DENVER, CO– The House today advanced Reps. Yadira Caraveo and Julie McCluskie’s bill to remove barriers to allow survivors of sexual violence on Medicaid to access a full range of reproductive health care options, including abortion, closer to their homes. The vote was 39-24.
“As a doctor, I won’t stand by and let the type of insurance coverage someone has, their income, or their zip code determine what kind of care they can have in Colorado,” said Rep. Yadira Caraveo, D-Thornton, a physician. “All women in Colorado should have access to the full range of reproductive health care, and this bill brings us a step closer to making that a reality.”
“Survivors of sexual violence should have access to the reproductive care they need, regardless of their income level, zip code, or what type of health insurance they have,” said Rep. Julie McCluskie, D-Dillon. “Colorado has repeatedly defended women’s access to reproductive care,and now, we’re taking an important step forward to ensure that all women in our state have acces to the care they may need.”
Current law only allows public funds to be used for abortion care in highly specific locations and requires that they only be performed by a physician – despite the fact that safe abortion care is offered in several out-patient care facilities across the state, including primary care offices, OBGYN offices, abortion clinics, etc. and are routinely performed by other kinds of certified healthcare providers like nurse practitioners.
These restrictions solely and exclusively impact Medicaid-eligible sexual violence survivors because people with private insurance are not subject to facility or physician-only restrictions when seeking abortion care. SB21-142 would allow sexual violence survivors on Medicaid to access all reproductive care options closer to home by removing restrictions on the types of buildings where certain care is covered and removing the physician requirement barriers.