THE BLOG
03/18/2011 01:55 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Why Would Anti-Abortion Activists Oppose a Bill Making It a Crime to Kill an Unborn Child?

The Spot blog reported yesterday that a bill making it a crime if you kill an unborn child is on life support after Republicans withdrew their support yesterday.

Why? Democrats quoted in the blog post said state GOP leaders gave in to pressure from anti-abortion extremists.

But the article doesn't explain why anti-abortion activists would oppose a bill that would put someone behind bars who kills an unborn child through reckless or criminal action.

Ari Armstrong explains on his blog what happened on the right-wing side:

On March 14, the Colorado Catholic Conference sent an action alert via email opposing 1256. This Catholic group offered two main arguments. First, the "bill fails to recognize an unborn child as a separate victim of homicide or assault," as the bill explicitly states that a fetus is not a person under law. Second:

"The Colorado Catholic Conference also opposes the fact that this bill seeks to repeal the criminal abortion statute that is still on the books in Colorado. The pro-life community looks forward to the day when Roe vs. Wade is overturned, and there is no benefit to the pro-life community to repeal our criminal abortion statute, even if currently it is not enforceable."

I take it this refers to statutes 18-6-101 through 18-6-105, which bill 1256 would have repealed. Statute 18-6-102 outlaws the ending of a "pregnancy of a woman by any means other than justified medical termination or birth." The key, then, is what constitutes "justified medical termination," which 18-6-101 defines. The measure severely restricts abortion to cases of likely death of the woman, "serious permanent impairment of the physical health of the woman" (including mental health), serious fetal deformity, cases where the woman is under sixteen, rape, and incest.

So the Colorado Catholic Conference admits the abortion statute is unenforceable, but that doesn't stop it from undermining a law that would protect unborn babies, as recognized by enforceable law.

The Colorado Christian Family Alliance explained its opposition to the fetal homicide bill as well:

If passed this bill will virtually undo all of Colorado's pro-life laws, including parental notification for minors to receive an abortion.

HB 1256 specifically removes the status of "person" for pre-born children and codifies taxpayer funding for abortion mills in spite of article V section 50 of the Colorado State Constitution that forbids any direct or indirect tax payer funding for abortion.

HB 1256 is so anti-life it's even sponsored in the Senate by the radical leftist senator from Denver, Pat Steadman, formerly a leading lobbyist for Planned Parenthood!

The bill was also sponsored by Republicans Matt Waller (CO Springs) and Laura Bradford (Collbran).

I'll try to find out if the GOP offered any way forward for the Dems, but it looks like this was a one-sided torpedo by the anti-abortion extremists, for the reasons illuminated above.

As Armstrong concludes his blog post, "So the next time a criminal gets away with killing a woman's fetus, feel free to blame the anti-abortion crusaders who killed bill 1256."