We admire the goals of this year’s effort to end abortion, and we remain committed to defending all human life from conception to natural death. As we have said from the start, however, we do not believe that this year’s Colorado Personhood Amendment is the best means to pursue an end to abortion in 2008.
Unfortunately, even if this year’s personhood amendment is passed in Colorado, lower federal courts interpreting this amendment will be required to apply the permissive 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. It is also likely that the Supreme Court, given its current composition, will either decline to review such a case, effectively killing the state amendment, or worse, actively reaffirm the mistaken jurisprudence of Roe. While the Church respects those promoting this personhood amendment, the Catholic Bishops of Colorado decline to support its passage because it does not provide a realistic opportunity for ending or even reducing abortions in Colorado.
Constructive alternatives to reduce abortions and advance the ultimate objective of ending abortion, however, do exist at the state level.
In the last two years, state level legislative strategies to protect life have included: increased penalties for attacks on pregnant women which result in the death of the unborn child; informed consent and ultrasound legislation which would have required a woman to be notified of her right to receive an ultrasound before an abortion was performed; and a complete abortion ban. The Colorado Catholic Conference actively supported each one of these legislative initiatives and will continue to support these types of initiatives in the future.
The Catholic Church in Colorado has a long and active history of working, through state legislative efforts and other community initiatives, to protect life from conception to natural death. We will continue through every realistic means to work toward this end.
Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Archbishop of Denver
Most Reverend Arthur N. Tafoya, D.D.
Bishop of Pueblo
Most Reverend Michael J. Sheridan,
Bishop of Colorado Springs