WASHINGTON — Amid the looming Supreme Court decision that could strike down Roe v. Wade, Colorado Senate Democrats today passed the Reproductive Health Equity Act, which would enshrine abortion rights into state law and protect access to reproductive health care and information. This bill has received widespread support from constituents across the Centennial State and now heads to Governor Polis’ desk for his signature. Following the Governor’s likely signature of this legislation, Colorado will join 15 Democratic-controlled states and D.C. in explicitly protecting the right to an abortion.
“Colorado Democrats have taken tremendous steps to codify abortion rights into state law, ensuring the bodily autonomy and reproductive freedom of all Coloradans,” said DLCC President Jessica Post. “This is the future when we elect Democrats to state legislatures: protecting reproductive rights, expanding access to health care, and promoting economic opportunity for all.”
The Denver Post Editorial Board: Make Roe v. Wade irrelevant –“[I]n December, the Supreme Court’s oral arguments about a 15-week abortion ban in Mississippi did not inspire confidence in some justices’ dedication to American jurisprudence. That is why Colorado lawmakers must guarantee abortion access in this state. Supreme Court justices could revoke a fundamental constitutional right, taking rights and freedom back decades in states that refuse to protect women from government overreach, but states and Congress can make such a ruling completely irrelevant. House Bill 1279 will ensure that every Coloradan has the right to use or refuse contraception and the right to give birth or have an abortion.”
Letter to The Rocky Mountain Collegian: Reproductive Health Equity Act will protect rights in Colorado – “When talking to young people on Colorado State University’s campus, it is clear that many feel that their bodily autonomy is at risk. Many students have watched as the Texas Heartbeat Act, Senate Bill 8, has caused immense difficulty for birthing people. This is terrifying for young people who want to continue to make their own life decisions. … Coloradans need to support the work being done to protect abortion access within our state. A bill that I am advocating for is the Reproductive Health Equity Act.”
Opinion to Colorado Politics: Let’s pass the Reproductive Health Equity Act –“There is a way to make sure Colorado doesn’t devolve into a chaotic patchwork of abortion bans, and that abortion rights are protected across the state. The legislature can pass the Reproductive Health Equity Act (RHEA), a bill moving through the legislature and endorsed by reproductive health, rights and justice advocates like me. This bill declares that all Coloradans possess essential reproductive rights, such as the right to choose to continue a pregnancy or to have an abortion, and the right to choose or refuse contraception. Simple, reasonable, sound policy.”
Letter to The Durango Herald: Protect reproductive health care –“The Reproductive Health Equity Act must become law. We must keep abortion and all reproductive health care available to those in need. While other states with very cruel agendas are passing laws backing our marginalized population into desperate corners, let us be a state of compassion, understanding, without instilling shame or hardship.”
Letter to The Longmont Times-Call: Right-to-abortion bill passes Colorado House after days of Republican protest –“Thankful to live in a state with government that understands medical decisions are to be between doctor and patient. If you don’t want an abortion, don’t get one. Easy peasy.”
Opinion to The Colorado Sun: If Roe is to fall, Colorado needs to codify an affirmative right to abortion – “It’s almost certain the Supreme Court will substantially weaken or even overturn the right to abortion. The question will be whether Colorado has done right by its citizens and ensured those fundamental freedoms by putting them into law. We are at a crisis point and we should meet the moment with action. We can do that with the Reproductive Health Equity Act…”
Opinion to Colorado Newsline: It’s time for Colorado to protect abortion access (again) – “We simply cannot count on the federal courts to protect our rights in Colorado. And Roe has always been a floor, not a ceiling. We must ensure that abortion is not only legal but also accessible for anyone who wants it, without stigma, cost barriers, or political interference. Coloradans agree on protecting abortion access and reproductive rights. It’s a fundamental part of our Colorado values.”
Opinion to The Colorado Sun: As Colorado Dems move to pass abortion-rights law, GOP falls back on theatrics –“I’ve long maintained that the Republican crusade to overturn Roe would be a political disaster for the party. According to the polls, most Americans agree with a woman’s right to choose an abortion. And while overturning Roe wouldn’t ban abortions, it would make abortions central to the 2022 elections because, suddenly, legislators would be the ones making these choices. … Democrats will remember that this fall. And they’ll remind voters that a Republican-led legislature would almost surely do whatever was in its power to limit Colorado abortion rights. In any legislative race that is even remotely close, it will be an issue. And the greater an issue it becomes, the greater the chance that Republican candidates will suffer.”
The most effective way to protect reproductive rights is by ensuring Democrats win state legislative races. The DLCC has launched the “States to Save Roe” campaign to help Democrats and the DLCC fight back against Republican attacks on abortion rights and to protect Democratic chambers like Colorado that serve as a firewall for access to reproductive health care and services.