Catholic lawmakers in Colorado who voted for an extreme abortion bill that stripped all rights from the unborn child should refrain from receiving Holy Communion, the state’s four Catholic bishops have said in a letter.

Voting for the Reproductive Health and Equity Act (RHEA) was “participating in a gravely sinful action because it facilitates the killing of innocent unborn babies,” said a letter to lawmakers from the state’s Catholic bishops.

Catholic politicians who have voted for the legislation “have very likely placed themselves outside of the communion of the Church,” said the letter, signed by Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila of Denver, Bishop Stephen J. Berg of Pueblo, Bishop James Golka of Colorado Springs, and Auxiliary Bishop Jorge H. Rodriguez.

The law explicitly excludes any rights to unborn children, saying “(a) fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent or derivative rights under the laws of the state,” and allows abortion up until birth for any reason. 

The bishops’ letter said they tried to speak with lawmakers who voted for the abortion bill to ensure that they understand Catholic teaching. Few lawmakers accepted an invitation to meet.

“We pray that this letter and our request to refrain from receiving Jesus in the Eucharist spurs sincere reflection and conversion in the hearts of those who have participated in allowing this grave act of injustice to become law,” said the bishops.

Full story at Catholic World Report.