As Oklahoma lawmakers overwhelmingly pass legislation to make performing an abortion illegal, Colorado asserts that unborn children have no rights under the laws of the state.
In a move that makes performing abortions a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison, the Oklahoma House sent the bill to Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt, who has pledged to sign it. Supporters say the bill targets the doctors with penalties, not the women. Oklahoma became a destination for Texas women seeking abortions after that state in September banned abortions after six weeks.
Legislators also passed a resolution asking residents to fly flags at half-staff on the anniversary of 1973’s Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion.
Meanwhile, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed into law a bill denying rights to unborn children. The Reproductive Health Equity Act, according to Polis, keeps the decision between a person, their doctor — and their “faith.”
The law specifically states that “a fertilized egg, embryo or fetus does not have independent or derivative rights under the laws of this state.” It also sets forth “fundamental reproductive health-care rights” and protections for “a pregnant individual” — commonly referred to as a “woman.”
Colorado becomes the latest state to codify abortion in the event that Roe is overturned. Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a similar bill into law in 2019 that explicitly denied protection for unborn children.
The Supreme Court is set to rule in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which concerns Mississippi’s ban on most abortions after 15 weeks. The question before the high court is whether all bans on abortions before viability are unconstitutional. The 1973 Roe case established viability, when the child can survive outside the womb, to be between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy.
Tens of millions of innocent lives have ended in the wake of the Roe decision, and the nation is clearly headed in opposite directions. The great divide is between those who wish to protect the lives of babies in the womb and those who want to codify the right to end them. It’s that simple.