AP

Colorado governor signs law to protect abortion rights

Apr 4, 2022, 12:21 PM | Updated: 3:10 pm

DENVER (AP) — Colorado joined a handful of other states Monday in codifying the right to abortion in statute, a party-line response to efforts across the country to limit abortion access in anticipation of a pending U.S. Supreme Court ruling on a challenge to the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that banned states from outlawing abortion.

Gov. Jared Polis signed into law the Reproductive Health Equity Act, which passed the Democratic-led Legislature after dozens of hours of testimony by residents and fierce opposition by minority Republicans. The law guarantees access to reproductive care before and after pregnancy and bans local governments from imposing their own restrictions.

It also declares that fertilized eggs, embryos and fetuses have no independent rights. That’s a response to failed ballot initiatives that sought to restrict abortion by giving embryos the rights of born humans. In 2014, voters rejected a proposal to add unborn human beings to the state’s criminal code, allowing prosecutors to charge anyone who kills a fetus with a crime.

“Colorado has been, is and will be a pro-choice state,” Polis said, calling increasing abortion restrictions elsewhere “an enormous government overreach, an enormous government infringement” of individual rights. “No matter what the Supreme Court does in the future, people in Colorado will be able to choose when and if they have children.”

Colorado was the first state to decriminalize abortion in most cases in 1967, and it allows access to abortion but had nothing in state law guaranteeing it. New Jersey, Oregon and Vermont had previously codified the right to abortion throughout pregnancy, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization that supports abortion rights.

Republicans would still be able to introduce legislation and ballot measures to reverse the new law. For that reason, abortion rights groups are weighing a 2024 constitutional ballot measure, much like Nevada did in 1990.

Colorado Democrats cited the high court’s consideration of a Mississippi case that could overrule Roe v. Wade, as well as a new Texas law banning abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy. If Roe is overturned fully, at least 26 states are likely to either ban abortion outright or severely limit access, the Guttmacher Institute says.

“We don’t want to ever see what’s happening in Texas to happen in Colorado,” said House Majority Leader Rep. Daneya Esgar, a sponsor of the Colorado legislation.

Idaho has enacted a law modeled after the Texas statute. Missouri lawmakers have introduced a bill to make it illegal for the state’s residents to get abortions in other states. Arizona’s legislature has approved a ban on abortion after 15 weeks and, like other states, has a law that would automatically ban abortion if Roe is overturned.

In California, Democratic leaders are considering more than a dozen bills this year to prepare for a Roe reversal. Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law last month to make abortions cheaper for people on private insurance plans. Washington state enacted a law banning legal action against people who aid or receive an abortion, responding to the Texas law’s provision allowing people to sue abortion providers or those who assist them.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

President Joe Biden gestures after speaking to graduating students at the Morehouse College commenc...

Associated Press

Biden tells Morehouse graduates that scenes in Gaza from the Israel-Hamas war break his heart, too

Joe Biden on Sunday offered his most direct recognition of U.S. students' anguish over the Israel-Hamas war.

1 minute ago

Rudy Giuliani...

Associated Press

Rudy Giuliani is the final defendant to serve indictment in Arizona fake elector case

Rudy Giuliani has been served an indictment in Arizona's fake elector case for his role in an attempt to overturn the 2020 election.

20 hours ago

Houston storms cause widespread damage on Friday...

Associated Press

Some in Houston facing no power for weeks after storms cause widespread damage, killing at least 4

Houston storms cause widespread damage on Friday, May 17. Thunderstorms hit the southeastern part of Texas, killing at least four people.

2 days ago

Man gets 30 years in prison for attacking ex-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband with a hammer...

Associated Press

Man gets 30 years in prison for attacking ex-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband with a hammer

A man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for attacking the husband of then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with a hammer.

2 days ago

audio from President Joe Biden’s interview about classified documents blocked...

Associated Press

GOP advances Garland contempt charges after White House exerts executive privilege over Biden audio

The move to release audio from President Joe Biden’s interview about classified documents was blocked on Thursday by the White House.

3 days ago

Asylum processing for new migrants: Changes could come soon...

Associated Press

The Biden administration is planning more changes to quicken asylum processing for new migrants

The Biden administration is planning to quicken the asylum processing for new migrants as an interim step rather than an executive order.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

...

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

Colorado governor signs law to protect abortion rights