Colorado Gov. Signs Bill Mandating Catholic Hospitals Provide Abortion Drug

Colorado Catholic hospitals must offer abortifacient drugs to victims of rape under a controversial new law signed by Governor Bill Ritter Thursday, the Denver Post reported earlier today.

Although Senate Bill 60 contains an exception allowing physicians or medical practitioners who object to the drug on religious or moral grounds to opt out of recommending it, all hospitals, including Catholic, are required to retain staff that will offer information on so-called "emergency contraception."

Colorado Right to Life opposed the law, saying the drug is falsely marketed as contraception when in fact it can cause early-stage abortion. Pro-life groups had successfully lobbied against previous versions of the bill, under the administration of former Governor Bill Owens.

"We reject the claim that it is emergency contraception because we know that in many cases…it prevents implantation of a newly created embryo, and that's a human life," said Leslie Hanks with Right to Life.

Additionally, opponents of the bill said the measure should have included a clause requiring that parents be informed before the information was given to minor girls.

"The problem is circumventing the parents in giving this very important information," said Rep. Marsha Looper. "You don't know what type of religious implications there may be by educating the young lady. I think it's always helpful to have the parents or guardian there," the Colorado Springs Gazette reported.

Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput challenged Ritter in January to ensure his actions as governor reflected his professed Roman Catholic faith. Ritter ran as a pro-life candidate in last fall's election.

"Mr. Ritter's stated commitment to 'restore eligibility requirements for state funding for pregnancy prevention and family planning programs' is seriously flawed public policy," wrote Archbishop Chaput in his column in this week's Denver Catholic Register.

"It's hard to have a future 'for our children and our children's children' without children, and in practice, Planned Parenthood specializes in the business of preventing them," the archbishop stated, referring to Ritter's pledge to create a better future for coming generations, in his State of the State address last week.

Subscribe to CE
(It's free)

Go to Catholic Exchange homepage

  • Guest

    This is an unconstitutional attack on religious freedom.  It really does seem like anti-Catholicism is the last remaining prejudice.

  • Guest

    It is time for the Bishops to really crack down on so called Catholic in politics. We call them CINO (Catholics in name only). If they don’t listen then the next step is Excommunication should follow. As this is also attach on Catholics, and other Christians. It seems all others including Muslims are above any criticism what so ever. Christians have the bull’s-eye on their backs.

  • Guest

    How long, Lord?

    Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the least of these, their unborn neighbor. Silence is consent in our noisy culture.  We can not let this pass.

    This is the fight.

  • Guest

    It is against religious freedom. Same with laws that require pharmacists who object to pro-abortion drugs to recommend another pharmacy that sells them if they cannot sell them. To me, that is the same thing. If you reject abortion or drugs that cause abortion, you cannot tell a customer to go to another store where they sell them. You are just as guilty of giving them to the customer in the end. The hospital will have to close down if they cannot change the ruling.

  • Guest

    "Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput challenged Ritter in January to ensure his actions as governor reflected his professed Roman Catholic faith. Ritter ran as a pro-life candidate in last fall's election."

    This misses the larger point. Archbishop Chaput had Ritter speak at the Archdiocese as a "Pro-Life Democrat." So while Chaput was vocally attacking Carey, he was seen as practically endorsing Ritter as Ritter falls more closely with the bishop's view of social politics (read immigration and entitlement programs). The sad thing is that Ritter could never have been elected without the Catholic vote which was mobilized by finally having a Democrat that was "pro-life." (See, even the bishop likes him!). Had Chaput the courage to look at Ritter's record and guide his flock based upon it, Ritter could never have been elected.

    It is time that the Bishop formally excommunicates Ritter. It is time for Catholics stand up and fight for what is right.

    If Catholics really had courage, they would close all Catholic hospitals in the state immediately. Within 24 hours, the legislation would be repealed legislators would think twice before attacking the Church again.

  • Guest

    May Archbishop Chaput do what is needed: EXCOMMUNICATE RITTER!

    And if the legislation is enforced, all Catholic hospitals need to close. CATHOLICISM IS NOT DICTATED BY STATE AUTHORITIES! It is dictated by Jesus Christ.

  • Guest


    Even with Governor Ritter excommunicated, this unjust law would remain in effect, since it was signed into law by the new "Catholic" governor.

    It seems evident that Catholic hospitals in Colorado would still be left to choose:

    ·         obey the law and force their staff to recommend abortion pills,

    ·         disobey the law and subject themselves (and the Church) to fines or imprisonment,

    ·         close their doors.

    These options, by the way, are EXACTLY what the enemies of Jesus Christ and His church desire.