Progress.
But the bill was hastily withdrawn Wednesday before it could come to a vote.
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After hearing that the bill had been abandoned Aquila tweeted “Lift up your hearts in gratitude to God, SB 175 died today. Blessings on everyone who prayed & contacted legislators! Stay involved!”
Although Democrats have a one-seat majority in the state Senate, fears arose that the bill would not pass after Senator John Kefalas (D-Fort Collins) – who had initially cast the deciding vote for the legislation in committee – expressed his misgivings, citing the huge public outcry.
Kefalas, a Catholic, says that he supports “a woman’s right to make a decision,” but that he “had concerns about the outpouring that I heard from folks.”
In an interview with a local news station Kefalas said “I’m not sure if it’s the best tool for conveying the message which we wish to convey, which is that as Democrats, as with many people, [think] government should stay out of these things,” also adding “I’m also listening to folks that are reaching out to me.”
The Senate had planned to vote on the bill Tuesday during the rally but the vote was delayed when Kefalas went home sick. However, after he voiced his concerns publicly, the vote was postponed until May 8th. That effectively killed the bill because the legislative session ends on May 7th.
The bill stated that: “The state, its agencies, institutions, or political subdivisions, or any unit of local government shall not enact any policy that denies or interferes with an individual’s reproductive health care decisions.” It would also have forbidden interference with an individual’s access to “current evidence-based scientific data and medical consensus.”
However, after passing by just a one-vote margin (4-3) in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, the bill stirred enormous opposition from pro-lifers, who said that it would block any future attempts to regulate abortion clinics, require parental notification before abortions were performed on minors, or force abortionists to show women ultrasound images of their babies so they could make an informed decision on whether to abort.