It's been 35 years since the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion in the U.S., but since that time the firestorm brewing around that decision has only intensified. Now, one local group is adding fuel to the fire.
On the anniversary of one of the most controversial decisions in history, members of Mesa County Right To Life joined members of the community in a candlelight vigil to send one clear message.
"We feel that every life is valuable," said Shari Bjorklund, president of Mesa County Right To Life.
To drive that point across, the group is teaming up with other pro-life groups around the state to collect signatures in hopes of putting a measure on the November ballot. It asks voters whether or not they believe the state constitution should be changed to recognize a person as a human being from the moment of conception.
"I don't know how anybody could oppose that," said Bjorklund. "Anything to suggest that people aren't individuals at conception is arbitrary."
Opponents of the effort say pro-life groups are using this as a way to try to outlaw abortion and regulate birth control. Supporters, however, disagree.
"What we're trying to do is assert state rights," said Bjorklund.
Whatever the motives may be, pro-choice groups say they are concerned measures like this will draw anti-abortion voters to the polls this year, which they say could impact the Roe decision.
"The next president will get to appoint one or perhaps several news Supreme Court Justices," said Donna Crane, a member of NARAL Pro-Choice America. "Those appointments could mean the difference between Roe standing and falling."
If Mesa County Right To Life has its way, the decision will fall.
"People shouldn't be supporting this kind of thing," said Bjorklund. "It's a bad thing."
On Tuesday afternoon, the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America attended a Denver rally in support of the Roe v. Wade decision. She says she came to Colorado to show that it is a swing state in the election, and that many Coloradans are pro-choice.
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