Colorado state Senate Candidate Tim Walsh, who’s running for a Jefferson County Senate seat, launched an ad this month claiming that his opponents were “outright” lying in an advertisement that stated he wants an abortion ban in Colorado.
However, Walsh told a group of Republicans in March that a bill guaranteeing the right to an abortion in Colorado law was “state-sanctioned murder.” Walsh called the bill “horrific” and pointed out that it was sponsored by his Democratic opponent, state Sen. Lisa Cutter.
“I mean that’s murder; that’s state-sanctioned murder,” Walsh told his fellow Republicans in a video obtained from a source, referring to the bill.
In an advertisement attacking Walsh, All Together Colorado, an independent expenditure political group, interpreted that statement to mean Walsh wants to ban abortion.
The ad states that Walsh “doesn’t want you to know” about the “changes he wants to make, like banning abortion, even for victims of rape and incest.”
The truth of that statement about abortion in the advertisement — whether Walsh said he wants to ban abortion — hinges on whether you agree that Walsh’s own statement about abortion being “state-sanctioned murder” means he favors an abortion ban.
Abortion opponents, who seek to ban the procedure, have long based their position on the idea that abortion is, in fact, murder. One proposed ballot initiative in Colorado, which would have banned abortion, sought specifically to change the definition of “person” and “child” in Colorado’s criminal code to include “unborn human beings,” so that fetuses would have the same legal protections, as people — including the right not to be destroyed without the perpetrator facing murder charges.
Walsh’s statement equating abortion to murder aligns with that line of thinking. Simply put, the crime of murder is banned by law; it’s illegal. And if you believe abortion is murder, then you would logically ban abortion as well.
And just as the murder of actual living people — already born — who were conceived by rape or incest is not allowed by law, so too would abortion not be allowed for victims of rape and incest, as their fetuses would have the same legal protections as any person.
Hence, the statement in the ad about Walsh wanting to ban abortion, even for rape and incest, is true. And Walsh’s claim that the statement is a lie is false.
What to make of Walsh’s response: “I don’t support an abortion ban.” It may mean that Walsh doesn’t favor an abortion ban throughout pregnancy but for part of pregnancy. This seems unlikely because when he said abortion was “state-sanctioned murder” he was referring to a Colorado law that allows abortion throughout pregnancy, so you have to assume that Walsh, too, was referring to abortion throughout pregnancy — and he meant abortion would be considered murder throughout pregnancy as well. As such, he would want abortion to be banned outright, with no exceptions, throughout pregnancy.
Walsh didn’t return an email seeking answers to multiple questions.