Battle Joined: Planned Parenthood vs. Cynthia Coffman

MONDAY UPDATE: NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado weighs in:

Karen Middleton, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado today questioned whether Colorado Attorney General candidate Cynthia Coffman could fairly represent the state’s voters and women after a video surfaced showing Coffman boasting that she helped deny funding for women’s health care.

A video of Cynthia Coffman, an announced candidate for Colorado Attorney General, shows her bragging to a group of Republicans in 2010 that she “was the attorney for Jane Norton when she went to court to take away funding for Planned Parenthood of the Rockies (sic).”
“Colorado has spoken several times on this issue. Voters have said clearly, loudly that they do not want government to make decisions that women should make in consultation with their families, their friends, their doctors and their faith,” said Middleton.

“This is the 21st century and women are capable of making a decision that is best for them, not denying health care services to those who most need them,” Middleton continued…

“Colorado voters have twice gone to the ballot and overwhelming said that we do not tolerate extremists on this issue. So who is Cynthia Coffman representing when she brags about denying health care services for women? It doesn’t seem like she’s on the side of the overwhelming majority of Colorado,” concluded Middleton.


In response to a post Wednesday on this blog, featuring video of GOP Colorado Attorney General candidate Cynthia Coffman boasting of her work to "defund Planned Parenthood" in this state, Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado sent out this press release yesterday making an issue of it:

DENVER—On election night in 2012 election, voters ousted politicians who ran on the campaign platform that included the promise to “defund Planned Parenthood,” resulting in an 18 percent gender gap, the largest since 1952. Yet we already have a candidate in Colorado who is repeating this same path and in doing so, using women’s health as her political pawn.

According to, Cynthia Coffman, who worked on Jane Norton’s 2010 bid for Senate, proudly boasted, at a campaign event, that she and Norton had “defunded Planned Parenthood.”

Coffman has now declared her intention to run for the Colorado Attorney General’s office, which begs the question – is this candidate in touch with the values of Coloradans?

Norton’s move to defund Planned Parenthood resulted in 13,000 mostly rural women losing complete access to their basic health care needs including access to life-saving breast cancer screenings and contraceptives.  Norton touts this move, which completely marginalizes the women of Colorado who relied on these services for their basic health care needs, as a success in her career.  Throwing women under the bus and calling it a political win is bad policy, bad politics, and clearly yet another move by a gynotician.  Gynotician is a term used by women’s health care advocates to denote a politician who feels more qualified than women and their doctors to make women’s health care decisions.


Cynthia Coffman: “We Defunded Planned Parenthood”

Back during the 2010 GOP U.S. Senate primary, candidate Jane Norton faced an uphill (and ultimately unsuccessful) battle for the right wing of the party against Weld County DA Ken Buck. Buck appealed to social conservatives early in this race with his strident rhetoric against abortion–even volunteering unbidden that he opposes abortion even in cases of rape and/or incest.

In response, Norton made much of her work as director of the Colorado Department of Health under former Gov. Bill Owens to "defund" Planned Parenthood. This wasn't enough to put Norton over the top in 2010's GOP Senate primary, as you know–and some argued that campaigning on defunding Planned Parenthood was waiting to backfire on her during the general election, much as Buck's view on the issue wound up damaging him. After all, in the mid 2000s, abortions made up only about 3% of Planned Parenthood's services–with contraception, STD treatment, and cancer screening accounting for the vast majority of the organization's work (see chart upper right).

As it turns out, Norton had help on the 2010 campaign trail telling Republican primary voters about her efforts to "defund" Planned Parenthood. Check out this video from the North Denver Candidate Search 2010 Forum, hosted by "Tea Party" groups Revive Our American Republic, the Denver/Front Range 9.12 Project, the Broomfield 9.12 Project, and the now-defunct People's Press Collective


Colorado: Less Purple, More Blue, And No Stopping It

The Fort Collins Coloradoan's Patrick Malone put out an excellent, in-depth look at the state of Colorado politics looking ahead to 2014 this weekend, as well as a summary of Democratic gains made in this state since 2004–and prospects for continued success in a state whose demographics have permanently changed in the last two decades. A few excerpts, but make sure you click through and read this whole story:

Voter behavior provides the most obvious evidence. Electors in 2006 banned gay marriage, rejected civil unions by another name and turned down a measure to legalize marijuana.

Fast forward to 2012, when polls showed 65 percent of Coloradans favored allowing civil unions for gay couples, and 55 percent of voters approved an initiative to legalize recreational marijuana.

Add Democrats’ most prosperous decade of election performances in a half-century, and it is undeniable that the longtime swing state has become a bluer shade of purple, longtime observers of Colorado politics agree…

“People are fleeing states like California, big cities like Detroit and Chicago, and coming to Colorado, for the promise of opportunity and outdoor recreation, and importing their politics,” said Ryan Call, chairman of the Colorado Republican Party.

He doubts the demographic advantage that the liberal ideology enjoys today is sustainable. Call predicts newcomers to the state will eventually grow disenchanted with the policies of the Democrats they elect.

Another Republican, retired professor Bob Loevy who served on the reapportionment commission in 2011, doesn't agree with Colorado GOP chairman Ryan Call.

“Fifty years ago, the backbone of the Republican Party was upper-class people with good educations that mostly lived in the suburbs — old-timers called them ‘Eisenhower Republicans,’ ” Loevy said. “They sustained the party for years. Under the (President George W.) Bush administration, emphasis on those key social issues began driving upscale and well-educated people out of the Republican Party. This was particularly true of their children. That’s the main reason, in my view, for the decline of the Republican Party in Colorado.”

There's plenty here for our readers to discuss. Let us say again that the emphasis on social wedge issues Loevy talks about above continues apace in today's Republican Party, where despite warnings of long-term peril, politically suicidal abortion bans and killing overwhelmingly popular immigration reform measures dominate the agenda. The battle over gun safety bills this year, and the fallout as Republicans dump money and emotion into "making an example" of circumstantially vulnerable Democrats, won't be enough to reverse this larger and more fundamental problem the Colorado GOP has created for itself. As with these other issues where Republicans planted their flag, there is simply not enough of a base to overcome the demographic sea changes occurring all around them. In fact, as the face of Colorado's electorate changes, these "strengths" become liabilities.

As we've said, we don't know what the road back to a majority for the GOP here is. There may not be one.

BREAKING: Amy Stephens Being Courted To Challenge Udall

FRIDAY UPDATE: The Hill's Alexandra Jaffe reports on our scoop:

According to local news site, Republican strategists in the state are urging [Stephens] to run in a race that currently lacks any likely GOP contenders…

The purple tint of Colorado has given some Republicans hope they'd be able to mount a challenge against Udall in 2014, but he maintains high popularity in the state and has posted strong fundraising numbers so far this year, sitting on $2.5 million for his reelection fight at the close of the first quarter. 


Rep. Amy Stephens (R-Focus on the Family).

Rep. Amy Stephens (R-Focus on the Family).

The so-far fruitless search for a Republican to challenge incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Udall next year continues. We last reported that GOP Rep. Cory Gardner will not run against Udall, leaving the field open for wide-ranging speculation about various possible opponents–including former Rep. Bob Beauprez, Treasurer Walker Stapleton, former Gov. Bill Owens, and even freshman state Sen. Owen Hill. None of these candidates seem particularly resonant, but that's the state of the troubled GOP bench these days.

Sources tell us this bleak picture may be about to change: former Colorado House Majority Leader Amy Stephens of Colorado Springs is being courted by GOP strategists to run against Udall. Stephens is a former Focus on the Family public policy "specialist," who wrote two abstinence-only sex-ed school curriculaSex, Lies & the Truth, and No Apologies. As House Majority Leader, Rep. Stephens played a major role in the killing of the 2012 civil unions bill, which without extraordinary action by Republican leadership would have passed with bipartisan support.

Stephens' generally solid right wing credentials are somewhat complicated by her on-again-off-again sponsorship of the legislation that created Colorado's new health insurance exchange, a major component of "Obamacare" nonetheless favored by many business interests. It will be interesting to see, should Stephens decide to run for U.S. Senate, how that plays with the GOP base. To her credit, she did survive a primary challenge from Rep. Marsha Looper that was largely based on Stephens' support for this bill.

Bottom line: Stephens has an enormous amount of wedge-issue baggage, and on balance there's little to suggest there she would be any more competitive against Sen. Udall than any of the other names that have been mentioned (or already declined). That said, her resume, institutional support on the Christian right, and relatively clean slate in terms of public opinion–this is a nice way of saying she has no name ID–could make the race more interesting than, say, Bob Beauprez would make it.

New Coffman® “Strongly” Opposes Old Coffman

A sidenote to this week's passage in the U.S. House of H.R. 1797, a GOP-sponsored bill to restrict abortion rights, helpfully brought to our attention by a reader. Following the vote on H.R. 1797 Tuesday, Rep. Mike Coffman of Colorado put out a statement attempting to explain his vote in favor of this abortion ban bill:

I voted today in favor of H.R. 1797 to limit late term abortion.  I strongly support the exceptions for rape, incest, and protecting the life of the mother that have been included in this legislation. [Pols emphasis]

As has been reported in this space and elsewhere, this represents a major shift in Coffman's stance on abortion. Back in 2009, Coffman was so eager to make sure his hard-line position on abortion was known that he requested this clarification from former local talk-show host Dan Caplis:

Dan, I would deeply appreciate it if, during your show, you could state that I wanted to make sure that my position was clear, unequivocally, that I oppose abortion in all cases of rape and incest. [Pols emphasis] I believe that all life is equally sacred irregardless of how it came into being.

You'll recall that Rep. Coffman has explained his "change of heart" on another issue, immigration reform, by saying he spoke with affected families–especially noncitizen soldiers in the American armed forces. Of course, the fact that Coffman's formerly beet-red district was remade into one of the most competitive districts in the nation is widely accepted as the true reason for Coffman's shifting stances on the issues.

In 2011, Coffman co-sponsored a bill to restrict abortion funding to cases of "forcible" rape along with Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri, a bill now embarrassingly prescient of Akin's career-ending remarks about "legitimate rape" and pregnancy. Coffman's 2009 statement that he "opposes abortion in all cases of rape and incest" was unequivocal. What happened to change his mind this time, other than simple political calculation?

Because you only get so many "changes of heart" before they put your face on an Etch-a-Sketch.

Colorado House Republicans Unite…To Pass Abortion Ban


The House Tuesday passed a bill that would ban most abortions nationwide after 20 weeks. The most far-reaching abortion legislation in the House in a decade, it was passed 228-196, mostly along party lines.

The vote is largely symbolic: The bill will be dead on arrival in the Senate. And the White House has already threatened to veto the “fetal pain” legislation, which is based on the controversial assertion that a fetus can feel pain at that stage of development…

Anti-abortion Republicans are hoping to capitalize on public outrage about Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell’s murder trial, which captured national headlines. Franks’s original bill was crafted to outlaw late term abortions in Washington, D.C., and it failed in the House last year under a procedure that needed a two-thirds vote for passage. But the Gosnell verdict sparked outrage and reinvigorated activists, and a few days after the conviction Franks broadened his legislation to apply nationwide.

Opposing it, Democrats supporting abortion rights are stoking liberal anger over the “war on women” and chiding the GOP for spending its time on a divisive social agenda instead of focusing on jobs. They said the bill is unconstitutional and distracting.

The Los Angeles Times has response from Democrats including Rep. Diana DeGette of Denver:

“I thought we had established this last fall with the election. Americans are tired of Congress taking up extreme and divisive legislation targeted at women’s health,” Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) said at a news conference before the vote. “Many of our Republican colleagues don’t seem to have gotten that message.” [Pols emphasis]

A recent Gallup poll found that Americans’ views on abortion had changed little after the Gosnell trial, with 78% saying it should be legal under certain circumstances, compared with 20% who said it should be illegal in all circumstances.

All four Colorado House Republicans, Reps. Scott Tipton, Mike Coffman, Cory Gardner, and Doug Lamborn voted for this abortion ban bill. Rep. Lamborn went a fully expected step further and signed on as a co-sponsor. Take note of Rep. Tipton vote for this bill, as he has usually shied away from abortion controversies during his time in office, and could face a woman opponent in 2014–making this a vote that could come back to haunt him. Perhaps even more interesting is Rep. Coffman's vote in favor–not that it's all that surprising, since Coffman was a co-sponsor of Rep. Todd Akin's "legitimate rape" bill, 2011's H.R. 3. But this was an opportunity for Coffman to include reproductive choice in the slate of issues he is "reinventing" himself around, setting himself up as the moderate swing-district New Coffman®.

But much like his recent vote against DREAMers, Old Coffman appears to be the "decider." And as for the very good advice given to all Republicans after 2012's defeats, to steer clear of base-pleasing but otherwise self injurious social wedge issues? Now you have their answer, folks.

At Least He’s Not Your Muzzled Congressman

Buh-bye now.

Buh-bye now.

Politico follows up with Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona, whose Todd Akin-like comments about the likelihood of pregnancy resulting from the crime of rape resurrected the "War on Women" meme this past week during debate over the GOP's latest abortion restriction bill in the House.

Rep. Trent Franks’s (R-Ariz.) bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks nationwide now includes an exception for rape and incest after his remarks about rape and pregnancy created an uproar.

And it’s not Franks’s bill anymore — or more precisely, he won’t be managing his own bill when it goes to the House floor Tuesday. He’s being replaced with a high-profile House GOP woman. [Pols emphasis]

A spokesman for Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) confirmed Friday to POLITICO that she’ll be managing the debate, and that the bill is being changed to include the new exception…

On the one hand, yanking control of this bill from Rep. Franks and giving it to Rep. Marsha Blackburn makes, well, obvious political sense. On the other hand, Rep. Franks' comments underscore the kinds of Republican presumptions about the issue of abortion that have made it such a liability in the last few election cycles–with a permanent, or at least enduring, loss of support from women and wedge-issue agnostic independent voters. Here in Colorado, the 2010 U.S. Senate race was largely decided based on the GOP Senate candidate's repellent views and prior statements about rape and reproductive choice. And then came Paul Ryan.

In the end, this may be a problem that Republicans can't solve. They are stuck in the thrall of a shrinking but powerful segment of voters for whom the issue of abortion is an irrational litmus test. That's why the House is debating this totally symbolic abortion bill, DOA upon passage, to begin with. They don't really have a choice.

We await the next Todd Akin…

Two Personhood-Backed Measures Could Appear on 2014 Election Ballot

(Seriously? How many votes will it cost them this time? – promoted by Colorado Pols)

Personhood activists are gathering Thursday night in Highlands Ranch to launch their petition drive to put a so-called fetal homicide measure on the 2014 election ballot.

The initiative would protect “unborn human beings” under the Colorado criminal code, thus allowing for the prosecution of those who commit crimes against “unborn human beings.”

The phrase “unborn human beings” is not defined, leaving open the possibility that all stages of human development, from zygote (fertilized egg) through the end of pregnancy, could be considered by courts as “people” and receive legal protections under Colorado law.

This approach, which mirrors a bill introduced by GOP Rep. Janak Joshi in the Colorado Legislature this year, has been criticized by abortion-rights advocates as a back-door abortion ban, because it could give a fetus legal status and open the door for criminal charges against doctors who provide abortions. Others have claimed it could even justify the murder of abortion providers


Republican Party Purge Underway–But Not In Colorado, Folks

Politico reports today:

Republicans and Fox News are moving to purge the controversial political creatures they created.

Both were damaged badly in 2012 by loud, partisan voices that stoked the base — but that scared the hell out of many voters. Now, the GOP, with its dismal image, and Fox News, with its depressed ratings in January, are scrambling to dim those voices. To wit:

Fox ousted contributors Sarah Palin and Dick Morris, two of the most obnoxiously partisan figures on the network’s air.

Karl Rove, himself sidelined by Fox after the election, has helped start a new super PAC, the Conservative Victory Fund, designed to keep controversial conservatives like Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) from winning Senate primaries.

Senate GOP leaders created what amounts to a buddy system with their caucus’s most popular tea party members, Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas, to get their help in taming anti-establishment conservatives.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has been running around the country warning anyone who will listen that Republicans must quit being the “stupid party” that nominates nutty candidates.

This is reportedly more aftereffects of the Republican Party's many defeats in 2012, and further acknowledgement of something we've been warning Republicans in this state for many years: the extremists in the Republican party have become the face of the party, and as a result the GOP has entered a phase of what could be terminal decline as they continue to alienate the broad American center. Candidates like Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock in 2012, who lost otherwise entirely winnable U.S. Senate races after exposing themselves as horrifying throwbacks on the issues of rape and abortion, are symptoms of the same problem that resulted in the nomination of Weld County DA Ken Buck in 2010–who went on to narrowly lose his Senate race after being exposed as a throwback.


The Republican News Conference that Wasn’t

(promoted by PCG)

Republicans sitting on the State House's Health Insurance and Environment Committee apparently didn't hear the post-election groaning of Josh Penry, Rob Witwer and others as they begged Republicans to be more inclusive and tolerant.

They voted 6-5 (party line) today against killing a measure that would have banned nearly all abortions in Colorado, with no exception for a woman raped by her father, for example.

Reporters groping for evidence of a post-election move to the middle by Colorado Republicans should look elsewhere. In fact, this legislation shifts the Colorado GOP further to the right on abortion than it's been in years. 


A GOP “Move To The Middle”–Wouldn’t That Be Nice?

UPDATE: The New York Times had an interesting story over the weekend about the GOP "establishment" throwing down the gauntlet with the "Tea Party" in 2014. We've discussed this on many occasions in this space, but it bears repeating: Republican attempts to kill their own Frankenstein is the gift that keeps on giving for Democrats.

We want to acknowledge a well-intentioned editorial from The Denver Post on Friday, titled "A move to the middle for Colorado Republicans?" As our long-time readers know, this blog has accurately narrated for many years now as the Colorado Republican Party has alienated itself from the state's present and future majorities, with results increasingly undeniable in the form of five consecutive electoral defeats since 2004–even in years where the national political trends were strongly with Republicans, as was the case in 2010. We've been accused of celebrating this alienation, but the truth is, our warnings to the GOP have been sincere, and the consequences we have witnessed can very arguably be considered objectively bad. As Republicans have lost touch with the voters of Colorado, and lost elections, an honest representative viewpoint for conservatives in our politics–a viewpoint still very much prevalent among many of our state's citizens–has been undermined.

In the Denver Post's editorial Friday, a reported incremental change of heart on the part of a few Republican lawmakers on the ASSET legislation for undocumented students is celebrated as a "years overdue" "migration to the middle." They express hope for more such "migrations," on issues like civil unions for gays and lesbians, and (though they note it is unlikely) reducing gun violence. A truly moderate GOP, says the Post, might "be a voice for many Coloradans who hold centrist views that fall on the GOP side of the spectrum."

We want to be clear, as we have said so many times over the years, that we too would welcome a genuine move to the center by Colorado Republicans. We think that, partisan advantage notwithstanding, most Democrats would prefer to have less-unhinged conversations about the issues facing our state.

So it is really too bad that we have to pop the Post's bubble now.


Video: GOP Sen. Scott Renfroe on Roe v. Wade

We received this video clip last night, but didn’t have time to post it. The talk of the Capitol yesterday, here’s GOP Sen. Scott Renfroe’s…memorable moment of personal privilege from the Colorado Senate well marking the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, mourning “55 million babies that never had the chance to breathe air,” and regretting that America has become a nation where we “give parents the power of life and death over their children.” Often times we transcribe these clips, but in this case, you’ve got to watch it to, as Robert A. Heinlein wrote, “grok the fullness.”

It seems to us that Senate President John Morse knew what was coming as Renfroe strode toward the mic, and the enthusiasm in his voice as he granted Sen. Renfroe his moment of personal privilege was, um, evident.

It bears repeating that for the first time, nationwide polling shows majority support for legal abortion.

Rep. Janak Joshi: Trust Me, I’m a Physician! *

WEDNESDAY UPDATE: A commenter points out statute that Rep. Janak Joshi may have in fact violated by identifying himself as a “physician” after being forced to surrender his medical license:

12-36-106. Practice of medicine defined – exemptions from licensing requirements – unauthorized practice by physician assistants and ansthesiologist assistants – penalties – rules

(1) For the purpose of this article, “practice of medicine” means:

(a) Holding out one’s self to the public within this state as being able to diagnose, treat, prescribe for, palliate, or prevent any human disease, ailment, pain, injury, deformity, or physical or mental condition, whether by the use of drugs, surgery, manipulation, electricity, telemedicine, the interpretation of tests, including primary diagnosis of pathology specimens, images, or photographs, or any physical, mechanical, or other means whatsoever;

(b) Suggesting, recommending, prescribing, or administering any form of treatment, operation, or healing for the intended palliation, relief, or cure of any physical or mental disease, ailment, injury, condition, or defect of any person;

(c) The maintenance of an office or other place for the purpose of examining or treating persons afflicted with disease, injury, or defect of body or mind;

(d) Using the title M.D., D.O., physician, surgeon, or any word or abbreviation to indicate or induce others to believe that one is licensed to practice medicine in this state [Pols emphasis] and engaged in the diagnosis or treatment of persons afflicted with disease, injury, or defect of body or mind, except as otherwise expressly permitted by the laws of this state enacted relating to the practice of any limited field of the healing arts;

It sure looks like what Rep. Joshi claimed last Sunday (video below) is a class 2 misdemeanor under Colorado law.
As promised this past weekend, here is video from Sunday’s Colorado Right to Life rally at the Colorado capitol of state Republican Rep. Janak “Dr. Nick” Joshi, speaking in support of his House Bill 13-1032–this year’s iteration of the GOP’s perennial “fetal homicide” backdoor anti-abortion bill.

JOSHI: We have lot of work ahead of us, particularly this year, uh, some of you might have read in Denver Post two days ago, the Speaker of the House made a comment about my bill, that “Republicans haven’t learned their lesson yet.” Mr. Speaker, what lesson do you want us to learn? I’m a physician. [Pols emphasis] I know about the life. Don’t try to teach me anything.

Now folks, as soon as we heard that Rep. Joshi used the words “I’m a physician” in reference to himself, an alarm bell went off in our head. Probably because of this:


WeВ explained back in 2010В regarding then-candidate Joshi:

Joshi was named as a codefendant in a 1995 wrongful death suit, and a negligence case in 2002.

On February 8, 2006, Joshi received a letter of admonition from the State Board of Medical Examiners for failing to properly evaluate and adequately treat a patient, as well as failing to adequately document the patient’s treatment. In the letter, Joshi admitted he engaged conduct that “fails to meet generally accepted standards for medical practice.”

The letter demanded Joshi undergo an assessment at the Center for Personalized Education for Physicians, and the center recommended he retrain in a nephrology fellowship. On December 12, 2007, the Board of Medical Examiners suspended his medical license for failing to take remedial nephrology training. In August of 2008, he was forced to surrender his medical license.

So we’re not doctors, and we don’t know exactly how the professional ethics on this are supposed to work. If you’re forced to surrender your medical license, do you still get to call yourself a “physician?” Note that this may not be consistent with use of the word “doctor” in the same situation–after all, they can’t take the man’s degree from him.

But either way, calling yourself a physician, doctor, whichever, when you’ve been forced to surrender your license to practice medicine, really doesn’t seem like a very good idea.

Large Crowd For “March For Life Denver”

UPDATE: A big crowd for today’s anti-abortion protest, but as we can now shamelessly exploit for traffic rankings, not entirely unopposed:


Folks, as a political blog, we don’t often get to post photos like this. So we’re obviously not passing up the chance when we can do so in a way that is actually relevant to a Colorado political news story. This is also a nice segue into a discussion of our freakishly nice January weather.

Here’s a photo of the healthy turnout at this afternoon’s March For Life Denver, an anti-abortion march organized by Colorado Right to Life today at the Colorado state capitol. Our source doesn’t have a crowd estimate, but this is believed to be the biggest rally at the state capitol in some time–to at least some extent taking opponents by surprise. From CRTL’s press release announcing tdoay’s event:

Colorado Right To Life notes that this Sunday’s March for Life in Denver is forty years after the infamous Roe v. Wade opinion, 150 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, and nine days after the Alabama Supreme Court unanimously held that the word “child” in a state child abuse law applies equally to an unborn child…

Abortion is wrong because it’s a baby, and it’s always wrong to intentionally kill an innocent baby. Historically, the media, government officials, and many institutions despised those who fought for abolition of slavery, and in Germany, for equal treatment under law for Jews. Today, mainstream journalists, politicians, and our state institutions despise those who fight for the personhood and right to life of every innocent human being, no matter how small. “God and historians will judge today’s anti-human rights coalition of ‘pro-choicers’ as harshly as they judge the slave traders and racists of the past,” said Biff Gore, president of CRTL.

We are encouraged by Alabama’s life affirming ruling this month acknowledging what everyone should realize, that a baby in the womb is as precious and deserving of protection as a baby out of the womb. Meanwhile, “More than 50 million children have been dismembered in the forty years since the crime against humanity known as the Roe opinion,” said CRTL spokesman Gregg Jackson, “whereas those who advocate the continued dismemberment of unborn children do so at the peril of their eternal soul.” And it’s been 150 years this month since the Emancipation Proclamation, which event Colorado’s biggest newspaper then used, ironically, to mock and condemn those advocating for abolition of slavery ( Colorado’s media have not changed.

CRTL’s release also points to church bulletin inserts made available for this rally. That alone goes a long way toward explaining the big crowd in attendance today. We don’t have a complete list of elected officials who attended the event, but we’re awaiting what we’ve been promised will be very interesting video from GOP state Rep. Janak Joshi’s speech–Joshi being the prime sponsor of this year’s “fetal homicide” legislation. Stay tuned…

You Only Get Five Bills, So Why Not Waste Them?

Among the many pieces of legislation introduced in the Colorado General Assembly this week, highlighted by economic development and middle-class tax relief measures in the Democratic controlled House and Senate respectively, are a few real, shall we say, hum-dingers. Here’s a brief tour, with more sure to follow–post good ones you find in this space.

Guns: In addition to the “More Guns In Schools Act” we discussed yesterday from conservative Senate firebrands Scott Renfroe and Ted Harvey, GOP freshman Rep. Justin Everett is carrying this year’s version of the perennial “Make My Day Better” bill, with Sen. Kevin Grantham as the Senate sponsor. If you pay attention to its yearly introduction, debate, and death, you already know it’s opposed by more or less everybody in a public safety role.

God: Headed directly for the House State Affairs Committee, a.k.a. the “kill committee,” is Rep. Kevin Priola’s House Bill 13-1066, “Concerning the preservation of a person’s exercise of religion.” A state flavor of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, the bill (interestingly for the normally tort-hating Rep. Priola) allows for monetary damages to plaintiffs if a “substantial burden” to a person’s exercise of religion is proven. This legislation is considered by opponents as providing an affirmative defense for various kinds of discrimination.

Bedrooms: In addition to Rep. Janak “Dr. Nick” Joshi’s warmed-over “fetal homicide” bill, House Bill 13-1032, newly-elected Rep. Steven Humphrey introduced House Bill 13-1033–a no-apologies ban on abortions, with no exceptions of any kind for victims of rape or incest.

The bill prohibits abortion and makes any violation a class 3 felony. The following are exceptions to the prohibition:

A licensed physician performs a medical procedure designed or intended to prevent the death of a pregnant mother, if the physician makes reasonable medical efforts under the circumstances to preserve both the life of the mother and the life of her unborn child in a manner consistent with conventional medical practice;

A licensed physician provides medical treatment to the mother that results in the accidental or unintentional injury or death to the unborn child.

Teachers and public employees: Republican morale-building measures for public employees include Rep. Kevin Priola’s House Bill 13-1040 to slash public employee retirement benefits, and freshman Sen. Vicki Marble’s Senate Bill 13-017 to bust teacher’s unions. Meanwhile, the honor of carrying this year’s right-to-work (known to opponents as “work for less”) bill falls to freshman Sen. Owen Hill, who brings us Senate Bill 13-024. Sen. Hill could have made more edits to the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) sample “Right to Work” bill–which Sen. Hill’s legislation is rather obviously cribbed from. But we guess he was busy.

These are just a few bills that caught our eye as they were introduced–no doubt there are more. Again, we have little doubt that every bill you see above will die in an Assembly now fully controlled by Democrats. In terms of individual legislators, particularly those representing safe red districts, these kinds of bills probably don’t hurt the reputations of their sponsors.

As for the brand of the party they all belong to…that’s really the problem here, isn’t it?