Democrats Defeat Anti-Woman, Anti-Choice Bills

Health and Insurance Committee Democrats put a swift end to GOP proposals to limit reproductive health care access and stigmatize women who choose to have an abortion.

DENVER, CO — The House Health and Insurance Committee today voted down two dangerous GOP proposals to ban abortion, criminalize doctors who perform them, and create a registry of women who have had them. The proposals were both voted down by party line votes of 8-5.

“Months after Colorado voters overwhelmingly rejected a dangerous ballot initiative to limit abortion access, Republicans are at it again,” said House Majority Leader Daneya Esgar, D-Pueblo. “Between proposing that doctors who perform abortions be charged with a class one felony and demanding that women who undergo the procedure face probing and intimate questions about their personal lives, Republicans have shown how out of touch they are with our state.”

“We’ve seen some heinous anti-choice proposals introduced in the past, but today’s bill was truly something out of a Handmaid’s Tale fever dream,” said Health and Insurance Chair Susan Lontine, D-Denver. “Proposing the creation of a registry to include the personal information of women who have decided that abortion is the right choice for them is dystopian, cruel, and frankly confounding. The voters in this state have been loud and clear: women in Colorado must have access to a full range of reproductive health care options, including abortions. We won’t allow the will of the voters to be overturned, and we won’t allow these brazen attacks on women to go any further.” 

HB21-1183, sponsored by Representative Stephanie Luck, would require healthcare providers that perform abortions to investigate and report personal information about the women obtaining the procedure. This information would then be reported to CDPHE and made public in a report. In addition to compiling the age, race, and marital status, the bill would also require providers to inquire about the number of previous abortions a woman has had, the potential opposition of a partner to obtaining an abortion, the number of children the woman currently has, the reason for the “failure of family planning”, the stage of pregnancy, and the woman’s “reason” for obtaining an abortion, among many other probing questions. The bill was sponsored by 20 out of 24 House Republicans. 

HB21-1017, sponsored by Representative Patrick Neville, defines human life at the point of conception and would make it a class one felony for doctors to provide abortions, with no exception for pregnancies that come as a result of rape or incest. In November 2020, Colorado voters defeated proposition 115, a ballot measure to ban abortion after 22 weeks, by an overwhelming 18 point margin.