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Tipsheet

Colorado Gov. Polis Furthers Abortion Protections After Roe Overturn

AP Photo/David Zalubowski

Pro-abortion Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) signed an executive order this week to strengthen the state’s protections on abortion rights. Colorado already has a “fundamental” right to abortion enshrined in state law.

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Similar to other Democratic, pro-abortion governors, Polis’ order prohibits the state from cooperating with abortion investigations brought forth from states with strict abortion laws in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade

“Colorado is committed to protecting access to reproductive health care. No one who is lawfully providing, assisting, seeking, or obtaining reproductive health care in Colorado should be subject to legal liability or professional sanctions in Colorado or any other state, nor willColorado cooperate with criminal or civil investigations for actions that are fully legal in ourState,” the order reads.

This week, Maine Gov. Janet Mills (D) and North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) signed similar directives.

Townhall has covered this year how lawmakers in Colorado are pushing abortion access. In March, the state’s General Assembly held its first hearing on legislation guaranteeing unrestricted access to abortion in the state. The move was the first step in asking Colorado voters to approve constitutional protections for abortion on the 2024 ballot.

In April, Polis signed into law a “fundamental” right to abortion in Colorado. In his signing statment, he referred to abortion as “family planning” and reproductive health care.” The statement did not mention the word abortion. Rather, he described it as “ending a pregnancy with medical assistance.” 

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“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,” the statement read.

“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,” it continued. 

A month later, Polis appeared in an interview where he doubled-down on his position. He called abortion a “gut wrenching” decision, but claimed that pregnant women should have the option to abort their child up through the ninth month of pregnancy. 

“What we did here is we preserved, essentially, the Roe v. Wade protection in Colorado. Cause fundamentally, Shannon, what we believe is this is not about the government making that decision [abortion]. It’s about the government making that decision. To sort of win this battle, it’s about the hearts and minds of women, not the laws of man,” Polis said in the segment. 

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“Is there a limit on abortion up through nine months in Colorado?” anchor Shannon Bream pressed. 

“It’s the same as it has been in the last several decades. People face gut-wrenching decisions every day, whether it’s rape or incest, they’re often having the choose between the life of the mother or child. For the government to insert itself into that conversation, between a doctor and a woman, a faith leader and a woman, is simply wrong. I think we need to approach this a different way. I think there’s a lot of common ground around reducing unwanted pregnancies, empowering women and men with birth control, and really generating a culture of responsibility about what it means to be a parent,” Polis said, not answering the question.

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