Colorado governor vetoes rape pill bill

April 6, 2005 at 10:12 AM

DENVER, April 6 (UPI) -- Colorado Gov. Bill Owens has vetoed a bill that would have required all hospitals in the state to inform rape victims about emergency-contraception pills.

Owens, who is Catholic, cited freedom of religion in his veto message and told a sponsor of the bill his decision was not based on religious faith, the Denver Post reported.

"It is one of the central tenets of a free society that individuals and institutions should not be coerced by government to engage in activities that violate their moral or religious beliefs," Owens wrote.

The veto angered supporters of the legislation that requires all hospitals -- including Catholic institutions -- to offer information and referrals on the pills. Catholic leaders cheered the decision.

Owens told Rep. Betty Boyd, one of the bill's sponsors, he did not make his veto decision based on his religious faith.

Dan Hopkins, Owens spokesman, said the governor has not made political decisions based on his religion. He pointed out that Owens, a Republican, is at odds with Catholic leaders over his support for the death penalty.

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