PROMO 64J1 Health - Abortion Tablet Stethoscope - iStock - Zerbor

Groups gathering signatures for opposing abortion ballot initiatives in Colorado

© iStock - Zerbor
Joe Mueller

(The Center Square) – Two campaigns are gathering signatures to get ballot initiatives involving abortion on the November ballot.

Coloradans for Protecting Reproductive Freedom started a drive to gather the required 124,238 signatures to enshrine abortion in the state constitution. If Proposed Initiative #89 makes it on the ballot, 55 percent of voters must vote in favor to change the Colorado Constitution.

The Colorado Life Initiative is in the process of collecting the same amount of signatures to get a measure on the November ballot. Proposed Initiative #81, entitled the “Equal Protection of Every Living Child in Colorado” would protect “any living human being from the moment human life biologically begins at conception through every state of biological development until the child reaches emancipation as an adult.”

PROMO Politics - Election Ballot Box Hand Colorado Flag Vote - iStock - Niyazz

© iStock - Niyazz

Supporters of Initiative #89 used Monday’s 51st anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade to launch the campaign to get signatures of the required number of registered voters by April 26. Colorado law requires the initiative’s supporters to collect 2 percent of registered voters in each of the state’s 35 Senate districts.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling unconstitutional in 2022 in what is now called the “Dobbs case.” It left decisions regarding abortion rights up to the states.

Proposed Initiative #89 also repeals an initiative Colorado voters approved 39 years ago. Amendment 3, approved by 50.39 percent of voters in 1984, prohibited the use of public funds to be used for abortions and established a provision to allow the General Assembly to fund specific medical procedures if used to prevent the death of the mother or her unborn child.

“In 2024, Colorado voters recognize Amendment 3 has had discriminatory and harmful effects on state and local public employees and those enrolled in state sponsored insurance programs and their families,” the initiative's text reads.

Initiative #89 also would add the following to section 32 of Article II: “The right to abortion is hereby recognized. Government shall not deny, impede, or discriminate against the exercise of that right, including prohibiting health insurance coverage for abortion.”

Proposed Initiative #81, unofficially captioned by the legislative staff of the Secretary of State as “Protections for a Living Child,” would change Colorado law. Protections would include for “a living human child” not to be “intentionally dismembered, mutilated, poisoned, scalded, starved, stabbed, given toxic injections known to cause death, left to die of the elements for lack of warmth or nutrition, used for experimentation, or treated in any way inhumanely to cause intentional physical harm leading to intended death or intended to cause disability to otherwise healthy and functioning parts of the body of a child.”