Colorado responds to end of Roe v. wade
DENVER — Conservative Supreme Court justices overturned Roe vs. Wade On June 24, 2022, ending a constitutional right to abortion that had been in place for five decades.
The 6-3 decision, with liberal justices dissenting, wasn’t exactly a surprise – earlier this year, Politico published a draft opinion of SCOTUS showing that a majority of justices, led by conservatives, planned to overturn deer.
Colorado is one of the few Western states to guarantee access to abortion in state law. Earlier this spring, Governor Jared Polis signed the Reproductive Health Equity Act, which codified protections for all reproductive care, including abortions, and ensured that a fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus had no rights personality under Colorado law.
After Friday’s reversal deerPolis released a statement:
“Coloradons don’t want politicians to make their health decisions. Thanks to my administration and my Democratic leadership in the Legislature, Coloradians need not worry because our rights are still protected today despite the sad reality that the Supreme Court of the United States has just struck down these freedoms for millions of Americans in other states. In Colorado, we will continue to choose freedom and oppose government control over our bodies. State leadership matters more than ever, and in Colorado, we will not step back into an archaic era where the powerful controlled freedoms over our bodies and our health decisions.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said in a longer statement“This decision is nothing more than an inflammatory attack on women’s rights and health, and the consequences for the rule of law will be profound…The only thing the Supreme Court accomplished today is to undermine our Constitution and the confidence of the people in the institution of the Court.”
Nadine Bridges, executive director of LGBTQ+ advocacy group One Colorado, said in a statement, “Together, we must disrupt these systems of power and take control of our own choices. We must refuse to allow anyone to treat any of us as not being human or whole!” You can read Bridges’ full statement here.
Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, a Democrat, said she was “devastated and outraged.”
“Suppressing the freedom of Americans to make decisions about our bodies, our health, our economic independence, our security, and our future is an injustice and a tragedy,” Griswold wrote on Twitter. “Pregnancy should not be imposed on women by the government – it is the freedom of the individual to make that choice.”
U.S. Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colorado), meanwhile, described the decision to cancel deer as a “militant decision”.
“Today, a sweeping majority in the Supreme Court has demolished fifty years of legal precedent,” Bennett wrote. “This militant decision deprives women of their individual freedom to make deeply personal decisions about their bodies and their futures, and eviscerates their constitutionally protected liberty and equality rights.”
Bennet concluded his statement by calling on voters to “elect pro-choice majorities in Congress” so Democratic lawmakers can codify abortion access nationally. It should be noted, however, that Democrats already control the House, Senate, and Presidency of the United States; the party could pass such legislation, but it would require abolishing the filibuster, which more moderate party members oppose.
[Related: Why Democrats probably won’t get rid of the filibuster for abortion]
Moreover, a larger Democratic majority in Congress would do nothing to change the current ideological imbalance of the Supreme Court, except unlikely. increase in the number of judges.
Republican members of Colorado’s congressional delegation celebrated the court’s decision to overturn deer: US Representative Doug Lamborn called the original deer “tragically wrong” opinion and fellow Republican Ken Buck tweeted “the power to decide this profound moral question has officially returned to the States.”
Several studies have shown that banning abortion does not lead to fewer procedures. Dr Bela Ganatra, who heads the unsafe abortion prevention unit at the World Health Organization, told NPR last month that there is a strong correlation between the prohibition of abortion and the rate of unsafe abortions.
Thirteen states have “trigger laws” in place that ban abortion within 30 days Friday’s decision. Three of these states – Utah, Wyoming and Oklahoma – border Colorado. The zero states bordering Colorado have the right to abortion guaranteed by state law. Because Colorado is unique in this regard, abortion providers in the state are used to treating many out-of-state patients. The number of patients traveling from out of state is likely to increase now that neighboring states will enact outright abortion bans.
To find abortion clinics or an abortion fund near you, no matter what state you are in, click here.
[Previous coverage: Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains: ‘You couldn’t create a more terrifying scenario’]
The immediate impact of the court’s decision is that tens of millions of women and individuals giving birth will no longer have reliable access to safe and legal abortions, a right that had been guaranteed to generations of Americans before. them. The longer term impacts of Roe’s inversion are less clear, but as Mark Joseph Stern noted in Slate“There is a strong correlation between states with restrictive abortion laws and states with high rates of maternal and infant mortality. Abortion bans are also likely to increase child poverty.
In the dissenting opinion of Friday’s decision, the liberal Supreme Court justices wrote: “With sadness – to this Court, but more so, to the millions of American women who today lost fundamental constitutional protection – us dissidents.”
Kyle Cooke is Digital Media Manager at Rocky Mountain PBS. You can reach him at [email protected].