“This would result in unimaginable fetal pain and suffering,” she said. “Sometimes a poison is administered before the (dilation and evacuation) which causes intense nausea, retching, pain, and delirium before the fetus dies over a period of minutes to hours--sometimes as long as 24 hours.”
“Late term abortions generally take 2-4 days to complete and a delivery can be accomplished in as little as 30 minutes,” she said.
“The late term abortionist Warren Hern instructs his patients to anticipate ‘kicks’ for hours after the feticide is administered,” Day continued. “When the digoxin fails to kill the baby during the first attempt, the poisoning is repeated. This is a very traumatic experience for the woman and cruel e inhumane for the baby. We don't even treat animals this way.”
“If a preborn baby at 22-weeks can survive outside the mother’s womb, there’s no reason to kill her inside the womb,” said Day.
The Catholic bishops of Colorado asked voters to support the ban in a June 30 letter and placed the ballot measure under the patronage of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, also known as Mother Cabrini, who aided orphans and immigrants in her time in Colorado.
“Ending the legal protection for abortion is the most important political objective of Colorado Catholics because these children are deprived of their right to live. While the late-term abortion ban will not ban abortion entirely, it does protect children who are older than 22 weeks’ gestation. This is a positive change from the status quo and promotes a ‘culture of life’ that values unborn children. It is a step in the right direction.”
If the ballot measure becomes law, doctors would face a three-year license suspension for performing or attempting to perform an abortion of an unborn child beyond 22-weeks of gestation. Women would not be charged with seeking or obtaining an abortion.
In 1984 Colorado voters passed a constitutional amendment banning public funding of abortions except to prevent the death of the mother. In 1998 they passed an initiative requiring parental consent and a waiting period for minors who seek abortions.
Other measures have not succeeded. The 2008 and 2010 Colorado ballots included two Personhood initiatives, which tried to define a person under state law to include every human being from the moment of fertilization or “from the beginning of biological development.” The 2008 proposal won under 27% approval from voters, while the 2010 proposal received under 30% of votes.
For Day, these efforts were part of “a complex argument that would have prohibited all abortions,” a goal which Coloradans did not approve. She characterized Prop. 115 as “a modest restriction after fetal viability when the baby can survive outside the womb if born prematurely.”
“This is when a majority of Americans agree that unrestricted abortion is too extreme,” she said.
(Story continues below)
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Another pro-life group, Colorado Right to Life, was a backer of the Personhood initiatives but rejects Prop. 115. It was a longtime state affiliate of the National Right to Life Committee, a national pro-life organization established with the support of the U.S. Catholic bishops in 1968. However, the Colorado affiliate broke from the national organization in 2007 over philosophical differences and the Colorado group’s criticism of a partial-birth abortion Supreme Court decision.
A spokesperson for Colorado Right to Life told CNA the group opposes “regulating the killing of the innocent” and “emphatically opposes passage of this and every abortion regulation.”
“Everyone should know that regulating which fetus can be killed and which fetus cannot be killed further erodes the public's understanding of inalienable rights,” said the group. “Abortion regulations typically say that abortion is ‘illegal except’…” which in the group’s view violates “God's enduring command, ‘Do not murder’, by re-authorizing abortion.”
Day, however, said she thinks “the vast majority of the pro-life community is behind us.”
“Colorado Right to Life has opposed all legal maneuvers that don't totally ban abortion,” she said. “Coloradans have tried this approach before and failed.”
“We are promoting a restriction on abortion that will save between 400 and 500 babies each year,” she told CNA. “We are hoping that Colorado Right to Life will lower their criticism of this important proposition. They are welcome to join our movement at Due Date Too Late.”