Colorado abortion limits measure qualifies for Nov. 3 ballot
DENVER (AP) — Backers of a proposed initiative to ban abortions at 22 weeks in Colorado have collected enough signatures to put the measure on the November ballot, the secretary of state’s office said Monday.
The group behind the initiative, Due Date Too Late, collected 153,204 valid voter signatures, more than the 124,632 signatures required, the secretary’s office said.
The proposal on what proponents call late-term abortions would make it illegal for anyone to perform an abortion when a fetus is at 22 weeks of gestation or later.
It would allow abortions after that time only if a woman’s life is endangered.
Colorado is one of several states without time limits on when women can get an abortion.
Supporters initially collected an insufficient number of voter signatures to qualify but were given additional time because of difficulties they encountered due to a statewide shelter-in-place order imposed to combat the coronavirus.
Colorado was the first state to loosen restrictions on abortion in 1967, six years before the U.S. Supreme Court would legalize it nationally in the Roe v. Wade decision. Previous attempts to pass outright bans on all abortion have been overwhelmingly rejected in the state.
Two other initiatives currently are on the Nov. 3 ballot.
Voters will decide on whether to repeal a law allowing Colorado to join an initiative that would commit its nine Electoral College votes to the winner of the national popular vote for president. Each participant state in what is called the National Popular Vote Compact commits to giving its Electoral College votes to the winner of the national popular vote, regardless of the state’s winner.
The repeal campaign began after majority Democrats passed legislation to join the compact last year.
Fifteen states and the District of Columbia have joined the compact, representing 196 electoral votes. Election to president requires 270 electoral votes. The compact would take effect if states with a collective 270 electoral votes agree to join.
An initiative to reintroduce gray wolves to Colorado also has qualified for the November ballot. The gray wolf has been successfully reintroduced to a number of U.S. states. It was eradicated in Colorado in the 1940s. If passed, the initiative would direct the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission to devise a plan to introduce wolves on public land west of the Continental Divide before 2024.
This story has been corrected to show that the proposal would allow abortions after 22 weeks if a woman’s life is endangered, rather than her “physical health.”