I liked the general idea, but something about it made me very uncomfortable. So, I didn’t sign the petition. I didn’t feel good about that; but I couldn’t get rid of the nagging feeling that it wasn’t the right approach.
To what am I referring? Initiative 56. This initiative called for the Equal Protection of Every Living Child in Colorado and was proposed by the Colorado Initiative Committee. I know, it sounds good. And in many ways, it was. If passed, it would have made it illegal in Colorado to murder a child at any time prior to, during, or after birth. So, what was my problem?
The initiative called for anyone involved in the murder of a child to face criminal penalties. That appeared to include not only the clinics and doctors who perform the surgical abortion or provide the abortion pill regimen, but also the women who make the tragic choice to abort their children.
In the years I have been associated with the pro-life movement, and particularly my work in sidewalk advocacy and Project Rachel, I’ve been trained to reach out to women considering abortion, or with abortion in their pasts, with love. I know full well that God wants to offer forgiveness, grace, and redemption to ANYONE who is involved with abortion. It did not sit well with me to pursue criminal penalties against a woman who was making an emotionally-charged decision in a time of life-altering crisis, often under duress and without sufficient support from the father of the child, her family, her friends or our community.
Recently I sat down with Faye Barnhart to discuss the Colorado Initiative Committee & Initiative 56. Faye was involved from the very beginning with Initiative 56 which recently failed to garner the signatures necessary to appear on the 2022 Ballot.
I was honest with Faye about my misgivings. She assured me it was never a priority of the committee to prosecute women. She made it clear that as the committee worked to improve the language of the next initiative, they were considering the concerns I and others expressed. I am relieved and encouraged.
Faye is quite hopeful that the effort the committee is putting into recrafting the next initiative, hoping to get it on the 2024 ballot, is taking advantage of momentum generated by the petition drive for 56. In fact, her optimism seems well-founded because the committee saw many churches step up to partner in the effort. Faye and the committee will capitalize on these partnerships as they seek to inspire churchgoers in Colorado to vote pro-life. Analysis reveals that if we can persuade an additional 20% of faithful Christians to turn out and vote to defend these women and unborn children, we would see Colorado ‘flip’ to become a pro-life state in ONE ELECTION CYCLE.
The Committee has updated their website with great background on their efforts, a fabulous list of resources including videos, pastor letters, and women’s stories, and, under the ACTION tab, a comprehensive list of how the faithful, and pro-life warriors, can contribute to this effort to push back hard against a culture of death that has Colorado in its grip.
I hope you will join me in working with Faye and the Colorado Initiative Committee to help educate the faith community throughout our state to embrace LIFE.