Following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, two Democratic lawmakers are set to strengthen abortion protections in Colorado.
Sen. Julie Gonzales, D-Denver, and Rep. Meg Froelich, D-Greenwood Village, said they filed a bill title to protect Colorado abortion care providers and anyone seeking abortion care. abortion in the state. The filing of the title — the first step toward creating a bill — took place on Friday, just hours after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision was announced.
“We’re ready to get the job done,” Gonzales said. “We’re not going to wait for anyone. We will use the power we have because we have a Democratic majority in Colorado, and we are beginning to draft legislation to continue to protect access for all Coloradoans.
With the annulment of Roe v. Wade, abortion is now becoming a state-by-state issue, with trigger laws established to quickly ban all or most abortions in 22 states. In Colorado, abortion was enshrined as a basic human right under the Reproductive Health Equity Act signed into law in April.
The Reproductive Health Equity Act passed the state legislature in March after a record 23 hours of debate, affirming in state law the right to choose an abortion or carry a pregnancy. eventually. Gonzales said his bill would seek to expand those protections even further.
Although the research and drafting of the bill has just begun, Gonzales said she intends the bill to meet the needs that arise as other states ban abortion. This could potentially include protecting people from out of state who come to Colorado for abortions, expanding capacity so people can access abortions in a timely manner, securing business licenses for abortion providers or assistance in transferring out-of-state providers to Colorado.
“We have been proactive and now that the decision has been released reversing Roe v. Wade, it is now up to us to act again,” Gonzales said. “Colorado has been and will continue to be a haven for anyone seeking abortion care. The question is, how do we protect patients? How do we protect providers?”
It comes as Democratic dominance of the Colorado legislature hangs in the balance, with Republicans threatening to take control of the state Senate in the November election.
All Republican lawmakers voted against the Reproductive Health Equity Act last session, and some have sponsored unsuccessful bills to abolish abortion in Colorado. In response to the overturning of Roe v. Wade, many Republican lawmakers celebrated the news and called on Colorado to ban abortion.
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“In the last legislative session, the Liberal Democrat majority passed the most extreme pro-abortion law in the United States,” House Minority Leader Hugh McKean, R-Loveland, said in a statement. . “In Colorado, we must work together to improve the lives of all Coloradans – those citizens who live and work in our communities now and those who are yet to be born.”
That means the fate of Gonzales’ bill likely hinges on the results of the November election. But regardless, Gonzales said she vowed to continue the fight to protect access to abortion “for as long as it takes.”