DENVER — An issue committee that has dumped more than $6 million into opposing one Colorado ballot measure appears to have doubled down on deceiving voters with its newest mailers concerning Proposition 115.
The proposition, which would ban abortion in Colorado after 22 weeks of gestation, is one of the most contentious ballot items this election season with pro-choice advocates arguing it takes away vital health decisions of the mother, and pro life advocates saying by 22 weeks, the decision to terminate a pregnancy should have long-been made for any reason other than the health and welfare of the mother.
The recent mailer from the committee Abortion Access for All lists “No exception for a woman’s health,” as one of its reasons to vote no on 115. It is written in bold, capitalized letters. But the claim is entirely false. The same group is behind television commercials, featuring a woman purporting to be a doctor, that also falsely claim there are no exceptions for the health of the woman.
Complete Colorado first reported on this when the group sent out its initial mailers claiming Prop 115 was an abortion ban, without mentioning the 22 weeks gestation period. The new mailer does correct that in small print, but the group still has not corrected the misinformation about the health of the woman exception. The group also continues to mislead voters on its website.
According to the document on file with the Secretary of State’s office, if Prop 115 is passed, 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.”
The committee is spending millions fighting the measure. According to the Guttmacher Institute, whose website says it is a “research and policy organization committed to advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights in the United States,” Colorado is one of only four states with no restrictions of any kind on abortion.
As of its last campaign finance filing, Thursday, Abortion Access for All had raised just under $7 million and spend about $6.4 million of that. Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood has contributed more than half of that. Although the group has several hundred contributors, only a handful of donors are fronting the bulk of the bill.
- Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains Political Action Fund — $3.7 million in both monetary and non-monetary donations.
- Stacy Schusterman, private individual from Oklahoma — $1 million
- Planned Parenthood Action Fund, New York — $500,000
- American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), New York — $500,000
- Interfaith Alliance of Colorado — $320,000