Mike Coffman Abortion and Rape Exceptions: Current Abortion Legislation in Colorado

When a reporter asked Mike Coffman, the Republican candidate for Senate in Colorado, about rape exceptions for abortions, the politician responded that he is "not focused on social issues." Coffman is known to personally be pro-life, but do his views represent his state's when it comes to "social issues" like abortion?

Colorado

On Colorado’s November ballots, voters will answer questions on the legalization of recreational marijuana and limits to corporate campaign spending. But they will not, much to Personhood USA’s chagrin, vote on a state constitutional amendment “to extend protection of life to ‘all human beings at any stage of development.’”

After failing to win voter support in 2008 and 2010, the group decided to try again. After Planned Parenthoodfiled a complaint to keep the proposed amendment off the ballot, claiming the initiative was misleading to voters because it did not explain the full intent of the amendment” and lost in Colorado Supreme Court, Colorado Personhood collected over 100,000 signatures. But Secretary of State Scott Gessler discounted nearly 24,000, leaving them nearly 4,000 short of the required 86,105 valid signatures. The question was thus denied inclusion on the ballot. The Colorado Personhood Coalition filed a lawsuit against the state at the end of September, but it would still have been too late to get the question on the ballot this year. If they win the suit, it can appear on ballots in 2014.

The Colorado legislature considered several abortion-related legislations this year. In one, “a person who hurts a pregnant woman and causes her unborn child's death or injury would face additional charges” to those levied for injuring the woman. Unlike a previous iteration of this bill, the 2012 version did not distinguish itself from personhood legislation. This bill was supported by Colorado Right to Life. Another would “require hospitals to notify patients of procedures they won’t provide because of moral or religious objection” and inform the patient they could receive these services elsewhere.

In 2000, voters rejected the “Consent to Abortion Act” that would have instituted state-directed counseling and a 24-hour waiting period. In 2003, Colorado adopted the Parental Notification Act which requires providers notify parents of girls under 18 seeking abortions. 

Additionally, according to NARAL Pro-Choice, Colorado’s “‘bubble bill’ should protect you from harassment outside an abortion clinic. A person who approaches within eight feet of another person without his/her consent within 100 feet of a health care facility or knowingly impedes another person’s entry or exit from a health care facility, commits a misdemeanor under Colorado state law.”

Editor's Note: With 5 days left until the presidential election, PolicyMic's Audrey Farber will be posting a daily update on the state of abortion rights in the U.S., covering legislative challenges to Roe v. Wade in all 50 states. 

So far, we've gotten updates on: Arizona, New Mexico, UtahWyomingNorth DakotaSouth DakotaNebraskaKansasOklahomaTexas, Louisiana ,Arkansas, MissouriKentuckyMinnesotaIllinoisIowaMississippiMichiganIndianaAlabama,OhioFloridaGeorgiaD.C.South CarolinaNorth CarolinaVirginia and MarylandPennsylvaniaDelawareNew JerseyNew YorkWisconsinConnecticutVermont,  Massachusetts & Rhode IslandMaine & New Hampshire. Check back in every day to keep track!