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Abortion Rights: Where Polis, Stapleton Stand On Roe v. Wade

By Shaun Boyd

DENVER (CBS4) -- Turnover on the U.S. Supreme court has put abortion rights at the forefront in this year's elections. If Roe v. Wade -- the landmark case legalizing abortion -- is overturned, the regulation of abortion will revert back to states.

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Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains says it will spend a record amount of money to elect pro-choice candidates this year, including Jared Polis for governor.

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"This is a more real threat than ever before," Polis told a group at Planned Parenthood.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Walker Stapleton isn't saying whether he would sign off on bills to restrict abortion.

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"I'm not going to get into a bunch of hypotheticals on a particular piece of legislation. Roe v. Wade is the law of the land. We'll see what happens in future," Stapleton stated.

Stapleton is pro-life -- with exceptions for rape, incest and a mother's life -- but he says he is not pro-personhood, even though he believes life begins at conception.

"I think it's been used as way to divide rather than unite us," Stapleton said.

The question of when life begins not just problematic for Republicans. Polls show most people support abortion rights but most also want limits, particularly on third trimester abortions.

Polis is not one of them.

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"This is a very personal decision for a woman. It's between her conscience, her god and her doctor... in no way, shape or form should it be the government's decision to tell a woman what to do with her own body," Polis stated.

Nationwide, state legislatures have passed more than 400 laws over the last six years restricting abortion, many of those laws have been challenged in the courts. Colorado's legislature is split right now with Republicans in control of the Senate and Democrats in control of the House, but that, too, could change in November.

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While abortion rights will be a big issue in Colorado's gubernatorial and state legislative races, Democrats are being careful not to make it a single issue after that backfired in 2014.

Then Senator Mark Udall's focus on the issue was so intense that year, former Denver Post reporter Lynn Bartels jokingly dubbed him Mark "Uterus".

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His single-issue campaign tanked, costing the incumbent his seat.

Shaun Boyd is CBS4's political specialist. She's a veteran reporter with more than 25 years of experience. Follow her on Twitter @cbs4shaun.

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