Colorado abortion bill to protect reproductive rights

     A leaked Supreme Court draft opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade, which protects a constitutional right to abortion in the U.S., has sparked national debate. The draft comes weeks after the Colorado legislature passed a bill to protect abortion in the state. 

     On April 4, Governor Jared Polis signed into law the Reproductive Health Equity Act. According to The Denver Post, the bill “ensures the right to abortions as well as other reproductive care before and after pregnancy, and it would ban local and state governments from interfering in that care. It also would prevent a fertilized egg, embryo or fetus from having independent rights under state law.” 

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     The Denver Post reported that the bill will legally protect abortion regardless of the gestational stage of the fetus but will not guarantee state funding to provide for abortions. “That means a person will be guaranteed the right to choose whether to get an abortion or not, but it doesn’t mean it will be covered by their state insurance,” The Denver Post said. 

     Ella Barry, a member of the UCCS Feminist Club, discussed what this new bill may mean for UCCS students and others in Colorado. 

     “Abortion is healthcare, and this bill will allow for all people of Colorado to get the healthcare that they deserve, including UCCS students,” Barry wrote via email.   

     “Everyone should have access to safe abortions. Abortion bans don’t necessarily stop abortions from happening, they just make them less safe. With recent abortion laws in states like Texas and Florida, it’s important that Colorado sets an example by providing access to safe abortions,” she said. 

     However, Barry said that her views do not represent the feminist club’s collective stance on abortion. “We have members of our club who are pro-choice and members who are pro-life. It is our desire as a club to promote equality, but our club is also meant to be a safe space for everyone regardless of their beliefs,” she said. 

     Speaking to those at UCCS or in the community who may hesitate to call themselves feminists, Barry said, “Unfortunately, there is a stigma around the word ‘feminist’ and I think it’s important for people to understand that a feminist is just someone who believes in equal rights for all. Not all feminists have the same exact beliefs, and that’s okay, you can still call yourself a feminist if you believe in equality. 

     “For those that are hesitant to support people’s rights to abortion, remember that pro-choice is about a choice. It gives people the right to choose what is best for them. If you personally are against abortion, you have every right to not have an abortion, without taking away the rights of others. I think Gov. Polis said it best, the choice to have or not to have an abortion should ‘remain between a person, their doctor, and their faith.’”  

     For more information regarding the Reproductive Health Equity Act, the Colorado General Assembly’s page provides more information regarding the bill that Polis signed and PDF copies of the bill itself.  

     The UCCS Feminist Club is on Instagram at @uccsfeminists