The effort to get Amendment 89, a constitutional amendment to protect the right to an abortion from government interference in Colorado, onto the November ballot will kick off on Tuesday, January 23 at an event in Grand Junction from 6:00 – 8:00 pm at The Mesa Theater, 538 Main St, Grand Junction, CO 81501. Currently abortion is protected in Colorado, but only by a statutory law enacted in 2022 called the Reproductive Health Equity Act, which confers only weak protection that could easily be changed by a vote of Republicans trying to further restrict women’s rights.
Amendment 89 will assure that all Coloradans, regardless of occupation or source of health insurance, have access to reproductive healthcare. Currently, teachers, firefighters, other state and local public employees and people enrolled in state health insurance plans lack insurance coverage (pdf) for abortion care, an inequity that
Amendment 89 aims to address. As a constitutional amendment, Amendment 89 will also be a stronger buffer against future attempts by politicians in Colorado to limit abortion access in our state.
The effort to get Amendment 89 (pdf) on the 2024 ballot is being brought by the Colorado Health, Rights and Justice Coalition and its issue committee, Coloradans for Protecting Reproductive Freedom. The effort is supported by former Colorado Lieutenant Governor Gail Schoettler. Organizations in the Coalition are the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado, Cobalt, Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR), Interfaith Alliance of Colorado, New Era Colorado, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, and ProgressNow Colorado.
To get this issue on the 2024 Colorado ballot, the Coalition needs to gather 185,000 valid signatures by March 2024.
This event in downtown Grand Junction is a part of a week-long series of events being held across the state to initiate signature-gathering for the measure. That week marks the 51st anniversary of the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade court decision that assured a constitutional right to an abortion, a right was abruptly ended in June of 2022 after the new U.S. Supreme Court supermajority, including the three new Trump appointees, Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett, officially reversed Roe v. Wade, ending the hard-won constitutional right to an abortion that had been the law of the land for half a century.
Ending Roe v. Wade rolled back womens rights on a massive scale in America and ignited a national “war on women” by Republicans that is unprecedented in our lifetimes. Many Republican-led states, in anticipation of the end of Roe v. Wade, had previously passed laws banning abortion that were triggered to go into effect as soon as the Supreme Court invalidated Roe. Most of these draconian Republican laws elevate the value of a zygote (fertilized egg) above the life of the person carrying it, and as a result many American women now face massive difficulties, dire situations and even death because of them.
With national protection for abortion rights gone, currently citizens of eleven states are scrambling to get measures to protect abortion rights onto their statewide ballots in 2024.
Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, every ballot initiative so far aimed at preserving or expanding abortion rights has been successful, while every effort to restrict abortion access has failed by wide margins, even in conservative states like Kansas and Ohio.
Abortion bans are driving voters away from the Republican Party
Republicans have been on a national losing streak in elections nationally since the Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
A 2022 survey by the Public Religion Research Institute shows two thirds of Americans believe abortion should be legal in most or all cases, while only 9% believe it should be illegal in all cases, putting Republicans on the losing side of this issue by a wide margin.
Former President Donald Trump has openly taken credit for killing the long-held right to an abortion by appointing Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. It was also widely understood that Kavanaugh lied in his confirmation hearings to assure his appointment to the Supreme Court, and Gorsuch and Coney-Barrett misled the Senate as well during their confirmation hearings to assure they were confirmed to the Supreme Court. Their lying and rulings since then to erode rights have eroded confidence the the country’s highest court. A September, 2023 Gallup survey shows American confidence in the U.S. Supreme Court is at record lows.
Signature-gathering for Amendment #89 will be held at the Mesa Theater along with instruction in how to conduct signature gathering to assure it is done properly and that the signatures collected are valid.
RSVP for the free event here.
Here are the dates, times and locations for the other launch events going on around the state:
- Denver Launch: Monday, January 22, from 12 pm to 2 pm at the Colorado State Capitol, 200 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80203
- Pueblo Launch: Tuesday, January 23, from 5 pm to 7 pm at Blo Back Art Gallery, 131 Spring St, Pueblo, CO 81003
- Boulder Launch: Wednesday, January 24, from 6 pm to 8 pm at the Fox Theatre, 1135 13th St, Boulder, CO 80302 (RSVP Link Coming Soon)
- Greeley Launch: Thursday, January 25, from 6 pm to 8 pm at Margie’s Java Joint, 931 16th St, Greeley, CO 80631
For more information on the effort to effort pass Amendment 89, contact Debbie Berry Fisk of Cobalt Advocates at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call her at (970) 773-1717.