Legality is one part of reproductive rights. Access is next.
There remains plenty of work to be done for Colorado to fully protect safe, accessible, inclusive care
Advocates for the Safe Access to Protected Health Care Package pose at the Colorado Capitol on April 14, 2023. (Courtesy of Jaki Lawrence/Cobalt)
As a lifelong Democrat and supporter of reproductive rights for all Coloradans, I was thrilled to see Gov. Jared Polis sign all three bills in the Safe Access to Protected Health Care Package into law last week.
The protections affirmed in the package of bills — the rights of patients, providers, and future health care professionals; preventing misinformation in our communities; and making care more affordable by closing gaps in insurance coverage — have come at a critical time. The Democratic Women of Boulder County applaud the work of our partners Cobalt, Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity (COLOR), New Era Colorado, and Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains to address the opportunities where Colorado can further protect abortion rights for all community members.
Colorado’s leadership is desperately needed during these challenging times. As states across the country continue to criminalize people’s choices and restrict their bodies, I am proud to be in Colorado where our state leaders — Polis and Attorney General Phil Weiser — and legislators are committed to protecting the legality and fundamental freedom of our reproductive rights.
However, we know there remains plenty of work to be done for Colorado to fully protect safe, accessible, and inclusive reproductive care. Legality is just one part of the conversation. Access is the next.
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The passage of the historical Safe Access to Protected Health Care Package prompted a sense of security, which quickly evaporated as I reflected on the news out of Texas, Florida, and Ohio — and just about everywhere across this nation. The unfortunate truth is that anti-abortion actors will stop at nothing, including state lines, to make abortion so difficult to access that comprehensive reproductive health care as we know it becomes impossible.
The unfortunate truth is that anti-abortion actors will stop at nothing, including state lines, to make abortion so difficult to access that comprehensive reproductive health care as we know it becomes impossible.
Abortion is essential health care. The terror unleashed by the overturn of Roe v. Wade brought attempts to gut reproductive care to the forefront, releasing a chilling effect that threatens to uproot the health care system as we know it. It’s vital that we preserve safe, accessible, and transparent reproductive care options for all people who come to Colorado for care.
That’s why the signing of Senate Bill 23-188, Senate Bill 23-189, and Senate Bill 23-190 is so important: The Safe Access to Protected Health Care Package solidifies Colorado’s place as a reproductive safe haven and as a national reproductive rights champion.
The fight for accessibility does not end here. Voters are more than willing to turn out in support of pro-abortion candidates and abortion protections (and it’s not just Democrats). More so, the omnipresent attacks on our bodily autonomy have cemented the policy priority for another generation of voters who are ready and willing to use their vote as their voice.
Pushing for true accessibility remains a priority for advocates of all generations, from Boomers to Gen X to Gen Z, including the Democratic Women of Boulder County. Our watchful eyes are fixed on our state leaders as we wait for them to boldly and clearly say that they will do everything they can to defend reproductive rights protections.
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