About 27 minutes into today’s Colorado legislative session, Republican Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt of Colorado Springs walked slowly to the front of the house chamber and asked his fellow state representatives to join him in a “moment of silence to remember the 57 million American citizens that have been lost since the Roe v. Wade decision.”
Colorado House Speaker Dickey Lee Hullinghorst, the second woman to hold the speaker position, told Klingenschmitt that his request was “out of order.”
“I am sorry,” Hullinghorst told Klingenschmitt. “We can talk about it. That should have been a point of personal privilege, which requires the OK of the speaker in advance to do a moment of silence. So come and visit with me, and we’ll talk about it perhaps for tomorrow.”
Klingenschmitt, who once said “left-wing politicians want [women] to kill their babies,” prefaced his request by saying he hoped his suggestion of a moment of silence would be seen as a “bipartisan effort.”
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“I would like to offer, maybe a reminder, and today is the March for Life in Washington, D.C.,” Klingenschmitt said on the house floor. “And this Saturday, I marched with thousands of Colorado citizens here with [Colorado Springs] Bishop Sheridan—and remembering the anniversary of the decision that is Roe v. Wade, and also remembering President Obama’s positive remarks during the State of the Union Address that perhaps there is a reduction in the number of abortions across America.”
A call to Klingenschmitt for comment on if he’d continue to push for a moment of silence was not immediately returned.
Attempts to determine whether Hullinghorst will allow the moment of silence were also unsuccessful.
A former army chaplain who goes by Dr. Chaps, Klingenschmitt has generated national media attention for his controversial comments about abortion, women, and gay people, many of them aired on his “Pray in Jesus’ Name” podcast.
The progressive organization, Right Wing Watch, has chronicled Klingenschmitt’s past, including his widely publicized claim that he performed an exorcism on a lesbian soldier, during which he said, “you foul spirit of lesbianism, this woman has renounced you, come out of her in Jesus’ name.”
Klingenschmitt has referred numerous times to the presence of demonic spirits related to sexuality and abortion.
Klingenschmitt was elected to the Colorado house in November, after squeaking by a fellow Republican in a very conservative Colorado Springs district. He began his first term this month.
Klingenschmitt’s request for a moment of silence came as pro-choice groups around Colorado were marking the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado held a legislative briefing and Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains issued a statement saying, in part, that “decisions about whether to choose adoption, end a pregnancy, or raise a child must be left to a woman with the counsel of her health care provider, her family, and her faith.”