Democrats squash GOP bill to restrict Colorado abortion providers

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DENVER -- In what has become an annual tradition at the Capitol, a Democrat-controlled committee Thursday again voted down a GOP proposal seeking to establish personhood and impose new restrictions on abortion providers.

House Bill 1128, modeled after laws passed by Republican legislatures in Texas and other states that effectively regulate clinics out of business,was voted down after five hours of testimony.

One Republican, Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt of Colorado Springs, joined Democrats on the House Health, Insurance and Environment Committee in voting against the measure, although he did so for a different reason -- the bill, in his mind, didn't go far enough to ban abortion altogether.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Patrick Neville, R-Castle Rock, would have required the licensing of family planning clinics in Colorado; required them to meet, and in some aspects exceed, standards for ambulatory surgery centers; and required the clinics to be staffed by physicians with admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles – effectively closing any rural clinic more than 30 miles from a hospital.

“Coloradans voted in 2008, 2010 and 2014 – and by lopsided margins each time – to keep the state government from intruding into the private relationship between a woman and her doctor,” said Rep. Beth McCann, D-Denver, the committee's chairwoman.

“This bill would deny access to health care for many of Colorado’s women.”

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