El Paso Switcheroo in the Senate

Previously I wrote about Senate Bill 24-068 and how it aims at making assisted suicide (which is now being called “medical aid-in-dying” to disguise reality) easier to obtain in Colorado.

The bill has now made it through the Senate. It has been amended somewhat but, with the exception of the removal of the wording that would have allowed out-of-state visitors to avail themselves of death-by-doctor in Colorado, it is still on track to significantly reduce regulation around assisted suicide.

While there is no surprise that the bill has cleared the Senate, the final vote in the Senate contained a few startling occurrences. The vote was not down party lines, as I would have expected. Instead, three Republicans voted in favor of this anti-life bill including one from El Paso County:

  • Sen. Larry Liston (El Paso)
  • Sen. Janice Rich (Delta, Mesa)
  • Sen. Perry Will (Delta, Eagle, Garfield, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Montrose, Pitkin)

Additionally, a couple of Democrats voted against this anti-life bill including one from El Paso County:

  • Sen. Tony Exum (El Paso)
  • Sen. Kevin Priola (Adams, Weld)

So, overall, the defection to the anti-life position was greater than the other way around. But the fact that there was any movement at all towards the pro-life position, especially among Democrats, is encouraging.

The lesson here, I think, is to take nothing for granted. We shouldn’t assume Republicans are pro-life or Democrats are anti-life. We must work to build the culture of life in all political parties, as well as among the unaffiliated, who constitute a large proportion of the electorate in Colorado.

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