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April 7, 2023

Duran, Daugherty Statements on Decision to Limit Safe Medical Abortion

DENVER, CO – House Majority Leader Monica Duran and Representative Lindsey Daugherty, Chair of the House Health and Insurance Committee, today released the following statements in response to the ruling in Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA, in which a federal judge in Texas overturned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval of a safe abortion medication:

Majority Leader Monica Duran, D-Wheat Ridge:

“In Colorado, your right to medical abortion is protected because we trust people to make their own medical decisions – without governmental or judicial interference. The decision by one federal judge to overturn the FDA’s scientifically backed approval of mifepristone is mounted in misinformation. This will not stop abortion – it will only limit access to safe medication based abortion. But here, in Colorado, Democrats are committed to defending your right to reproductive health care. 

When we passed the Reproductive Health Equity Act, we knew the fight wasn’t over to protect access to safe abortion. With the Safe Access to Protected Health Care package, we’re prioritizing patients and providers, stopping the spread of deceptive advertising by anti-abortion centers, and reducing health care gaps in reproductive and gender affirming care.

“We will never let GOP politicians weaken, limit or flat-out ban access to reproductive healthcare in Colorado.”

Chair of the House Health and Insurance Committee Rep. Lindsey Daugherty, D-Arvada:  

“This decision by a Trump-appointed judge will gut access to safe, effective abortion across the country and is yet another attack on our fundamental reproductive freedoms. To be clear, this ruling is not founded in science or medical evidence – it is a Republican-led attempt to restrict access to FDA-approved abortion medication. This gross overreach of power imperils the lives of those seeking an abortion and threatens the health, economic security and freedom of millions of Americans.

“By restricting access to this medication, GOP-appointed judges and courts are putting their anti-abortion ideations above science. In February, Democrats on the House Health & Insurance Committee defeated three anti-abortion bills that would have banned safe, legal abortion and spread dangerous misinformation about reproductive health care. 

“While this decision is a setback in achieving reproductive freedom for all, Colorado Democrats will always fight to protect and uphold your fundamental right to reproductive health care, including abortion.” 

Mifepristone is an FDA-approved medication that has been used safely and effectively for more than 20 years by more than five million people. This decision will have negative, lasting effects for people trying to access reproductive health care.

In 2022, Colorado Democrats passed the Reproductive Health Equity Act (RHEA), which Governor Polis signed into law. This landmark legislation updated Colorado’s laws to protect reproductive rights and established a fundamental right to choose to continue a pregnancy and give birth or to have an abortion. 

Colorado Democrats on the House Health & Insurance Committee also put a swift end to GOP proposals earlier this year. Extreme bills would have criminalized abortion with no exceptions, forced providers to administer legislative-prescribed medical treatments and spread dangerous misinformation about so-called abortion pill reversal. 

Given instability on reproductive justice issues, Colorado Democrats in the House and Senate passed a legislative package of bills that would improve protections for patients and providers (SB23-188), prohibit the use of deceptive advertising by anti-abortion centers (SB23-190), and close access gaps related to sexually transmitted infections and abortion care (SB23-189).

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