March 12, 2022

HOUSE DEMS ADVANCE REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH EQUITY ACT

Legislation will protect and uphold the right to an abortion in Colorado

DENVER, CO – The House today advanced the Reproductive Health Equity Act on a preliminary vote.

“We’re protecting abortion rights in Colorado, and we’re not backing down,” said Rep. Meg Froelich, D-Englewood. “Extreme GOP ideologies, some of which were previewed in the debate tonight, would put the government in control of personal medical decisions. This bill protects our right to safe reproductive care for generations to come. While there is more work to be done, I am extremely proud of my colleagues who spoke in favor of this bill with personal, powerful stories.”

"Reproductive health care is vital health care," said House Majority Leader Daneya Esgar, D-Pueblo. "Politicians, neighbors or complete strangers have no business controlling personal medical decisions – that should be between patients and their doctors. While our rights are under attack across the country, with the advancement of the Reproductive Health Equity Act, we’re closer to solidifying access to abortion and fundamental reproductive health care rights into Colorado law.”

HB22-1279, sponsored by Representative Meg Froelich and Majority Leader Daneya Esgar, would update Colorado’s laws to protect reproductive rights. The bill establishes a fundamental right to choose to continue a pregnancy and give birth, or to have an abortion. The proposed law comes as states across the country propose and enact new bans and restrictions on abortion access. The legislation is supported by: Cobalt, COLOR, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the Interfaith Alliance of Colorado, the Anti-Defamation League of the Mountain States, the ACLU of Colorado, ONE Colorado, New Era Colorado, Catholics for Choice and dozens of other organizations.

In Texas, Republicans passed legislation banning abortion after six weeks, before many women even know they are pregnant. Additionally, the Texas Supreme Court today made it virtually impossible for abortion advocates to fight the bill by halting their use of federal courts. Republican lawmakers in Missouri have proposed legislation that would allow private lawsuits against individuals who help women obtain an abortion out of state. Another bill introduced in the Missouri House would make it illegal for pregnant people to abort ectopic pregnancies, pregnancies that happen outside of the uterus and which can be deadly for the pregnant person if left untreated.

Democrats have already defeated three GOP anti-choice bills so far this session.

HB22-1079, sponsored by Representative Williams, was an unconstitutional ban on abortion in Colorado with no exceptions. The bill explicitly directed Colorado to disregard federal law and federal courts and would subject Colorado judges who support access to abortion to impeachment. It would have allowed a private right of action against abortion providers, and potentially patients too.

HB22-1047, sponsored by Representative Neville, would have banned abortion in Colorado with no exceptions. The bill would have also criminalized miscarriages and would have imprisoned providers who perform an abortion.

HB22-1075, sponsored by Representative Luck, would have established a registry to track and surveil abortion patients and providers. It would have created a roadmap for abortion opponents to identify and further threaten abortion patients and providers.