This article was originally published by the Colorado Times Recorder in 2019, after the state of Alabama passed a law that essentially banned abortion. The law was subsequently blocked by the courts.
After initially dodging a question from a reporter about Alabama’s abortion ban, saying he was late to a meeting and had no time to talk, Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner has now stated his general support for the controversial measure.
That’s consistent with his previous stance against Roe v. Wade, which, if overturned, would allow states to ban abortion.
“I’m pro-life, but that’s up to the states,” Gardner told Politico over the weekend, adding that he hadn’t seen details of the new law.
If states are indeed left to decide whether abortion is legal, then Gardner would presumably support Alabama’s law.
The Alabama measure will likely be challenged in court on the grounds that, under Roe v. Wade, states like Alabama don’t have the authority to ban abortion.
In fact, many anti-abortion activists hope that if Alabama’s new anti-abortion law is reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court, the conservative new justices will overturn Roe v. Wade, which currently guarantees a women’s right to an abortion.
If Roe were overturned, abortion would not be illegal. Instead, states like Alabama would have the authority to ban the procedure, even for rape and incest, as Alabama’s law does.
So Gardner’s position of leaving it “up to the states” to decide about abortion is consistent with anti-abortion Republicans who want Roe v. Wade struck down.
In his comment to Politico Saturday, Gardner didn’t cite his opposition to Roe specifically.
But in a 2010 Colorado Family Institute candidate questionnaire, he’s on record opposing the landmark abortion decision.
In the survey, Gardner indicated that he opposed the “U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion decision.”
Gardner has been a staunch opponent of all abortion throughout his political career, using anti-abortion activists to help carry him into the U.S. House of Representatives. He’s voted to defund Planned Parenthood 10 times since he’s been in federal office.
In his run for U.S. Senate in 2014, he reversed his opposition to a personhood abortion ban in Colorado, but he continued to support a federal personhood bill, which he cosponsored, that aimed to outlaw abortion nationally.
Gardner did not return a call seeking more details on his stance on Roe and the Alabama law.