Coloradans are voting on an abortion ban: What to know about Proposition 115

As Coloradans vote this fall, they’re deciding on more than just the president and other elected officials — they’re also being asked to vote on a ballot measure, Proposition 115, which seeks to ban abortion in the state after 22 weeks of pregnancy.

Colorado is one of seven states without a gestational limit on abortion, with or without exceptions, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

If Prop 115 is approved and enacted, a person who performs an abortion after that point is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor and subject to a fine ($500 to $5,000), according to the measure’s language. A licensed practitioner would lose their license for at least three years. The patient would not be charged with a crime.

The ballot measure includes only one exception: if “an abortion is immediately required to save the life of a pregnant woman,” including physical disorders, illnesses and injuries. There are no exceptions for rape or incest.

Proponents of the proposal say it is to prevent the abortions of potentially viable fetuses. Opponents say it puts pregnant people’s lives and wellness at risk, while there are also concerns about the disproportionate impact a ban could have on already marginalized communities.

Singular exception frightens some doctors

Dr. Rebecca Cohen, an OB-GYN in the Denver area, pointed to the language in the ballot measure requiring a pregnant person’s life be at “immediate” risk.

“As a practicing physician, it’s unethical for me to allow a medical situation to progress to the point that someone’s life is immediately in danger,” she told ABC News.

PHOTO: An anti-abortion rights protester prays while holding a rosary while demonstrating outside of the Colorado Springs Westside Health Center, Feb. 11, 2017, in Colorado Springs, Colo.

An anti-abortion rights protester prays while holding a rosary while demonstrating outside of the Colorado Springs Westside Health Center, Feb. 11, 2017, in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Dr. James Monaco, a Colorado cardiologist who has cared for patients in high-risk pregnancies due to cardiac issues, wrote in an opinion piece for The Colorado Sun that if passed, the proposition “will result in unnecessary maternal deaths.”

He expanded in a piece for the Colorado Times Recorder that if a pregnant person with severe heart disease has a 50% chance of death, doctors would have to question, “Is a 50% chance of death ‘immediate?'”

The exception also does not mention the health of the fetus. That means if a pregnant person gets a diagnosis that the fetus will likely either be stillborn or only live a few hours or days, that person then potentially has to carry the fetus to term and go through labor — which includes an emotional and financial toll on top of the physical risks of labor and pregnancy.

The Coalition for Women and Children, also known as the DueDateTooLate campaign, which supports the proposition, says that in cases of fatal fetal abnormalities, pregnant people would turn to “perinatal hospice.”

“Perinatal hospice involves a multidisciplinary team” to “accompany the family through the pregnancy and

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Doctors need to lead by example at the voting booth

As the needle moves past 220,000 deaths from Covid-19 and the Supreme Court prepares to hear California v. Texas, which threatens to eliminate health insurance for almost 20 million Americans, it’s no surprise that health care remains one of the top issues for voters this election.

Historically, doctors vote less than other professionals. From 2006 to 2018, doctors were less likely to vote than the general public, particularly if they were not already registered to vote.

That’s what we found in a study published this week in JAMA Internal Medicine. After reviewing voting histories for more than 100,000 doctors in California, New York, and Texas, we found that 37% of eligible physicians voted in elections over the last decade, compared to 51% of the general population. Half of doctors who were eligible to vote were not registered to vote in the first place.

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While this is troubling, it can be fixed. Programs like Vot-ER and VoteHealth 2020 are working to help doctors register to vote around the country. Some hospitals are also stepping up to the plate. These efforts are important, because we found that doctors who were registered to vote are more likely to show up to the polls than their fellow Americans.

It would help if registering to vote was a simple and secure process. Eleven states, including our home state of Texas, do not permit online voter registration and instead require voters to mail in a physical form. And the majority of states do not allow voters to register and vote on the same day.

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These rules, meant to suppress voting, make it challenging for doctors to maintain civic engagement over a decadelong professional training process. In a survey we published this week in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, we found that a majority of doctors in training — residents — cite long work hours as the most common barrier to voting in this election. Nearly one-quarter of doctors felt that their vote does not make much of an impact, and a smaller group were hindered by not knowing when and where to vote. This is the first study of its kind to analyze barriers to voting for the U.S.’s youngest physicians.

Hospital training programs can do more to facilitate voter engagement among doctors by giving them paid time off to vote early, helping them register to vote by mail where permitted, and even arranging for voting at the hospital. More than 1,600 companies have already joined the Time To Vote campaign, giving employees time off to make their voices heard at the ballot box. Some companies, such as Old Navy, Target, and Warby Parker, are even paying employees to serve as poll workers.

It’s time for hospitals and residency programs to address the culture of prioritizing working over voting, particularly among young doctors. They can help doctors easily register to vote and provide them with information about early voting or how to request absentee ballots. For doctors living in California, Colorado, Maryland,

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A pandemic didn’t deter this 102-year-old from voting

To maximize her safety, she submitted her absentee ballot at an in-person ballot box this month in Hampton, South Carolina.

Dr. Quentin Youmans was so inspired by his 102-year-old great aunt that he tweeted photos of her, bundled up in a trench coat and head scarf, with her absentee ballot in one hand and a disposable face mask in the other.

“If she can do it, you can too!” wrote Youmans, a cardiology fellow at Northwestern Medicine.

With this much on the line, Ora wouldn’t have missed it. And she was still able to vote with her health and safety in mind, Youmans said.

Ora says it’s an ‘enjoyment’ to vote

Ora told CNN it’s an “enjoyment to go vote,” but she voted absentee this year for her safety — older adults are more likely to become severely ill if they’re infected with Covid-19.
Not even a global pandemic could stop this 102-year-old from voting in this election

“Well, I think we need to change presidents, for one,” she said. “So I voted for this man (Biden). I hope he does a good job.”

A staunch supporter of former President Barack Obama, Ora said she doesn’t like the way President Donald Trump has led the country during his time in office.
“Things were pretty good until this other man got there,” she said. “It looks like he wants things to go back to Hoover times,” a reference to the Great Depression when millions of Americans struggled to find work and poverty was widespread.

“We don’t want that to come back to the generation coming now,” she said. “That’s why I’m so happy if this puts Trump out.”

Youmans said his great aunt is an inspiration

Youmans explained why Ora’s vote was especially significant: A lifelong resident of the Deep South, Ora’s grandmother had been enslaved.

Ora was in her late 40s when the Civil Rights Act finally passed and outlawed segregation, though she lived in a state where poll taxes and other tools of voter suppression attempted to keep Black voters out.

Worried about coronavirus? If your loved one is over 60, read this

Ora remained steadfast in her commitment to voting then as she does now, something Youmans said inspires him.

“To think she was born the year of the last pandemic, and now here we are going through another pandemic, and she still got up and made sure her voice was heard,” he said. “It was something I hoped to share with the world.”

The photos of Ora have already reached former residents of the White House. Since Youmans tweeted the photos on Wednesday, thousands of Twitter users have seen Ora pose with her ballot — including Obama, who quipped that “102 never looked better.”

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Flu Shots Will Be Given On Some Early Voting Days In Greenburgh

GREENBURGH, NY — Flu shots will be offered outdoors at the Greenburgh Town Hall during early voting.

Supervisor Paul Feiner said the Greenburgh Health Center will be administering the flu vaccines Monday through Friday next week.

“Many people are reluctant to get flu shots inside medical offices or pharmacies,” he said. “And, flu shots are so important during this pandemic.”

Feiner said offering the shots outdoors on some early voting days sends a message to the community that one can “participate in democracy and stay healthy so you can enjoy our democracy after election day.”

If interested, people can schedule getting the flu shot ahead of time and provide your insurance information and register online. Call the Greenburgh Health Center at 914-989-7600 or email.

Shots will be given during the following early voting times at the Greenburgh Town Hall:

  • 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Oct. 26

  • Noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27

  • 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28

  • Noon to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29

  • 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30

People wanting to get flu shots need to bring their insurance card, photo ID and completed consent form. Uninsured or self-pay will cost $30.

Patients will be required to wear face masks and answer COVID-19 screening questions. The immunization area will include physical distancing, and all nurses will be wearing masks, gloves and face shields.

Greenburgh Town Hall is at 177 Hillside Ave.

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This article originally appeared on the Tarrytown-Sleepy Hollow Patch

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