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Tipsheet

Democratic Gov. Polis Signs Law Creating ‘Fundamental’ Right to Abortion in Colorado

AP Photo/David Zalubowski

Democratic pro-abortion Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed into law this week a “fundamental right” to abortion in the state. This comes as states like Florida, Idaho, Texas, South Dakota, and Arizona have created legislation restricting abortion and saving unborn lives and the Supreme Court decides a case that could overturn 1973 case Roe v. Wade

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Polis shared a statement published on Monday that was addressed to the Colorado General Assembly that explains why he enshrined the right to abortion in state law. In the statement, he used terminology like “family planning” and “reproductive health care.” The statement does not mention the word abortion. I covered yesterday how Democrats are divided on using the term. Rather, Polis described abortion as “[ending] a pregnancy with medical assistance.”

“Dear Honorable Members of the Colorado General Assembly:

Today I signed into law House Bill 22-1279, “Reproductive Health Equity Act.” House Bill 22-1279 white (HB 22-1279) codifies a person’s fundamental right to make reproductive health-care decisions free from government interference. In the State of Colorado, the serious decision to start or end a pregnancy with medical assistance will remain between a person, their doctor, and their faith. I want to thank the sponsors and the General Assembly for ensuring that regardless of what happens federally, in Colorado these vital and oftentimes difficult decisions will continue to be made by Coloradans alone, free from government interference. 

This important bill simply codifies existing protections in statute. The bill does not make any changes to the current legal framework for parental notification that exists in state law. This bill will also prevent any person from being forced to end or continue a pregnancy, and ensure that no on is forced to perform of have an abortion against their will or conscience. Such is already the case in Colorado today. The bill simply maintains this status quo regardless of what happens at the federal level and preserves all existing constitutional rights and obligations.

As the federal legal landscape surrounding reproductive health care evolves, Colorado can now thankfully continue to assure individuals that their intimate right to choose how and whether to proceed with family planning and pregnancy is protected at the state level. 

Again, I thank the sponsors and proponents for passing HB 22-1279. The Reproductive Health Equity Act will preserve Coloradans’ right to choose hot to utilize reproductive health care services by codifying existing protections into state law.”

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Colorado’s law creates “fundamental” rights for the pregnant individual and none for the unborn child.

"A fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent or derivative rights under the laws of the state," the law explicitly states.

Jeff Hunt, the director of the Colorado-based Centennial Institute, came out against the law on Twitter. 

"This will go down as one of the worst days in Colorado history," he wrote on Twitter. "Pro-abortionists at the Colorado capitol sealed the fate of countless lives."

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