Politics

Lori Saine Puts Hate for Abortion at Center of Run for Congress

Lori Saine as seen in a campaign video.
Lori Saine as seen in a campaign video.
Supporters of abortion rights poured into downtown Denver on May 3 after a leaked U.S. Supreme Court draft indicated that the jurists are on the cusp of overruling Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that guaranteed the right to abortion in the United States.

The procedure isn't at immediate risk in the state; in April, Governor Jared Polis signed the Reproductive Health Equity Act, whose summary declares that "every pregnant individual has a fundamental right to continue the pregnancy and give birth or to have an abortion." Moreover, voters defeated a 2020 ballot measure that would have prohibited abortions at 22 weeks with 59 percent of the vote — which Karen Middleton, president of the advocacy organization Cobalt Colorado, points out was a higher percentage than either President Joe Biden or Senator John Hickenlooper collected during that same election.

But those shows of support aren't stopping Weld County Commissioner Lori Saine, a former state legislator who's among the Republican candidates for the new 8th Congressional District, from trying to make Weld County a so-called "pro-life sanctuary." And her social media is dominated by abortion-related blasts at Dr. Yadira Caraveo, a state legislator who's the Democratic candidate in CD8.

In a May 9 tweetstorm to introduce her latest campaign video, Saine wrote: "The Fake News Media says Democrats pro-abortion militancy will keep Pelosi as Speaker. I know they're wrong and I'm calling out my abortionist opponent Yadira Caraveo for her militant pro-abortion zealotry, which includes forcing taxpayers to pay for partial birth abortions up to and including the moment of birth and forcing Catholic hospitals and physicians and nurses of all faiths to do abortions against their will. That's not health care. That's murder. And I'm not afraid to call it out. Help me DEFEAT Caraveo."

Here's the video:
As Weld County commissioner, Saine recently introduced a measure that the Greeley Tribune described as "an attempt to work around the Reproductive Health Equity Act" by tinkering with zoning laws and building codes. One section declared that "regardless of the Board’s position regarding abortion, it is the Board’s belief that C.R.S. §25-6-404(1)(a) unlawfully restricts local governments’ exercise of their legitimate land use authority and enforcement of their police powers to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of their citizens, and WHEREAS, therefore, the Board wishes to express its opposition to the prohibitions established in Colorado’s ‘Reproduction Health Equity Act’ against the promulgation and enforcement of local government zoning and building code regulations that protect the health, safety, and welfare of Weld County citizens."

The resolution failed, thanks largely to abstentions by three of Saine's fellow commissioners: Mike Freeman, Scott James and Steve Moreno. But Saine is reportedly planning to introduce a new version she describes as even stronger than the first.

Caraveo has been forthright about her position on the issue of abortion. On May 2, she tweeted, "As a doctor, I’ve sat next to women and walked them through a choice. With #Roe overturned and Republicans on a crusade to ban abortion across the country, millions of women will lose that essential freedom. I was proud to help lead the fight to guarantee Colorado women the right to choose. My opponents have pledged to not only ban all abortions, but IVF and birth control as well. Help me stop them."

It's understandable why Saine might not want to run on her record related to other subjects. While in the Colorado Legislature in 2019, she stirred controversy with a "tribute" to Martin Luther King Jr. in which she argued that Blacks and whites were once lynched in "almost equal numbers." She also struck back against naysayers by claiming that a fellow white Republican was a victim of reverse racism.

That's not all. Back in 2013, Saine protested criticism of then-Senator Vicki Marble for talking about how much she loves Southern-style chicken during a tribute to the "Black race" by bringing a box of Popeye's chicken onto the Statehouse floor. In 2017, Saine was stopped at Denver International Airport when security personnel found a gun in her luggage (she supposedly forgot it was there). And the next year, a former TV journalist reported that Saine had falsely claimed during a town meeting that Columbine killers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold had supported gun control and that they'd lobbied the legislature to make schools gun-free zones while she was attempting to shoot down calls for firearms restrictions following an attack in Parkland, Florida.

Now, Saine is staking her political future on there being enough anti-abortion voters in the new 8th Congressional District to propel her to Washington, D.C.