Abortion Bypass Denied by Colorado Court

Tyler LePard

The first young woman in Colorado to be denied access to an abortion via judicial bypass is told she's too immature to have an abortion, she's unemployed and she doesn't understand the risks.

Colorado Confidential breaks the news that a teenager has been denied a judicial bypass to access an abortion:

Colorado requires either parental notice, or a court order (called a judicial bypass) for a minor to obtain an abortion. The Colorado Court of Appeals, in an expedited appeal, affirmed a trial courts' order denying a minor a judicial bypass, in a ruling issued today. The case appears to be the first of its kind in Colorado at the appellate level and relied heavily on persuasive authority from other states with similar laws.

Andrew Oh-Willeke reports that this is the first appeal of a parental notification ruling, despite the parental notification law existing for several years now (since 2003).

The pregnant minor's burden of proof was to either show by clear and convincing evidence that she was mature enough to make the decision, or by a preponderance of the evidence that notification was not in her best interests.

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After the hearing the judge found that "she lacked the maturity to decide whether to have an abortion." The court emphasized her "unwillingness to communicate with her mother or consult with other adults, her focus on her own needs, and her failure to discuss the matter with a doctor." The trial court also felt that she had "only minimal understanding of the risks of the abortion procedure" and that she was "unemployed and being supported by her mother."

As one commenter notes, the teenager's lacks of maturity only applies in the court's mind when it comes to making the decision about abortion, but does not apply to deciding to raise a child. It seems the judge has "only minimal understanding" of the risks of childbirth compared to the risks of an abortion procedure.

Read the details at Colorado Confidential.

News Politics

Colorado Republicans Pick Anti-Choice County Commissioner for U.S. Senate Race

Jason Salzman

Darryl Glenn, an anti-choice Colorado Springs County Commissioner, defeated a pro-choice GOP rival and three other anti-choice Republicans in the race to take on pro-choice Sen. Michael Bennet in November.

In Colorado’s Republican senatorial primary Tuesday, Darryl Glenn, a conservative county commissioner from Colorado Springs, scored a decisive victory over Jack Graham, a former Colorado State University official, who stood out from the GOP field of five candidates for his atypical pro-choice stance.

Glenn received about 38 percent of the primary vote versus nearly 25 percent for Graham, who finished second.

Glenn made no secret of his anti-choice stance during the primary election, describing himself in interviews as an “unapologetic Christian, constitutional conservative” and supporting “personhood” rights for fertilized human eggs (zygotes), a stance that could outlaw abortion and many forms of contraception.

Consistent with this, Glenn is also opposed to the Roe v. Wade decision.

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Glenn frequently brought up his faith in interviews. For example, Glenn broke out from his Republican rivals at the GOP state convention in April, where he gave an impassioned speech during which he discussed Planned Parenthood and opposing abortion ​before delegates voted him on to the GOP primary ballot.

Asked about the speech by conservative radio host Richard Randall, Glenn said, “Well, that wasn’t me. That was the Holy Spirit coming through, just speaking the truth.”

Seriously?” replied the KVOR radio host.

Absolutely,” Glenn replied on air. “This campaign has always been about honoring and serving God and stepping up and doing the right thing.”

Political observers say Glenn’s position on abortion, coupled with his other conservative stances and his promise never to compromise, spell trouble for him in November’s general election against Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet.

“Glenn’s stance on abortion isn’t necessarily disqualifying,” Jennifer Duffy, senior editor of the Cook Political Report, which offers non-partisan election analysis, in Washington D.C., told Rewire via email. “Colorado has sent pro-life Republicans to the Senate. But, the cumulative effect of all Glenn’s conservative positions on social, economic, and foreign policy, as well as his association with Tea Party-affiliated groups and his lack of funding make it very, very difficult to see a path to victory for him.”

In the final weeks of the primary, Glenn was supported by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

Glenn’s ties to the right wing of the Republican Party drew criticism during the campaign from GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. He criticized Glenn for accepting the endorsement of the Senate Conservatives Fund, which gave Glenn $500,000.

Duffy doesn’t expect the race to be “very competitive,” an observation that aligns with the “Democrat favored” assessment of the race by the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report. Last year, Bennet was widely considered one of only two vulnerable U.S. Senate Democrats.

“Darryl Glenn’s support for ‘personhood’ puts him on the wrong side of Colorado voters’ values, including many pro-choice Republicans and unaffiliated voters,” said Karen Middleton, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado, in an email to Rewire. “Support for reproductive freedom crosses party lines in Colorado, as demonstrated by the landslide losses by three ‘personhood’ ballot measures. Glenn’s chances of beating pro-choice champion Michael Bennet were already slim. This puts it closer to none.”

Glenn did not immediately return a call for comment.

In 2014, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), who is anti-choice, defeated pro-choice Democratic Sen. Mark Udall, who hammered Gardner on his abortion stance throughout the campaign. 

Gardner threw his support behind Glenn Wednesday, reportedly saying to Roll Call that Glenn has fundraising challenges ahead of him but that he’s “winning when nobody expected him to.” And that, Gardner was quoted as saying, “bodes well for November.”

Roundups Law and Policy

Gavel Drop: The Roberts Court Takes Up Abortion Rights

Jessica Mason Pieklo & Imani Gandy

While lawyers fight over a clinic shutdown law before the Supreme Court, Congress and President Obama fight over a replacement for Justice Antonin Scalia.

Welcome to Gavel Drop, our roundup of legal news, headlines, and head-shaking moments in the courts.

Did you hear? There’s a Supreme Court case on abortion rights being argued this week. We’ve got you covered.

Rural hospitals across the country are closing maternity wards because they are too expensive to operate, forcing patients to drive further distances for routine prenatal exams and to deliver.

Three California women are suing a government-funded foster home for allegedly denying their right to reproductive health care. According to the plaintiffs, the foster home staff accompanied the women to OB-GYN visits, denied them condoms and birth control, and punished them for even trying to access contraception.

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President Obama explains why it’s his constitutional duty to nominate a replacement for Justice Antonin Scalia.

Meanwhile, the Senate resolves not to even bother listening to whether or not President Obama might eventually nominate someone to replace Justice Scalia.

But as it turns out, one-third of all presidents have appointed a Supreme Court justice during an election year.

Just how hard is it to run an abortion clinic? Let these providers tell you.

Who needs law school when you can just get elected to the Missouri legislature and serve for two years instead?

A state court judge won’t let media access the arrest file for accused Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood shooter Robert Lewis Dear Jr., so Dear is talking to the media all on his own. In his latest chat with a local outlet, Dear said that he would plead guilty and justified the rampage, which killed three people, on his false claim that Planned Parenthood clinics are “selling baby parts.”