Colorado State Rep. Lori Saine, who grabbed headlines last week after claiming that whites and blacks were lynched in nearly equal numbers, is pushing a bill that would criminalize all abortion by defining life as starting at conception.
In a speech delivered last Friday on the House floor, Saine, a Republican from Firestone, said, “We have come a long way on that arc since
She then chastised her colleagues for allegedly not including a white lawmaker in introducing a resolution honoring Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Now, Saine is sponsoring a bill that would ban all abortion in the state.
The Protect Human Life At Conception Act recognizes zygotes, which are fertilized human eggs, and fetuses as persons with legal rights and would make the termination of the life of an “unborn child” a class 1 felony punishable by life imprisonment or death.
The bill makes exceptions only for cases where the mother’s life is threatened and for loss of pregnancy resulting from chemotherapy and ectopic pregnancies.
Notably, this does not include exceptions for rape or incest, or to preserve the health of the mother.
The legislation has no chance of passing after Democrats won control of the Colorado Senate and maintained control of the state House in November.
So-called “fetal personhood” laws have long been a tenet of the anti-choice playbook, but they’re clearly unpopular in Colorado, as evidenced by three unsuccessful ballot measures that aimed to enshrine personhood in the state’s constitution. Colorado voters overwhelmingly rejected such a measure most recently in 2014.
Despite clear support for abortion rights in the state, Republicans have for the past several years attempted to pass nearly identical fetal personhood legislation.
Saine is a reliable anti-choice crusader at the Capitol, and was in 2016 awarded the title of “Pro-Life Defender” by the Colorado Campaign for Life.
“We need more Pro-life legislators in the Capitol if we are ever going to see unborn babies protected from abortion predators,” Saine said in an endorsement of the organization.
State Rep. Stephen Humphrey, a Republican from Severance, is also a prime sponsor of the bill.
The bill’s first hearing is set for Wednesday, Jan. 30 in the House Health and Insurance Committee.