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Coloradans vote on ballot measure that would ban most late-term abortions

Proposition 115

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Fifty-three years after Colorado decriminalized abortions, there's another push to ban the majority of late-term abortions in the state.

Ballot measure Proposition 115 aims to restrict abortions after 22 weeks. If it passes, the only exception to perform a late-term abortions would be to save a mother's life.

Women who received abortions wouldn't be punished. However, doctors who perform the procedure would risk losing their medical license for three years, on top of a $5,000 fine.

Coloradans have voted down three previous abortion restriction measures in the last 12 years, but sponsors of Proposition 115 believe this year may yield a different outcome.

For some Colorado women, their vote on Proposition 115 is shaped by personal experience.

"I had an abortion in the mid-70s. So it was a time when it was first starting and it was still illegal in some states," Anne Barrett said. "I was married but we thought it was an inconvenient time to have a child."

Barrett, a Colorado Springs resident, said she felt an overwhelming sense of guilt and pain for a long time.

"After the procedure was finished, we were all in a little recovery room. All 12 of us were weeping and sobbing over what we had done," Barrett said.

Barett believes discovering her faith helped her heal. Decades later, she has five biological children and five adopted children. These days, Barrett is strongly against abortion at any time, unless it's to save the life of a woman. She believes Proposition 115 needs to be approved so women don't face the struggles she did after her abortion.

"It leaves a terrible wound on the soul and that wound is always there. It may become a scar, but it's always there," Barrett said.

But some Colorado women who have had abortions believe passing Proposition 115 will cause harm to women.

Rhona Pohlman from Boulder said, "I had my abortion when I was 21 weeks and 6 days."

Several years ago, Pohlman received a devastating call from her doctor after a high-resolution ultrasound found her baby would not survive after birth. The hospital where her doctor worked had a ban on performing abortions after 22 weeks. The same week Pohlman learned about the deadly fetal anomaly, she and her husband chose to end the pregnancy a day before the hospital's abortion deadline.

"There's a couple of different ways an abortion can be performed. I made the decision that I wanted to be induced. I knew that he would not be viable and that if he was even born alive, he would not survive very long. And I felt that it was more compassionate for him to die in my arms," Pohlman said.

If abortion wasn't an option, Pohlman couldn't imagine prolonging unnecessary suffering for the baby and her family.

"To know that there is something lethally, fatal wrong with your baby, and you can't do anything about it is inhumane and torture," Pohlman said.

"This is the human rights issue of our lifetime," Giuliana Day said.

Day, who lives in Greenwood Village in Arapahoe County, sponsored Proposition 115.

"Twenty-two weeks is over five months into the pregnancy, when the baby feels excruciating pain and the baby can actually survive outside of the mother's womb," Day said.

But some doctors believe the decision should be up to a woman and her medical provider.

Denver OB/GYN Dr. Aaron Lazorwitz is concerned with the lack of exceptions in the ballot measure.

"It takes away that autonomy and is missing major exceptions," Dr. Lazorwitz said. "Why does this not have exceptions for rape or incest? Why does this not have an exception for maternal physiological or physiatric conditions that are a threat to life?"

Colorado is currently one of seven states with no limit on when abortion can be performed -- 43 states have a ban on abortion at some point in a pregnancy. Eighteen states currently have a ban similar to the one outlined in Proposition 115.

Ultimately, the issue will be decided next week by Coloradans.

Politics / State & Regional News / Your Vote

Chelsea Brentzel

Chelsea is an investigative reporter for KRDO NewsChannel 13. Learn more about Chelsea here.



  1. “Coloradans vote on ballot measure that would ban most late-term abortions”
    As I’ve said before, this is a non-issue as it stands, because a fetus is considered to be possibly viable after 20 weeks gestation, and even regular miscarriages are treated as premature childbirths from the standpoint of medical care. So Proposition 115 is nothing more than symbolic, to test the voters to prepare for more stringent proposals to follow. It won’t accomplish anything itself.

    1. But it is an attempt at eroding Wade V. Roe and anytime someone attempts to assert their personal will above another’s body, would be viewed as tyranny, in all discussions, aside from abortion for some unknown god-forsaken reason, and that is the real tragedy.

        1. Oh do educate yourself.
          “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”…

      1. Except that generally speaking, after an abortion, the mother’s body is still alive. The former living, completely helpless baby’s body, however, has been ripped apart mercilessly, painfully, and is no longer a living human baby.
        So spare us your hysterical ranting about “tyranny.”

      2. In your warped, illogical mind, every jury; every judgement of punishment; every parent’s exercise of parental duty for their minor children; every military rule, law, order, and command; every local, state, federal, international law; even every “no shirt, no shoes, no service” sign; even the very Constitution is an exercise in tyranny. How utterly ignorant.

    2. Wrong. Colorado currently has no restrictions on abortion at any time, or for any reason. Women come here from all over the country to kill their babies because of that. This law, therefore, is absolutely NOT symbolic! It is an attempt to bring some much-needed sanity, and some dearly needed humanity and respect for life to the issue. Like you said, unreality, a 5-mo. old baby can, and they do, live outside the womb. And even that should not be a criteria for deciding whether or not to kill a baby.
      Like it or not, abortion stops a beating, living heart.

      1. @ imadeplorable yep it does and THAT is the point!! Makes it so that a young couple just starting out doesn’t have to commit to having a baby at an inappropriate time, that way we possibly avoid the “welfare moms” and the “deadbeat dads” and the abuse because no ones life turned out how they wanted….possible adoptions and even worse….you may or may not know this but the system is NOT kind to kids stuck in the endless loop of we didn’t want you but here you anyways!! years of counselling….man the story goes on and on. so before you vote MAKE SURE YOU CONSIDER EVERYTHING NOT JUST YOUR PERSONAL MORALS.

        1. It is NOT about my “personal morals” or any other kind of my or any other person’s morals. And it has not one thing to do with religion, and every thing to do with not slaughtering a living baby. As much as your side would love to frame this argument as a bunch of religious crackpots opposing the convenience of all the rest of humanity, you could not be more wrong. I absolutely want to keep abortion legal. I just want it to be much better regulated. And I would guess that most of the people on my side would agree with me. I do not want to go back to the days of back-street butchers and coat hangers. But there has to be much greater control of when, and who, can get a legal abortion. This law is a start.

          1. No this proposition is a roadblock. The reason you don’t see the coat-hanger abortions is because roe v wade provided women the ability to have an abortion without excessive government restrictions.

            Your reasoning is flawed.

            The problem with any regulations added to Roe v Wade is it will only ever be a blanket policy, and there will always be exceptions to when it is right and when it is wrong based upon that person’s perspective. The argument of attempting to state that if someone is Pro-choice, they must be Pro-killing unborn fetuses is ignorant and unfounded. These choices should only be made by the father, mother, and the doctor based upon an independent, individual case-by-case basis. What anyone else has to say is none of their business, and it never should be. And that is why this Proposition will fail again and again.

          2. Cain you do a good imitation of a slippery snake, sliding all around in your responses, trying to make a valid point. But you betray your hypocrisy in spite of yourself. To argue that any pregnant female is entitled to kill her baby, at any time in the pregnancy, for any reason, or even for none at all, is nothing less than barbarism. We have laws because society must have boundaries, because we are flawed beings subject to poor choices. And to set those laws, we must use a higher reasoning than “I can’t finish high school if I have a baby.”
            To argue that horrifically dismembering a baby in the womb-even a 9 mo. baby getting ready to be born-is justified because it will be an inconvenience-or it might have an illness-or for any reason-or none-is so heinous and monstrous you should be appalled at yourself.
            There must be limits. We have laws governing allowable behavior for good reasons. Certainly when a human life is at stake, we have a good reason for limits. To argue otherwise is to betray your lack of healthy judgement, morality, or even a working conscience. Please do not ever serve on a jury.

          3. deplorable, you need to open up an orphanage, independently fund it, and save them all from their biological parent’s “choices”.

            You are right there must be limits, which is why it is still legal.

            Best of luck cupcake. You could only hope I would serve as an person on your jury, because I’d actually look at the facts, the legal statutes and then help decide your innocence or guilt.

          4. Another comment proving that you are indeed, a slippery snake. You absolutely avoid answering my points with anything approaching reason or individual thought, and only concern yourself with self-righteous posturing while insulting me. Too bad for you that doesn’t impress me at all.
            I wonder how you and all who think like you manage to live with yourselves. But please believe I don’t actually want to know. I would have nightmares.

  2. Unbelievable that there has to be a ballot measure on whether murder should be legal or not.

  3. Sad that we tell women what to do with their bodies but yell about my rights when asked to wear a mask.

    1. It’s not the woman’s body we’re concerned with. It’s the living baby growing inside of it.

    2. No shite huh??? these are typical wannabe christian arseholes telling everyone what they can and cant do…..and this with their main covenant being “freedom of choice”

      1. Actually, it’s YOUR side constantly screeching about “freedom of choice”. It’s my side that’s saying a pregnant woman has already made her choice. And I’ll come over to your side on the day that it’s made a law that the baby gets a say in the matter.
        “these are typical wannabe christian arseholes telling everyone what they can and cant do….” If that were true, there would be no murder; no theft, beatings, drug or alcohol addictions, no lies, and no hurt of any kind inflicted on another being, human or otherwise. What a shame that world seems so abhorrent to you.

  4. With the abundance and access of “family planning” options out there the overall abortion rate has decreased over the years.
    More education is the key.
    Here is something that makes me scratch my head. People will vote and set up laws to have “no kill” animal shelters and then have no regard for an unborn child. So life is only precious as long as it fits your lifestyle.
    I am not advocating either way just throwing that out there.

    1. Also to be considered is the availability of pregnancy tests in practically every store and pharmacy in the country. There is no excuse at all for a woman to be unaware that she has a baby growing inside her after the first month. And to wait until the fifth month, not to mention waiting until labor sets in, to decide to kill that baby is beyond barbaric. It’s unconscionable, and it boggles the mind that any society that calls itself “civilized” not only allows it, but excuses and celebrates it. How can this be?


        1. The United States is one of seven nations that allow for elective abortions past 20 weeks.

          Below are three common myths surrounding third trimester abortions and reasons sought for these procedures.

          1) Myth: Third trimester abortions are illegal

          Currently, federal law makes it legal to abort babies into the ninth month of pregnancy.

          While some states have restrictions on abortion, all states permit abortion into the ninth month for certain exceptions. Eight states and Washington, D.C., allow abortion until birth for any reason (Alaska, Colorado, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont, and New York)

          Live Action President Lila Rose made the following statement:

          While the abortion industry claims that late-term abortions are an insignificant number of abortions and they’re only done because of a disability the baby has or to protect the life of the mother, the evidence says just the opposite.

          2) Myth: Third trimester abortions are rare

          In 2015, the CDC reported that 1.3 percent of abortions were committed at 21 weeks’ gestation and later. While 1.3 percent sounds very small, this equates to nearly 8,300 preborn children killed late-term every single year.

          While birth is an amazing and involving process, the child doesn’t suddenly become human by exiting the birth canal. The child in the womb is already developed in so many ways, and he or she has been developing since life began at the moment of conception. But in the United States, birth is what legally makes the child a human being with rights.

          3) Myth: Third trimester abortions are only performed for reasons based on the life or health of the mother

          Many Americans have heard of Roe v. Wade, even if they don’t understand just how stringent its implications are by legalizing abortion in all 50 states on demand. The lesser known companion case is Doe v. Bolton, which had devastating consequences of its own. The decisions recognized the state’s interest in protecting what they refer to as “potential life.”

          What Doe did was create an availability of abortion up until birth by defining “health.” While states may have an interest, the mother’s “health” takes precedence to the life of the preborn child. Under Doe, however, “health” can mean whatever the mother and the abortionist decide.

          When a society allows for the murder of unborn children up to the time of birth, as ours does, in many cases simply for the convenience of the “mother”, that society no longer has the right to claim civilization. It is a barbaric, sub-human tribe of less-than-animals.

          1. First, please cite where you found this information.

            Second, what evidence? The number from your supposed second myth?

            Third, 1.3 percent is rare. no matter how you attempt to spin it. So this is not false. if 1.3 percent is 8,300, then that means there was approximately 638,460 total abortions in 2015. yes, that is small, very small.

            Fourth, your facts you attempted to provide as proof only show how additional added restrictions only further complicated the issue, but at the same time made it very clear. If the health of the mother is at stake, an abortion is a viable option, if the parties involved deem it an option.

            We all get it, you believe the child should come into the world no matter the consequences, and that is the great beauty about being in America, you don’t have to be right or wrong to be able to voice your opinion or cast your vote. What we all have to do is follow the laws, or face the consequences.

            No one it attempting to change anyone’s stances as those decisions were cast a long time ago, as few will ever change. But having open honest, factual conversation about the topic where both side can be heard and not be tainted by false rhetoric is always imperative.

            Best of luck imadeplorable.

          2. LiveActiondotorg

            As “Life Matters: Roe Plus 40” mentions, Doe broadly defined maternal health.

            In Doe, the Court announced that health, for the purposes of late-term abortion law, would be synonymous with the mother’s “physical, emotional, psychological, familial … wellbeing”—in other words, every reason a pregnant woman could give for seeking an abortion in the first place.

            READ: Women admit to late-term abortion because they didn’t know they were pregnant

            The late infamous late-term abortionist George Tiller would sign off on girls getting abortions for “mental health reasons,” such as not being able to find a babysitter, or desiring to attend prom or a rock concert.

            Statistics show that most late-term abortions don’t actually occur for health reasons, and they’re also often repeat abortions. The Guttmacher Institute reported that abortions sought for fetal abnormalities “make up a small minority” abortions in the late-term, and abortions committed to save a mother’s life are even smaller.

            Diana Greene Foster, professor at the UCSF’s Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, authored a 2013 Guttmacher Institute study on late-term abortions. reports: “She said based on limited research and discussions with researchers in the field that abortions for fetal anomaly ‘make up a small minority of later abortions,’ and that those for life endangerment are even harder to characterize.”

            This fact has been backed up by former Planned Parenthood director turned pro-life activist Abby Johnson and former abortion workers. The documentary “After Tiller” also notes that third trimester abortions were committed on babies who were healthy.

            If one thinks that abortionists don’t take full advantage of aborting babies up until the moment of birth, think again. Colorado abortionist Warren Hern does so, and he has committed abortions for reasons beyond health.

            While abortion advocates claim that abortion is necessary when the health of the woman is at risk, facts show that late-term abortion is more dangerous for the mother.

            Jennifer Morbelli died because of her legal late-term abortion in 2013, at the hands of notorious LeRoy Carhart, who is part of a gruesome industry investigated by Live Action’s Inhuman project. Unfortunately, Carhart has killed many more, as monitored by Operation Rescue. He was subpoenaed in May 2016 by Congress in relation to an investigation on the harvesting and sale of aborted fetal body parts.

            Don’t wish me luck. Save your good wishes for the babies.

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