At a Club 20 debate in Grand Junction on Saturday, Oak Creek Republican Savannah Wolfson, a candidate for House in Colorado’s high country, said the rollback of Roe v. Wade has no impact here and Colorado went too far in passing abortion-rights legislation.
“I don’t know if that’s true, but I will say in Colorado, Roe v. Wade has no impact, because abortion was legal here before,” Wolfson said. “Most Coloradans are somewhere in the middle on this issue, and the Colorado Democrats have gone too far.”
Colorado’s Democrat-controlled legislature last session passed the Reproductive Health Equity Act, codifying a woman’s legal right to choose. However, a future Republican legislature could roll back those protections. And, of course, there’s the chance of a federal abortion ban if Republicans regain power in D.C.
In an interview this spring, Wolfson’s Democratic opponent, Meghan Lukens of Steamboat Springs, made it clear where she stands on the issue.
“I want to first recognize how scary and upsetting this is for American women and the future of our country,” Lukens said in an email before Roe was reversed. “I absolutely support a woman’s right to choose and make decisions for her own body. It is crucial we keep in mind that anti-abortion laws do not eliminate abortions, they eliminate safe abortions.”
In a Q&A session in which the candidates asked each other questions on Saturday, Lukens honed in on Wolfson’s past statements on abortion rights.
“Regarding access to reproductive rights, is your position that abortion should always be banned, even in cases of rape and incest?” Lukens asked Wolfson, who proceeded to falsely allege that Democrats support abortion at birth and rescinding parental notification for girls under 18.
“My position is that I would always choose to save the life of the mother. I believe that the Colorado Democrats have gone too far,” Wolfson said. “They want to take away consent from parents to know about their child’s history in medical procedures. I think that, as a mother, I know that my pro-choice friends want to hold the hand of their daughter as she goes through that procedure and that they should be the first in line to know about what is happening to their own child. I think that late-term abortion is way too far. Abortion during birth for reasons like the baby being the wrong race, the wrong gender or having a disability, which were by the way all Republican amendments that they tried to introduce in the last session, are, it’s too far. You cannot abort a baby during birth for being the wrong race. I also want to point out that my opponent has missed the point of Club 20, that she is focusing on social issues instead of Western Slope issues.”
In fact, Wolfson has previously passed up the opportunity to debate Lukens in the district, House District 26 (HD26), including a debate in Eagle where Lukens was in attendance. After redistricting, HD26 will include most of Eagle County and all of Routt, Rio Blanco and Moffat counties. Grand Junction and Mesa County are not in the district.
Previous social media posts by Wolfson show she’s much more extreme on abortion issues than even her political positions.
“I know Colorado will keep abortion legal for a long time,” Wolfson wrote to members of Eagle County Grassroots Conservatives. “But I want to start by introducing legislation to require burial for aborted children, to make a point. …I want to start with requiring burial of aborted children in Colorado, in recognition of their humanity.”
Anti-abortion groups that have tried and failed for years in Colorado to restrict reproductive rights gave up on a petition drive earlier this year after coming up short on signatures.
Pro-choice groups are targeting the 2024 election for a ballot question codifying reproductive rights in the state’s constitution – a move that would block future legislatures from overturning the state’s current protections.
“It’s imperative to have state-level protections for this fundamental right,” Lukens said last spring. “Voters should have the chance to codify the protections of the Reproductive Health Equity Act in the Colorado Constitution.”
For more on the HD26 Club 20 debate between Wolfson and Lukens, click here.