Colorado Codifies 'Fundamental Right to Abortion,' Denies Any Rights for the Unborn

Democrat Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed a law on Monday which guarantees the supposed “fundamental right to abortion” and denies all rights to unborn children at any stage of development.

Colorado Democrats created the Reproductive Health Equity Act in direct response to a case currently being decided by the Supreme Court surrounding Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban. The case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organizationis the most significant challenge in decades to the Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which declared abortion to be protected by the U.S. Constitution.

Roe v. Wade has been eroded in the last few years,” Polis said before signing the bill. “Roe v. Wade has been weakened and many legal pundits conclude that it’s likely a matter of time til the federal protections at the Supreme Court simply cease to exist. We in Colorado simply don’t want to take that risk.”

The text of the legislation asserts that access to abortion and “reproductive healthcare” are “under attack across the nation,” and insists there are “social, moral, and economic benefits” when people are allowed to end the lives of their unborn children. The bill also proudly touts Colorado’s history of becoming the first state to decriminalize abortion in 1967, before Roe v. Wade

Colorado Governor Jared Polis speaks before signing into law the reproductive health equity act during a ceremony outside the governor’s mansion, Monday, April 4, 2022, in Denver. The bill’s sponsors, Sen. Julie Gonzalez, far right, Rep. Meg Froelich, center, and House majority leader Daneya Esgar, look on with guests and other lawmakers at the signing. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

While Colorado did not have any time restrictions on abortions before the law, “it didn’t have any guarantees either,” the Denver Post reported. The new law has no wording related to any kind of time restrictions for abortions, meaning Colorado permits abortions up to birth. 

“A pregnant individual has a fundamental right to continue pregnancy and give birth or to have an abortion and to make decisions about how to access that right,” the bill states, notably replacing the word “woman” for “individual” even though only women can bare children. 

The legislation continues, adding that unborn children at any stage of development have no rights under state law. 

“A fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent or derivative rights under the laws of this state,” the bill reads. 

The legislation bars any public entity from denying, restricting, interfering with, or discriminating against “an individual’s fundamental right” to abortion and other forms of “reproductive healthcare” and overrides local laws, ordinances, and policies. Colorado joins 15 other states and the District of Columbia in codifying abortion.

In his signing statement, Polis said the bill “simply codifies existing state protections” and said the law does not change the current legal framework for parental notification and “ensure [s]” no one is forced to perform or have an abortion “against their will or conscience.”

The bill’s sponsor, House Majority leader Daneya Esgar, claimed before the bill was passed that the state is “protecting women and people…” The bill was reportedly debated for at least 24 hours before it passed.

“It’s more important now than ever for all Colorado to make sure we are protecting women and people who choose to be pregnant or choose to not be pregnant across this great state,” Esgar said, according to the Post.

When the state Senate passed the bill in late March, GOP chairwoman Kristi Burton Brown called it “a dark day for the Colorado Democrat Party and any individual who respects the sanctity of life,” adding, “If Jared Polis decides to sign this extreme abortion bill, he will put Colorado’s abortion laws on par with China and North Korea,” pro-life organization Live Action reported

Live Action’s Director of Government Affairs Noah Brandt slammed the bill, saying it does not insist on accountability for doctors if a child is delivered alive during an abortion.

“Under the rules proposed by this bill, if a child is delivered alive during an abortion the doctors are under no legal compulsion to provide standard medical care as they would in any other circumstance and attempt to preserve the child’s life,” Brandt said.“Medical providers would listen to the mother’s instructions. which could include not providing life-sustaining medical care to the child, which would lead to the child’s death, which most reasonable people would consider infanticide.”

“Besides the all-out war against children in-utero, because it defines abortion as a right, the law could also be used to attempt to force medical professionals to commit or participate in abortions. There are zero conscience protections in the law,” Live Action founder Lila Rose wrote in a tweet. 

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) called the bill “absolutely heinous” and an “attack on the unborn.”

“Jared Polis just signed a bill that allows on-demand abortion for the full 40 weeks of pregnancy. This bill is absolutely heinous and an attack on the unborn. Simply put, it is pure evil,” the congresswoman wrote. 

Katherine Hamilton is a political reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow her on Twitter.


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