Anti-abortion rally attendees at the Capitol

Attendees at the Celebrate Life rally gather at the state Capitol on Jan. 11, 2020, to protest abortion and advocate for Initiative 120.

The backers of a ballot initiative to generally ban abortions after 22 weeks will turn in 30,000 signatures to the secretary of state’s office on Friday, three times the number they were short of initially.

“Protecting children in the womb is an essential part of building a society that treats all life, no matter its age or ability, as sacred,” said Archbishop of Denver Samuel J. Aquila to the Denver Catholic, the archdiocese’s publication. The Catholic Church has been the prominent proponent of the measure. “God has given each person a dignity that comes from being made in his image and likeness, and the degree to which our laws reflect that will be the degree to which we experience true freedom and happiness.”

Initiative 120 and its associated campaign, Due Date Too Late, would suspend the medical licenses of physicians and charge them with a misdemeanor for performing an abortion after the estimated gestational age of the fetus reaches 22 weeks. There are exceptions for saving the life of the mother. Proponents needed 124,632 valid signatures to place the initiative on the November ballot, but came up 10,000 short. A 15-day “cure period” allowed for the collection of additional signatures.

The secretary of state's office will verify each signature delivered as part of the addendum within 10 days. This month, Gov. Jared Polis issued an executive order to allow the collection of signatures by mail or email for ballot initiatives, pending guidance from Secretary of State Jena Griswold. However, this accommodation did not extend to Initiative 120 because it had already entered the cure period.

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