Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner voted today for two anti-choice bills, one to partially ban abortion, the other requiring doctors to save the life of a baby born alive after an abortion. Both bills failed to pass in the U.S. Senate.
The partial ban, called the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” prohibits abortion after 20 weeks and carries an exception for rape victims.
But such rape survivors would be required to get counseling prior to having an abortion. Only 1.2% of abortions occur after 20 weeks, and the ability of a fetus to feel pain has not been proven scientifically.
Gardner voted for a similar bill last year.
The second bill is called the “Born-Alive Survivors Protection Act” and would address a rare situation when a baby would be expected to die anyway.
“Senator Gardner can try to trick Coloradans into thinking he isn’t a threat to our reproductive freedom, but his record tells the truth: Gardner supports uncompromising measures that would put politicians in charge of personal health care decisions and potentially criminalize doctors,” said Democratic Party Chair Morgan Carroll in a statement. “These votes are just the latest in a string of Gardner’s attacks on our reproductive freedom, which include confirming anti-choice judges who threaten to overturn Roe v. Wade.”
Proponents of the bills, which would levy penalties, including jail time, on doctors, say the U.S. must use the force of law to stop abortion.
Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has said the partial abortion ban would “bring our nation’s regard for the unborn off this sad and radical fringe and bring it more in line with the global mainstream.”
Gardner’s office did not return a call for comment, but the Republican has long voted to restrict abortion rights and to defund Planned Parenthood.