Testimony on HB 18-1082

I am the Reverend Greg Garland.
I am representing the Colorado Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.
I am also a pastor at the United Church of Broomfield, a congregation of the United Church of Christ which decades ago affirmed a woman’s right to safe reproductive care, including abortion.
You’ve heard from medical professionals and you’ve, hopefully, all read the pro and con statements and talking points concerning this bill.
So, I’m going to come at this from my training which is religious.

My judgement on this bill is based on whether or not it is loving.
I have little doubt that the intent of the bills authors was to create a bill that they believed was loving, but as I understand this bill, they have clearly failed.

This bill will cause harm.

This bill is dishonest and misleading.

For instance, the statement from the bill that says,

EVERY YEAR, THOUSANDS OF UNBORN CHILDREN ARE ABORTED WHILE THE MOTHER IS DENIED THE OPPORTUNITY TO SEE THE UNBORN.

Well, that’s just totally absurd, and intentionally misleading.
No woman is denied access to an ultrasound.
If she wants to pay for one, she’s free to get one.
Well, not free, because they cost money and under this bill, they will still cost money.
If the sponsors of this bill want to write in that the State will provide free ultrasounds, that is, paid for by the State, to any woman who wants one.
Well, that would be a little more honest.

The fact is, if a woman wants an ultrasound, she can get one.
There is nothing loving about shaming her, who already may be the victim of rape or incest, into delaying a medical procedure, and increasing her cost for the procedure.

This bill is unloving as it takes away a woman’s right to determine her own destiny while forcing unreasonable and unnecessary burdens upon her.

This bill is one of a bunch of attempts that we have been presented with that tries to push medically unnecessary limitations and procedures upon those seeking safe and reliable medical care, with no real concern for the woman’s health, but simply with the intent of keeping her from getting the care she desires.

Let’s be honest, there is nothing loving about being deceptive and this bill’s claims around fetal pain are nothing but deceptive.
The science just does not support their position.
Fetal reaction to a stimulus is no different than that of a plant or a worm.
Pain is much more complicated.
To recognize, or to re-cognize, pain one needs the cognitive ability to not only have a reflexive reaction but cognitively interpret the sensation as painful, which is something that comes late in fetal development .

A study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that
Pain perception requires conscious recognition or awareness of a noxious stimulus.
Neither withdrawal reflexes nor hormonal stress responses to invasive procedures prove the existence of fetal pain, because they can be elicited by nonpainful stimuli and occur without conscious cortical processing. Fetal awareness of noxious stimuli requires functional thalamocortical connections.
Thalamocortical fibers begin appearing between 23 to 30 weeks’ gestational age, while electroencephalography suggests the capacity for functional pain perception in preterm neonates probably does not exist before 29 or 30 weeks.

Conclusions Evidence regarding the capacity for fetal pain… indicates that fetal perception of pain is unlikely before the third trimester. *

Forcing doctors to provide inaccurate information is not only unloving but harmful to the patient and violates the doctor’s Hippocratic Oath.

The 24 hour waiting period will require women to make two or more appointment’s, increase the expense and only seeks to make receiving the desired medical care harder to get.
That does not pass the test of being loving.

Then there is the deceptive silliness about reversing an abortion which isn’t even an existing medical procedure.

Jesus didn’t say anything about abortions, which were common place in his day, but he did say much about loving your neighbor.
Lies and deception are rarely acts of acts of love.

This bill fails the test.

*August 24/31, 2005 Fetal Pain A Systematic Multidisciplinary Review of the Evidence

Susan J. Lee, JDHenry J. Peter Ralston, MDEleanor A. Drey, MD, EdM; et alJohn Colin Partridge, MD, MPHMark A. Rosen, MD

Article Information JAMA. 2005;294(8):947-954. doi:10.1001/jama.294.8.947

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