More than 130 medical professionals have signed a letter in support of a proposed late-term abortion ban for the state of Colorado, which will be voted on in November.
Known as Proposition 115, if passed by voters, the measure would ban abortions after 22 weeks into a pregnancy, with the exception for life-threatening medical emergencies for the mother.
The open letter, officially released last Friday, states that there is “no doubt that the 22-week fetus is fully alive and fully human.”
“With advances in medical science, it has become obvious that the fetus is much more than ‘just pregnancy tissue,’ as some would claim,” the letter says.
“There can be no equivocation that the fetus is a living, learning and actively participating human being. Every one of these lives has inherent value and dignity. They deserve to be embraced and protected by the citizens of Colorado, as equal members of our society.”
The doctors also said that when “the pregnancy itself places the mother’s health at risk after 22 weeks, we know that delivery of the baby is safer and quicker than a multi-day abortion procedure.”
“We do not believe that any of the challenges a woman faces after 22 weeks of pregnancy necessitate the senseless destruction of a human life,” they argued.
In April 1967, Colorado became the first state in the country to legalize abortion, passing a bill that allowed for abortion in certain circumstances and with the approval of a three-doctor panel.
At present, Colorado does not have any legal restrictions on late-term abortion, although the state does require parental notification for minors and that a licensed doctor perform the procedure.
The Due Date Too Late campaign, a pro-life group, launched an effort known as Initiative 120, later renamed Proposition 115, to ban late-term abortion in the state.
In June, the secretary of state’s office confirmed that the campaign had collected enough valid signatures to get the measure on the November ballot.
To qualify for the ballot, pro-life advocates had to get at least 124,632 verified signatures in support. Due Date Too Late ended up getting more than 153,000 confirmed signatures.
The doctors’ statement in support of Proposition 115 comes several days after around 120 faith leaders signed a letter expressing opposition to the ballot measure.
The letter, posted Sept. 8 on the website of the Interfaith Alliance of Colorado, included controversial Lutheran pastor Nadi Bolz-Weber among its signatories.
“It would allow politics to dictate personal health decisions that should be made by a woman and her family in consultation with her healthcare providers,” it read in part.
“As faith leaders rooted in our vision of a better and more just world, we cannot remain silent when politicians and groups attempt to infringe upon the inherent rights of others, especially when they use their interpretation of their religion as justification to do so.”