Colorado vote on abortion rights uncertain
Ryan Summerlin April 17, 2014
DENVER — A contentious bill that aims to protect abortion rights faced an uncertain vote in the Colorado Senate on Wednesday after one Democratic lawmaker expressed skepticism about the measure in a chamber where every vote counts.
The bill championed by Democrats was scheduled for a vote Wednesday evening. The party has a slim one-seat majority, and Sen. John Kefalas, D-Fort Collins, said Wednesday morning that he’s unsure the measure struck the right balance.
Kefalas said he personally opposes abortion but that reproductive decision-making is a right that should be protected.
The bill says people can make reproductive decisions “without interference from the state.” Democrats call it a measure to safeguard women’s rights, but some have interpreted the bill to mean the state couldn’t even regulate reproductive health care.
“The government should stay out of these things. I’m just not convinced that this is the best tool,” Kefalas said of the bill.
All Republicans were expected to vote against the bill.
Some 500 people protested the measure on the Capitol grounds Tuesday. The abortion vote was delayed because Democrats excused Kefalas, who said party leaders wanted to give him space to decide. He said Wednesday that he still wasn’t sure how he would vote.
“I struggle with the issue, that’s the best I can do,” Kefalas told reporters Wednesday.