NOTE: This statement was written during the 2022 legislative session which has now concluded. Although the bill died in committee, the Catholic Conference was a strong supporter of the bill and testified in support of its passage.
HB22-1047, Protecting Human Life and Conception is a life-affirming bill that will defend the individual rights of preborn children.
Human reason based on the findings of science affirms that human life begins at conception. After conception, the child’s heartbeat can be heard as soon as 16 days later. Brain waves can be measured at six weeks, and in the first trimester of pregnancy, the baby can yawn, kick, curl her body up, and suck her thumb. After first trimester, she will have all of her major organ systems in place. Yet her life did not begin when any of these milestones were reached. Her life began when she scientifically came into existence — and that is at the moment of her conception.
The Catholic Church objects to abortion on the moral principle that each and every human life has inherent dignity, and thus must be treated with respect due to a human person. This is the foundation of the Church’s social doctrine. There has never been or will be a legitimate need to abort a baby in the womb.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has identified abortion as the preeminent issue of our time because it attacks innocent human life when it is most vulnerable and because it happens within the context of the family, attacking the most precious of human relationships: that between a mother and a child.
The Catholic Church in Colorado has been mischaracterized as not supporting other areas of social justice. We certainly do, including issues such as housing, immigration, and restorative justice. However, life is preeminent because other areas of social justice assist in the flourishing of life and human dignity. Abortion ends life entirely and dehumanizes preborn children.
Colorado protected life successfully in abolishing the death penalty in 2020. Now it is also time to protect the lives of preborn children.
The Colorado Catholic Conference urges support of HB 1047 to ensure that every human person – born or preborn – has the opportunity to thrive and live their life to the fullest.