Proposed initiative to ban late-term abortions in Colorado fails to gather enough valid signatures

Colorado Senate defeats bill on abortion waiting periods
Posted at 7:16 PM, Apr 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-03 21:25:56-04

DENVER – Proponents of a proposed ballot initiative to ban abortions after the 22nd week of a woman’s pregnancy in Colorado fell about 10,000 valid signatures short of making the November ballot, the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office said Friday.

Proposed Initiative 120, titled “Prohibition on Late-Term Abortion”, returned 114,647 valid signatures of the 124,632 needed for the measure to make the ballot.

The group behind the initiative submitted 137,624 signatures. The Secretary of State’s Office conducted a 5% random sampling of the signatures, as it does with all signature drives, to project the verification level.

That number fell within the 90-110% percentage range of the necessary signatures, which kicked in a line-by-line signature verification.

Once officials went line-by-line through the batch of signatures, they found 114,647 were valid.

The proponents of the measure now have a chance to cure the insufficiency. After a district court judge’s order, they will be able to do so between April 12 and April 27.

The proposed measure would have made it illegal for a physician – or anyone – to perform an abortion or attempt to if a fetus’ probable gestational age is at least 22 weeks.

It included exemptions for if a woman’s life is at-risk but says that physicians would have to confer with one another before performing said procedure.

The measure said that anyone who broke the rule would be guilty of a class 1 misdemeanor, which would only be punishable by fine and not jail time. Physicians who performed abortions outside of the 22-week window would also face disciplinary action by the state medical board and a suspension of their license of at least three years under the proposal.

“Coloradans strongly believe that health care decisions belong between patients and doctors, without interference from politicians. There is nothing more simple, and more powerful, than each person’s ability to control their own body and to decide for themselves if, when, how, and why to have children. And the supporters of this effort need to recognize and respect that right,” said Cobalt President Karen Middleton.