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Campaign to ask Coloradans whether to ban abortions after 22 weeks claims it has enough signatures

The potential November ballot measure, pushed by Due Date Too Late, would prohibit abortion in later pregnancy except in cases in which the mother’s life is in danger

Volunteers with the Due Date Too Late campaign brought boxes of signatures to the Secretary of State's Office in March. (Photo provided by Sage Naumann, Colorado Senate Republicans)
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A campaign to ban abortion in Colorado after 22 weeks of pregnancy said Thursday that it has collected enough signatures to make the November ballot. 

The Due Date Too Late group says it reached its goal of collecting 30,000 additional signatures during its last window of opportunity. The campaign had submitted petitions in early March, but the Secretary of State’s Office determined there were not enough valid signatures of registered voters to meet the threshold, which is 124,632. 

The group had 15 days, called a “cure” period, to come up with the additional signatures. Due Date Too Late needed 10,000 but managed to get 30,000, thanks to the work of volunteers and churches across the state, spokeswoman Lauren Castillo said. 

The cure period began May 15, and the campaign plans to bring the additional signatures to the Secretary of State’s Office on Friday. The office still must verify the signatures before the campaign gets the go-ahead for the ballot.

“We are thankful to have this opportunity to work together with communities across the entire state of Colorado,” Castillo said in an emailed statement. “The hundreds of volunteers we have who are so passionate about ending late-term abortion are helping to make this a reality.”

Colorado is one of a few states without time restrictions on abortion. The ballot measure, called Initiative 120, would prohibit abortion in Colorado after 22 weeks unless the mother’s life is in danger. 

Due Date Too Late sued earlier this month to challenge Gov. Jared Polis’ executive order that allowed other signature-gathering campaigns to solicit supporters through email and mail, because of the coronavirus pandemic. Face-to-face signature gathering has always been required.

The anti-abortion campaign was left out of the order because it was the only initiative already in a 15-day cure period. In suing the governor and Secretary of State Jena Griswold, the campaign alleges the policy violates its rights of free speech and equal protection under the Constitution. 

Due Date Too Late does not plan to drop the lawsuit, despite the likelihood that the campaign is on track to make the ballot.“We will need to assess our damages,” said Suzanne Staiert, a lawyer for Due Date Too Late, noting the campaign incurred the expense of hiring “circulators” to collect signatures during the last two weeks.

Staff writer Jesse Paul contributed to this report.

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