Dems squash anti-abortion bill, offer new bill to address unborn deaths

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DENVER — Legislation that would have allowed Colorado prosecutors to bring homicide charges related to the death of the unborn, which opponents viewed as an attack on legal abortion, was voted down in swift fashion Monday afternoon.

The measure from Rep. Janak Joshi, R-Colorado Springs, was unchanged from last year, when it passed the GOP-controlled House only to be killed by the Democrat-controlled Senate.

With Democrats in charge of both chambers this year, everyone knew that House Bill 1032 wasn’t going anywhere — an no one was surprised when the House State, Veterans and Military Affairs committee voted it down Monday on a 4-7 vote.

But Democrats are poised to push ahead with their own measure that will give prosecutors a way to bring charges related to the death of unborn children without threatening a woman’s right to choose.

Rep. Mike Foote, D-Lafayette, and Rep. Claire Levy, D-Boulder, introduced legislation Monday that will substantially broaden the set of circumstances involving the “unlawful termination of a pregnancy.”

The Crimes Against Pregnant Women Act is most easily understood by focusing on its title — the changed statute would allow prosecutors to file charges for the criminal conduct that results in the loss of a pregnancy without creating a separate class of unborn victims.

Unlike with Joshi’s measure, the crime is against the woman carrying the child, not the unborn; the difference is significant in offering prosecutors an option to file additional charges related to the loss of a pregnancy without addressing the issue of “personhood.”

The legislation dropped just as a new survey from Project New America and pollster Chris Keating was released that shows nearly two-thirds of Colorado voters support a woman’s right to choose.

Only nine percent of respondents don’t believe that abortions should be legal in any circumstance.