By now, it's common knowledge that U.S. Representative Mike Coffman, who's running for re-election in Colorado Congressional District 6 in Denver's southern and eastern suburbs, supported the extreme "personhood" amendment that would ban abortion in almost all circumstances -- a position contrary to that held by 70+ percent of Colorado voters. But it's not just Coloradans as a whole with whom Coffman is at a crossroads: 72 percent of voters in Arapahoe County, 68 percent of voters in Adams County, and 66 percent of voters in Douglas County -- the three largest counties that comprise Congressional District 6 -- all voted the measure down in 2010.
Yet when asked about whether voters in Congressional District 6 should be concerned that his position differs from that of the overwhelming majority of the people he wants to represent in Washington, Rep. Coffman issues a stock answer: He opposes abortion unless a woman's life is at risk... but he doesn't focus on social issues.
Rep. Coffman seems to think that by saying he doesn't focus on social issues, voters should trust him that his anti-choice position won't threaten a woman's right to choose if they send him back to Congress.
Rep. Coffman just doesn't get it.
The reality is, it would take only one more anti-choice Supreme Court justice to overturn Roe v. Wade; political experts expect the next president will appoint at least one new justice.
It would take only one federal law to allow hospitals to refuse to provide emergency abortion care even if a woman's life was at risk. Rep. Coffman already has voted for and co-sponsored a measure that would have done just that -- despite his professed position that he supports a "life of a woman" exception for abortion restrictions.
It would take only one federal law conferring legal recognition from fertilization to make abortion illegal in most cases. Republican Vice Presidential Nominee Paul Ryan sponsored a bill in Congress to do just that; voters deserve to know whether Rep. Coffman would vote for that bill, too.
It would take only one law to redefine "rape." And Rep. Coffman co-sponsored a bill that originally recognized only "forcible rape."
Finally, it would take only one federal law to repeal the women's health benefits found in Obamacare -- which guarantees women will not be charged more than men for health insurance; which ensures women's health insurance plans cover well-woman visits, birth control, breast-feeding support and supplies, and screening for gestational diabetes, domestic violence, HPV, and sexually transmitted infections without co-pays; and which ensures pregnancy cannot be classified as a pre-existing condition by health-insurance companies. Rep. Coffman has voted to take these health benefits away from women.
Rep. Coffman may be telling the truth when he says he doesn't focus on social issues.
But what he's not telling voters is that his support for just one federal law could strip women of their fundamental right to make decisions about what happens with their bodies.
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