April 25, 1967: abortion in Colorado

April 25, 1967 – The first law legalizing abortion was signed by Colorado Governor John Love, allowing abortions in cases in which a panel of three doctors unanimously agreed.

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By Siena Hoefling
April 25, 2017

Most of us assume that abortion was introduced in Roe v. Wade. But in fact, that Supreme Court opinion was part of a liberal trend to remove protection from the unborn child, nationwide.

Mississippi quietly added a rape exception in 1966. Alabama codified a little-noticed “physical health of the mother” exception in 1954. But it was Colorado on April 25, 1967 – fifty years ago – that shocked the nation with its far-reaching and widely-publicized abortion decriminalization.

Here are the facts:

1. All of the states at one time prohibited doctor-induced abortions, except to save the life of the mother.

2. Colorado, led by population alarmist Richard Lamm, decriminalized abortion for mental health, rape, some potential birth defects, or anything considered “therapeutic” by a three-doctor panel.

3. The Colorado bill was signed fifty years ago, on April 25, 1967 – one of the first governmental acts against unborn children in America.

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4. Lamm, the freshman legislator who drafted the radical, pro-abortion legislation in the state house, later admitted that his thinking on abortion was colored by overpopulation theories. “How many children can we as a nation afford?”, he asked.

5. In 1970, Lamm wrote that national parks would be overrun with people by 1985, and that Americans would lose their quality of life. So he claimed that “most demographers are agreed that either the birth rate must go down or the death rate must go up.” Fecundity was treated as a curse: “Society at large may have to discourage the raising of children,” Lamm said. As in China, he was open to governmental coercive measures to lower the birth rate and limit family size.

6. Euthanasia was also attractive to Lamm, who wrote in 1984, a decade after he was elected Colorado governor, that terminal patients and the elderly should “die and get out of the way.”

7. The Supreme Court ignored the apparent eugenics agenda of Lamm and others (such as Alan Guttmacher of Planned Parenthood and the American Eugenics Society) who influenced Colorado and others to decriminalize abortion.

8. Many claim the Supreme Court is the authority over the constitutionality of state laws. Yet, in Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court relied upon the states’ failure to unequivocally protect life as the indicator of constitutionality.

9. Sarah Weddington, counsel for “Jane Roe” in Roe v. Wade, cited the unfortunate fact that the state of Texas had neglected to criminalize self-induced abortions. Rather than admit that the failure to fully implement a law does not negate the law, Weddington used this lack to prove that the unborn child is a non-person, unworthy of the Constitution’s protection.

10. The Supreme Court agreed with Weddington’s line of thinking. Justice Harry Blackmun pointed to the life-of-the-mother exception in the states as evidence that the unborn child is a pregnancy, not a person.

The Supreme Court had inverted logic. The existence of early anti-abortion laws, though flawed, indicated that the states believed the Constitution does extend its protections to the unborn. Were the child a lower form of life, or a parasitic appendage of the mother, these laws would never have existed. The child would be quite obviously a non-human without any question of rights.

It’s unfortunate that the Court paid no heed to the logic. Nor did they scrutinize the role of eugenics in the pro-abortion agenda.

The rights-denying premises of eugenics are un-American, and should have been rejected by the Court. Quite clearly, that insidious ideology is repudiated by our national assertion that “all men are created equal,” and “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,” including the right to life. And, with regard to children, our Constitution mentions our duty toward them explicitly, in the unavoidable, governmental purpose to “secure the blessings of liberty to . . . our posterity.”

Once again, we need to rededicate ourselves to “establish[ing] justice” and conforming to the truths that are self-evident. Let’s restore the Constitution’s protections to all children – and finally do it right. And let’s bring back society’s loving care for all of our little ones, and not discard them as a curse.


resources:  renewamerica.com

(Photo and picture credits: Library of Congress and U.S. National Archives)  on this day in history

Fighting for statewide secure scheduling ~ sign the petition

Big companies are driving our lives out of balance.

Target: Washington State Legislature

Our time counts!

Too many employers expect us to be available 24/7, even for part-time jobs. They expect us to come in at the last minute or work late nights followed by early mornings without time to rest. They expect us to put up with fluctuating hours and never knowing whether we’ll get enough hours to pay our bills.

But workers are humans too — we need time to spend with our families, take classes, work a second job, or just take care of ourselves. We need the flexibility & stability to live our lives and contribute to our communities. That’s why we’re advocating for a new scheduling law that would improve hours & notice for workers across Washington state.

Food and retail workers shouldn’t be getting so few hours they can’t make ends meet, or so many they don’t have time for anything else.

We need:

  • Access to additional hours
  • Two weeks’ notice of our shifts
  • The right to rest between shifts
  • Input into our schedules

Sign on in support of better schedules for workers across Washington!


Young girls don’t deserve this … change.org

When Abid heard about a court decision declaring a federal ban on female genital mutilation unconstitutional, he knew firsthand how dangerous that would be. As the brother of an FGM survivor, he knows how damaging the procedure is — and how many girls across the U.S. are at risk. Now he’s calling on his home state of Washington to keep girls safe by instituting a ban against FGM.

Washington state legislators: Female Genital Mutilation is an American issue. States need to protect girls and ban FGM!  

Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice decided to drop the appeal on a Detroit ruling that overturned the federal ban on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). For girls at risk of FGM, this federal ruling has put them in great jeopardy. Supporters of FGM are now empowered to think that if the federal law is not upheld, then the practice must not be wrong. And in states without anti-FGM legislation, the absence of a federal ban leaves women and girls at even greater risk.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 513,000 women and girls have undergone or are at risk of FGM in the United States. For me, these cases aren’t just data points. My sister is a survivor of FGM. When I was eleven and she was seven, we traveled on our own to visit our aunt in India over the summer. What I thought was a routine summer vacation turned out to be a horror story for my sister. Our aunt cut my little sister in her basement clinic. I later learned that my aunt carried this out without our parents’ consent and to this day, believes she did the right thing.

I learned about my sister’s experience when she shared her story in the Guardian a few years ago. Before then, I didn’t know much about FGM. I had no idea it was happening in this country let alone in my community. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ definition, FGM is a human rights abuse, form of gender-based violence and child abuse. And in my sister’s words: FGM destroyed her childhood, shattered her self-confidence, and is something she will never fully recover from.

By breaking her silence and courageously sharing her story, my sister has become part of a movement to end FGM not just in the US, but all around the world. As her brother, I stand alongside her and the many survivors on the frontlines of this movement. They should not be shouldering this burden on their own. We need more allies, including men and boys, to speak up.

Right now, we have the power to send a powerful message that FGM has no place in this country. I am writing to urge Washington state legislators to pass a law banning FGM in the state of Washington, as well as provide the resources needed to support FGM survivors and educate communities (healthcare providers, religious leaders, school teachers, and policymakers) around the devastating consequences of FGM. We need a holistic approach where prosecution is not the end goal, but a pathway to prevention.

I want no girl in the United States to endure what my sister went through. Washington is at risk of becoming an FGM destination state where girls are transported from states that have succeeded in criminalizing FGM. We need to close the federal loophole on FGM in the United States by lobbying for anti-FGM legislation at the state level: starting with my home state of Washington. Please join me in the fight to pass a law in Washington that criminalizes FGM.