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Colo. voters to decide on late-term abortion ban in November referendum

Colo. voters to decide on late-term abortion ban in November referendum

Executive Director of Alternatives Pregnancy Center Janet Lyons points to a plastic replica of a fetus at twelve weeks which is used to show women who come into the center to find out if they are pregnant and what the stage of growth looks like, in Waterloo, Iowa, July 6, 2011. | REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi

Colorado voters will soon get to decide whether to pass a pro-life measure that would ban most late-term abortions.

Known as Initiative 120, the proposed measure would ban abortions after 22 weeks into a pregnancy, with an exemption for life-threatening medical emergencies.

On Monday, the secretary of state’s office confirmed that the Due Date Too Late campaign had collected enough valid signatures to get the proposed measure on the November ballot.

In order to qualify for the ballot, pro-life advocates had to get a minimum of 124,632 verified signatures in support of the initiative. The campaign ended up getting over 153,000 confirmed signatures.

Lauren Castillo, spokesperson for the campaign, said in a statement released Monday that the inclusion of the measure on the November ballot was “an incredible victory.”

“… our dedicated volunteers … worked tirelessly to ensure that Coloradans will have the chance to vote to save lives from late-term abortion in November,” Castillo said.

“The numbers handed in are indicative of the overwhelming support for Initiative 120 and we are prepared and excited for the next step in the campaign.”

Morgan Carroll, chair of the Colorado Democratic Party, denounced the proposal to end late-term abortion, calling it a “cruel, calculated proposed ballot measure.”

Carroll said, “120 allows for no exceptions for cases of incest, rape, fetal diagnosis, or domestic violence, and is just another attempt to take away a Coloradan’s ability to control their own body."

In April 1967, Colorado became the first state to legalize abortion, passing a bill allowing it in certain circumstances and with the approval of a three-doctor panel.

Presently, Colorado does not have any restrictions on late-term abortion, although the state does require parental notification for a minor and that a licensed doctor perform the procedure.

Earlier this year, the Colorado House of Representatives killed two bills that would have banned late-term abortion and required doctors to provide medical care to babies born alive after an abortion.

Both bills died in the Colorado House Veterans and Military Affairs Committee following hours of debate and testimony in which the abortion procedure was graphically described.

In 2008, Colorado voters overwhelmingly defeated a proposal, known as a “Personhood Amendment,” which would have legally identified a fertilized egg as being a person.

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