DENVER — A mailer being sent to voters asking for a no vote on Proposition 115, ending late-term abortion in Colorado, is misleading, proponents of the initiative say, with the most glaring fault being that nowhere does the flyer identify that the proposition deals only with abortions occurring after 22 weeks of gestation.
The mailer, paid for by the issue committee “Abortion Access for All,” lists four main reasons why they believe a “no vote” is in order. Complete Colorado looked up the law that would be enacted if Proposition 115 passes to fact check the mailer. Here is what we found:
CLAIM: In three places the mailer refers to Proposition 115 as either an abortion ban or a ban on abortion. The mailer begins, “What you need to know about the dangerous ban on abortion on the ballot.” This is followed by “Vote no on Colorado’s abortion ban by November 3rd.” And the back page concludes, “Stop the abortion ban.”
FACT CHECK: This claim is highly misleading. Proposition 115 is not a ban on abortion. While Proposition 115 would restrict abortions in Colorado after 22 weeks of gestation, it does not change a woman’s access to abortion for any reason prior to 22 weeks.
CLAIM: “Proposition 115 forces a woman to continue a pregnancy with no exceptions for the health or individual circumstances — even in cases of rape, risks to the woman’s health, or a lethal fetal diagnosis.
FACT CHECK: This claim is mostly false. Although there are no exceptions after 22 weeks in the case of rape, there are exceptions for the woman’s health. According to the document on file with the Secretary of State’s office, Colorado Revised Statute 18-6 would add section 903 (3) to read: “If in the reasonable judgment of the physician, an abortion is immediately required to save the life of a pregnant woman, rather than an expedited delivery of the living fetus, and if the pregnant woman’s life is threatened by a physical disorder, physical illness, or physical injury, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself, but not including psychological or emotional conditions, such an abortion is not unlawful.”
CLAIM: “Proposition 115 is a one-size fits all mandate that ignores the uniqueness of each pregnancy.”
FACT CHECK: This claim is misleading. Proposition 115 does not restrict a woman’s access to abortion based on the uniqueness of her pregnancy, only the timing of the abortion.
Tonya Van Beber, who is running for Colorado House District 48, said the flyer amounts to nothing more than propaganda designed to mislead the voters.
“It is disingenuous double speak intended to intentionally mislead the voter as to what the proposition is actually trying to accomplish,” said Van Beber, who herself was born at 21 weeks of gestation. “The majority of people agree if it is at all possible, to preserve a life. If you have to hide the actual outcome in your message, then clearly there is morality issue. The act of omission is intentionally deceitful. When you cannot speak plainly without shrouding the message, then clearly you are hiding from what the voters do want.”