July 6, 2022

ESGAR, CARAVEO, MULLICA PRAISE POLIS ACTION TO PROTECT ABORTION PATIENTS AND PROVIDERS

DENVER, CO – Majority Leader Daneya Esgar, sponsor of the Colorado Reproductive Health Equity Act, pediatrician Yadira Caraveo, and ER Nurse Kyle Mullica today released the following statements praising Governor Jared Polis’ executive order to protect health care providers and patients’ medical privacy.


“I sponsored the Reproductive Health Equity Act to codify reproductive rights into Colorado law because the government should never interfere in a patient’s private medical decision,” said Majority Leader Daneya Esgar, D-Pueblo. “Governor Polis’ action today will protect patients and providers from actions taken by Republican state legislatures to criminalize abortion, force rape victims and children to give birth, and prosecute patients who travel out of their states to access an abortion. With more people traveling to our state to get the care they need, Colorado is taking a stand to protect patients’ rights and their private medical information.”


“As a doctor, I am appalled that GOP politicians in Republican-led states are limiting women’s freedom to choose and providers’ ability to provide care,” said Rep. Yadira Caraveo, D-Thornton, a primary-care physician. “It is a doctor’s responsibility to care for their patient, but five Republican-appointed justices on the Supreme Court have allowed nearly half of all states to imprison doctors for providing life-saving medical care. The executive order Governor Polis issued today will protect doctors and pregnant women seeking life saving care from the state and local governments wanting to use their private medical information to put them in prison. Congress must follow Colorado’s lead and protect women’s ability to choose their own reproductive futures.”


“Colorado strongly supports reproductive freedom and the right to choose, and I am proud of our work at the state capitol to protect abortion access and codify these rights into state law,” said Rep. Kyle Mullica, D-Thornton, an ER nurse. “We now live in a terrifying reality where abortion patients in Colorado and the providers who care for them could be arrested in states where Republican legislatures have banned abortion. I serve on the House Health and Insurance Committee where earlier this year every Repubican lawmaker on the committee voted to ban abortion without exception and force rape victims and children to give birth. I’m proud that our governor is taking additional action today to protect providers’ licenses and patients’ privacy, and I’ll continue fighting bills from Republican lawmakers to ban abortion in Colorado.”


The Reproductive Health Equity Act updates Colorado’s laws to protect reproductive rights and codifies the fundamental right to choose to continue a pregnancy and give birth, or to have an abortion.


Colorado Democrats are committed to ensuring abortion remains safe, legal, and accessible. Recently, House Democrats defeated three Republican-led bills that would have jeopardized that right, including:


HB22-1079, which would have banned abortion in Colorado with no exceptions. The bill explicitly directed Colorado to disregard federal law and federal court rulings and would subject Colorado judges who support access to abortion to impeachment. In addition, it would have allowed a private right of action against abortion providers, and potentially patients too.


HB22-1047, which would have banned abortion in Colorado with no exceptions. The bill would have also criminalized miscarriages and would have subjected abortion providers to imprisonment. The bill would have forced rape victims and children to give birth.


HB22-1075, which would have established a registry to track and surveil abortion patients and providers. It also would have created a roadmap for abortion opponents to identify and further threaten abortion patients and providers, and facilitate their prosecution should Colorado ban ever abortion.