Colorado Fetal Homicide Bill Killed After Right Wing Opposition

03/17/2011 03:28 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

A bipartisan bill in the Colorado Legislature that sought to criminalized the killing of an unborn child, while maintaining abortion rights, was killed by its sponsors on Thursday after opposition from right-wing religious groups.

House Bill 1256, which was sponsored by Republican representatives Mark Waller and Laura Bradford, would have "create[d] a new article for offenses against pregnant women and their unborn children." The new crime would be called "unlawful termination of a pregnancy."

The Denver Post reported on Wednesday evening that the bill's sponsors withdrew the measure in response to conflicts among various pro-life factions.

"I'm really disappointed," Senator Pat Steadman, a Democrat who co-sponsored the bill in the Senate, told the Post on Wednesday. "Unfortunately, abortion politics have the House tied in knots and unable to act in the interest of public safety."

"As far as I'm concerned the fact that this bill can't move forward is because the House Majority is catering to the right-fringe of their base," Steadman continued.

Also on Wednesday, blogger Ari Armstrong reported on two separate opposition efforts. Armstrong reports that the Colorado Catholic Conference urged its members via email to oppose HB 1256 on the grounds that "[it} seeks to repeal the criminal abortion statute that is still on the books in Colorado. "

Armstrong also shared a link to a release from the Christian Family Alliance of Colorado, which claimed the bill "[would] virtually undo all of Colorado's pro-life laws, including parental notification for minors to receive an abortion."

SB 1256 was introduced after a well-publicized Denver hit-and-run in December during which a pregnant woman survived, but had a miscarriage as a result of the accident.