Anti-abortion stunt slows the state budget debate
Abortion politics took center stage during a debate on the state budget bill Thursday, when Rep. Patrick Neville, a Parker Republican, tried to add an amendment to the bill to block Colorado’s public colleges and universities from using their state dollars to fund activities related to the sale of fetal tissue.
The amendment brought back last year’s national fight over fetal-tissue sales, which are illegal under federal law. That issue became prominent after David Daleiden of the Center for Medical Progress videotaped conversations with Planned Parenthood representatives and creatively edited them to falsely allege the organization was selling fetal tissue.
Daleiden and an associate have since been indicted in Texas for using false IDs related to the videos.
Almost a dozen states dug into those claims against Planned Parenthood and found they had no merit.
Both Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment rejected Republican requests for similar investigations here.
The claims that Planned Parenthood was selling “baby parts” may have prompted Robert Lewis Dear Jr. to attack a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic last November, killing three and injuring nine others. Dear reportedly said “no more baby parts” to an investigator after the shooting.
Neville’s amendment, co-sponsored with fellow Republican Rep. Kim Ransom of Littleton, was ruled out of order because it would attempt to create a new state law through the budget bill, which would violate state law.
Neville, irritated his amendment was ruled out of order, asked that the budget bill, all 581 pages, be read at length. He told the reporters he was playing a political game with the Dems.
Democrats responded by putting up a dozen staff members to read the budget bill simultaneously. That’s the same tactic Republicans took in 2003 during the infamous “midnight gerrymander,” when Republicans rammed through a redistricting bill in the last three days of the session and were asked by angry Democrats to read the measure at length.
The 2003 reading took hours, because they read not only the bill but the physical description of every congressional district.
Neville halted the reading of the budget bill after about 20 minutes — a merciful early end to his stunt.