Coloradans are gearing up for a November 3 vote on Proposition 115, which would ban late-term abortions after 22 weeks except in cases of life-threatening danger to the mother. In their fight against the proposition, abortion advocates claim that late-term abortions in the state are rare. However, a closer look at the statistics paints a different story.
Colorado is currently one of a handful of states that has no restrictions on late-term abortion, meaning these abortions can be committed up until birth. The state reports an average of 3.3 percent of late-term abortions each year, second only to New Mexico. According to Catholic News Agency, the state typically reports between 200-300 late-term abortions each year. This is consistent with a report by the Charlotte Lozier Institute, which found that there were 323 abortions in Colorado after 21 weeks in 2018.
It is difficult to find accurate data for late-term abortions, as there is no federal requirement mandating that states report abortion statistics. Many Proposition 115 opponents claim that late-term abortions are rare based on a 2016 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistic which says only 1.2% of abortions occur after 21 weeks. What few realize is that this statistic was derived from self-reported numbers that failed to include abortions committed in eleven states, including California, Washington D.C., Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, and New York. Without data from these states, some of which are heavily-populated, it is impossible to compile an accurate number of late-term abortions in the U.S.
A 2014 report from Warren Hern, one of Colorado’s leading late-term abortionists, offers a more revealing look at late-term abortion in the state. Hern says that between 1992 and 2012, more than 1000 women requested late-term abortions at his Boulder facility because of suspected fetal abnormality. As the report only discusses fetal abnormality and does not disclose abortions for other reasons, the total number of late-term abortions was undoubtedly higher. The report also reveals a disturbing rise in the number of women seeking an abortion because of a suspected disorder, from 2.5% to 30% over the years. These statistics are alarming, and they paint only a small picture. As CNA reports, there have been years in which Hern’s abortions for fetal abnormalities account for just 2.5% of the total abortions he commits.
Hern has been committing late-term abortions in Colorado for decades and he has made it clear he believes late-term abortion should be allowed for any reason, even on healthy babies. He justifies this with the claim that pregnancy is in itself life-threatening. In his most recent blog post, Hern clearly states, “Pregnancy is a life-threatening condition. Women die from being pregnant.” As Live Action News has previously reported, the abortionist has also said, “I will certify that any pregnancy is a threat to a woman’s life and could cause grievous injury to her physical health.”
The Charlotte Lozier Institute says there have been almost 4,000 late-term abortions in Colorado since 2003. With Hern’s report and a closer look at the data, it is clear late-term abortion isn’t as uncommon as some might think.
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