Organizers of Initiative 120, the proposal to limit abortions performed later in pregnancies, announced that the campaign has gathered 110,000 signatures ahead of its March 4 deadline.
“We are encouraging all parishes to collect signatures for Initiative 120 over the next nine days with a focus on Ash Wednesday and for all those attending Mass on Ash Wednesday,” said Geoff Bennett, the vice president for parish and community relations at Catholic Charities of Denver, on Tuesday.
The Ash Wednesday push appeared to make a difference, as the “Due Date Too Late” campaign had reported only 92,000 signatures as of Tuesday. To receive a spot on the November ballot, Initiative 120 needs 124,632 signatures from Colorado voters.
The proposal would generally outlaw abortions performed after the “gestational age” of the fetus reaches 22 weeks. There is an exception if the life of the mother is in danger.
Colorado’s Catholic dioceses are involved in the attempt to make the statewide ballot. Writing on Twitter, Archbishop of Denver Samuel J. Aquila said on Thursday, “I urge all Coloradoans to stand up for the dignity of life and sign the petition to end late-term abortion in Colorado.” Approximately 20 parishes had announced that they would have petitions available at Wednesday's Masses.
Separately, Aquila designated Feb. 28, the first Friday of Lent, as a day of fasting and prayer for survivors of sexual abuse.
“We have made significant progress in addressing this grave evil within the Church, but we cannot let that progress cause us to forget the psychological, physical and spiritual wounds it has caused,” Aquila said.