On Thursday, the news media was consumed with Alabama adopting an anti-abortion law. Then we saw that Jena Griswold, the Colorado secretary of state, responded, as secretary of state, by calling for Colorado to boycott Alabama.
Alabama went too far, especially by failing even to make exceptions for victims of rape or incest. It will not pain us if industries in other states refuse to do business or visit or promote tourism there, although we are skeptical about boycotts – and especially when the object is an entire state of about 5 million people.
We are also not sure why we are hearing this from our secretary of state.
Griswold was elected in the blue wave last fall, replacing incumbent Wayne Williams. One of the principal jobs of the secretary of state is to preside over elections. It is important that she be seen as impartial, as much as is practical.
What’s happening in Alabama is a partisan fight, over Roe v. Wade, with Republicans in Montgomery flexing their muscles (and Missouri following suit). Democrats, of course, are opposed. We would be surprised if Griswold, as a politician, did not count herself in that number. But we are also surprised that she feels compelled to use her office this way.
The Alabama law “is appalling,” Griswold said in a statement from her office. It is not the message, but only the messenger, that gives us pause.