Wednesday, February 6, 2013

GOP abortion ban legislation dies

Another in an annual parade of Republican abortion ban bills died in a House committee Wednesday.

HB 13-1033 was rejected by the House Health, Insurance, and Environment Committee.

The measure would have criminalized all abortions except those deemed by a doctor to be necessary to prevent a pregnant mother's death.

Abortions can be regulated to an extent under U.S. Supreme Court cases that interpret relevant provisions of the U.S. Constitution. The Court, however, has held that a ban with a reach similar to that proposed in HB 13-1033 is unconstitutional.

A GOP member of the committee - former majority leader Amy Stephens of Monument - sought to amend the bill to permit the use of emergency contraception in cases of rape or incest.

Stephens, a former employee of the conservative advocacy group Focus on the Family, argued that criminalizing abortion when a woman becomes pregnant as a result of such assaults is not consistent with the ideals of justice.

The amendment was rejected by the other members of the committee, including the Democrats. 

The measure was sponsored by Rep. Steven Humphrey, R-Severance.