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Denver bishops ask Hispanic voters to support 22-week abortion ban

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CNA Staff, Sep 29, 2020 / 12:14 am MT (CNA).- The bishops of the Archdiocese of Denver are calling on the local Hispanic community to support Proposition 115, a ballot measure to ban abortion after 22 weeks in the state of Colorado.

“The Hispanic community is a Pro-life community,” said Archbishop Samuel Aquila and Bishop Jorge Rodriguez in a Sept. 27 letter to Hispanics in the Archdiocese of Denver. “Life, children and family are the great values and treasures of our culture and people. This is how we live, so we bring it with us to the United States. Thus, we hope to pass these values on to our children.”

The bishops said they find it “worrying” that recent statistics show abortion ranked 12th on a list of priorities among Hispanics ahead of the election, while issues including the economy, health care, and the coronavirus pandemic are seen as more important.

“Let us not allow propaganda, social media and the promoters of the Culture of Death destroy that richness of our faith and our Hispanic tradition: We are and will be a people for Life,” the bishops said.

Colorado currently has no laws regulating late-term abortion, either restricting the procedure or explicitly protecting it. As a result, Colorado is one of just seven states in the country where abortions can take place up until birth. Each year, about 200-300 babies are aborted after 21 weeks gestation in the state.

This November, Proposition 115 will ask Colorado voters if they want to ban abortion in the state after 22 weeks of pregnancy, unless a mother’s life is threatened. If the ballot measure passes, doctors would face a three-year suspension of their license for performing or attempting to perform an abortion. Women would not be charged with seeking or obtaining an abortion.

More than 150,000 people from across Colorado signed a petition to place the initiative on the upcoming ballot.

The death of recent Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg – and the appointment of Amy Coney Barrett to replace her – has brought a renewed focus to the subject of abortion amid the election season. Ginsburg was a staunch advocate of legal abortion, while Barrett is widely seen as boosting the court’s potential to overturn Roe v. Wade.

The Denver Post reported that the “No on 115” campaign saw significant increases in engagement and individual online donations following Ginsburg’s death.

A January 2020 Marist Poll sponsored by the Knights of Columbus found that 70% of Americans favored banning abortion after three months of pregnancy, at the latest.

In their letter, the Denver bishops cited Church teaching on the sanctity of life, saying, “Abortion is, and always will be a crime and a sin that cries out to heaven.”

They warned that large amounts of money have been invested in a campaign against Proposition 115, using arguments that “are misleading and can never justify the murder of children in their mother’s womb.”

The bishops reaffirmed the humanity of the unborn child and noted that two-thirds of babies born at 22 weeks are able to survive. They pointed to a group of more than 130 doctors and scientists in Colorado who support Proposition 115.

“Rest assured that your ‘Yes’ to Proposition 115 will have innumerable consequences for the lives of many children who, within their mother’s womb, count on you for life,” they said. “May the intercession of our Lady of Guadalupe, ‘Mother of the true God for whom we live,’ help our Hispanic community remain a people who love life, protect and celebrate it from the very moment of conception.”

Archbishop Aquila recently prayed with a 40 Days for Life group outside the Boulder Abortion Clinic, where many of the state’s late-term abortions are performed.

He said he was encouraged to see more than 20 people gathered there to pray in defense of unborn human life.

“It gives me great hope, because there are people who really see the dignity of human life,” he said in a video posted online by the archdiocese.

For women who are struggling with a difficult pregnancy, the archbishop said he hopes the Church can show them “that there are many other options, and that there are people who will walk with them, who will accompany them, who will help them to carry the child to term and well beyond.”

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