Here’s where Republican U.S. Senate candidate Joe O’Dea stands on abortion


Plenty of evidence exists for Colorado being largely pro-abortion rights — right down to the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate.

Businessman Joe O’Dea won the GOP nomination convincingly in June, boosted by established Republican politicians and hammering a message of economy, inflation and gas prices. He explicitly states he’s not running on what he calls social issues, and the issues page of his campaign website doesn’t explicitly mention abortion or any of its euphemisms — but it does feature an open letter from self-described pro-life leaders endorsing him.

But O’Dea is upfront about his beliefs when asked. He holds a more open position than others in his party who believe life begins at conception and want a ban on abortions. It’s led to opposition by some conservatives, including a primary election rival who wielded the issue like a cudgel.

O’Dea’s position on abortion rights is more limited than his general election opponent, U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, and recent state law that codifies the right to an abortion.

In all, abortion rights remain contentious in the state. Republican state lawmakers led an all-night filibuster earlier this year to fight a proposal to codify abortion access in state law; weeks later, supporters in the legislature snapped up front pages of newspapers to keep as mementos after Gov. Jared Polis signed it into law.

At the ballot box, voters are regularly asked to outright ban or put limits on the procedure. Backers of another such proposal have approval to gather signatures to ask voters again in 2022 to ban abortions. The most recent effort, 2020’s proposition 115, would have banned abortions after 22 weeks of gestation. Voters rejected it with 59% opposed.

The issue has also received new focus after the U.S. Supreme Court in June overturned the right to an abortion as established in Roe vs. Wade, and kicked it down to states to decide. That decision prompted a new push for federal legislation governing its access.

So, where exactly does O’Dea stand on abortion rights?

O’Dea supports rights, restrictions aligned with Roe vs. Wade

In broad strokes, O’Dea supports the right to an abortion as initially laid out in the 1973 decision Roe vs. Wade. That decision, and others around it, generally allowed abortion up until fetal viability, though it didn’t specify when that is. The court also allowed some state-level restrictions

O’Dea has said an abortion early in the pregnancy is between a person and their doctor and God.

“I believe that decision is between a person and their God, not me,” O’Dea said during the Western Conservative Summit in June. “That’s not what government is designed to do. They shouldn’t be in the middle of that decision.”

In a June interview with Dan Caplis, a conservative talk show host, before the court officially ended the national right to an abortion, O’Dea said he’d vote for a policy that largely aligned with Roe vs. Wade. But, he had a few specific lines in the sand: No late-term, elective and non-medically necessary abortions and no taxpayer funding for the procedure. O’Dea also supports parental notification for minors receiving the procedure.


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