Proponents submit signatures for a Colorado initiative to ban abortion after 22 weeks gestation

Due Date Too Late, sponsors of Colorado Initiative 120, reported submitting more than 137,000 signatures on Wednesday to qualify the measure for the November ballot. To qualify, 124,632 valid signatures are required.

The initiative would prohibit abortions after a fetus reaches 22 weeks gestational age. Colorado is one of seven states (and Washington, D.C.) that do not restrict abortion after a certain point in a pregnancy. Under the initiative, performing a prohibited abortion would be a misdemeanor punishable by a fine except in cases where an abortion is required immediately to save the life of the pregnant woman. Medical professionals who are found to have performed a prohibited abortion would have their medical licenses suspended by the Colorado Medical Board for at least three years. A woman who has a prohibited abortion could not be charged with a crime under the initiative.

Measure sponsor Erin Behrens of Due Date Too Late said, “We are going to put a very reasonable limit of 22 weeks, which is about five months into pregnancy. And we think that this reasonable limit will pass overwhelmingly in Colorado, and we will finally be brought into the 21st century. We will finally be among all the other states that have reasonable limits, and we will finally not be the late-term abortion capitol of the United States.”

Dr. Warren Hern of the Boulder Abortion Clinic said, “These people have no concern for the health and welfare of the women we are helping. This is anti-abortion madness carried to a logical extreme.”

Ballotpedia identified one committee registered to support the initiative: Coalition for Women and Children. According to reports that covered through December 31, 2019, the committee reported $39,696 in contributions and $5,905 in cash expenditures. The largest donor the support committee was Donald Hood, who gave $10,000. Ballotpedia identified one committee registered to oppose the initiative: Abortion Access for All. The committee reported contributions of $30,000 (all from the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado) and expenditures of $60.

Four measures are currently certified to appear on the November ballot in Colorado:

  • An initiative to amend the Colorado Constitution to state that only a citizen of the U.S. can vote in federal, state, and local elections, instead of the existing language that says every citizen of the U.S. can vote;
  • An initiative to reintroduce gray wolves on public lands;
  • A referendum on whether or not to join Colorado into the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact; and
  • A bond issue for transportation funding.

A total of 108 measures appeared on the statewide ballot in Colorado during the 20-year period between 1999 through 2019. Forty-two percent of the total 108 measures were approved.

Additional reading:
Colorado 22-Week Abortion Ban Initiative (2020)
Colorado 2020 ballot measures