Category: Abortion

Abortion access initiative makes it onto Colorado’s 2024 ballot

It’s official.

The initiative to enshrine abortion rights in the Colorado state Constitution will be on the ballot this November.

Since it seeks to amend the state constitution, it will need a vote of at least a 55% in favor to pass.

The Colorado Secretary of State’s Election Office announced today that supporters of Initiative #89, the “Right to Abortion,” had submitted the required number of signatures to qualify the proposed constitutional amendment for Colorado’s statewide General Election ballot on November 5, 2024.

Colorado’s abortion rights ballot measure surpasses its signature goal, putting it one step closer to being on the 2024 November Ballot

Coloradans for Protecting Reproductive Freedom announced that it has surpassed their campaign’s goal of collecting 185,000 signatures to put Ballot Initiative 89 on the November, 2024 ballot, putting Colorado voters are one step closer to seeing a constitutional amendment on the November 2024 ballot that will protect abortion from government interference. The announcement comes just a few days after the Arizona Supreme Court upheld an 1864 law banning abortion, a law that was enacted when Arizona was still a territory and long before American women had the right to vote.

The campaign needs 124,238 valid signatures to qualify for the ballot, including 2% of the total registered electors in each of Colorado’s 35 state senate districts. As of now, the coalition has collected over 225,000 signatures of which 48,175 were collected by over a thousand volunteers, and has qualified in all 35 state senate districts.

The text of proposed Initiative 89 says:

“A change to the Colorado constitution recognizing the right to abortion, and, in connection therewith, prohibiting the state and local governments from denying, impeding, or discriminating against the exercise of that right, allowing abortion to be a covered service under health insurance plans for Colorado state and local government employees and enrollees in state and local governmental insurance programs.”

Jess Grennan, Campaign Director of Coloradans for Protecting Reproductive Freedom, said “The news of Arizona’s near-total abortion ban ultimately

Jess Grennan

exposed just how vulnerable every state is, and will remain, without passing legislation that constitutionally secures the right to abortion. Ballot measures like Proposition 89 are our first line of defense against government overreach and our best tool to protect the freedom to make personal, private healthcare decisions — a right that should never depend on the source of one’s health insurance or who is in office, because a right without access is a right in name only.”

Current law is discriminatory

Because of a 1984 constitutional measure that barely passed, public employees and people on public insurance in Colorado are barred from having their health insurance cover abortion care. By establishing abortion as a constitutional right, Ballot Initiative #89 would remove that discrimination, providing access to teachers, firefighters, and other state employees who cannot currently get coverage for abortion care through their insurance. Private employers in Colorado are required to cover abortion in their insurance plans.

“Recent events have made it even more critical that we in Colorado restore what the Dobbs decision took away from us and secure abortion rights in the Colorado Constitution,” said Cobalt President Karen Middleton, Co-Chair of Coloradans for Protecting Reproductive Freedom. “As a fundamental, shared value, Coloradans trust people and their doctors, not politicians, to make decisions about abortion. That value has been reinforced in 2024 with the overwhelming enthusiasm for our ballot measure, as demonstrated by thousands of volunteers in every corner of the state collecting signatures. And we firmly believe that this energy and enthusiasm will carry us through to winning in November.”

Karen Middleton

“Abortion is legal in Colorado, but still not accessible for all pregnant people who need these services. Abortion may be legal in Colorado, and that’s due to our leadership passing the Reproductive Health Equity Act in 2022 to codify a person’s fundamental right to make reproductive health-care decisions, but statutory protections do not mean we are any safer from government interference than Arizona is,” said Dusti Gurule, President and CEO of the Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR) and Campaign Co-Chair. “This is why our community is fighting to enshrine abortion rights in the Colorado state constitution, along with the more than 225,000 Coloradans who have signed on to support this measure. Crossing the signature threshold is a critical step forward in securing a future where abortion rights are protected, respected, and accessible for all Coloradans, regardless of which elected or appointed official is in power.”

Dusti Gurule

 

Help keep Colorado a free state

Get up, get out and sign the petition to preserve reproductive freedom in Colorado! If you can’t get out, petition circulators will come to you. Get trained as a circulator at the office of Mesa County Democrats and get your friends, family and neighbors to sign! Do it soon. The deadline for signature gathering is the middle of next month.

Coloradans for Protecting Reproductive Freedom (CPRF) made an appearance last weekend in Grand Junction to boost the signature-gathering effort to get Initiative 89 on the ballot, the measure that would amend the state constitution to protect abortion from government interference.

Signature-gathering effort for ballot initiative to guarantee abortion rights in CO kicks off 1/23 in Grand Junction

States where abortion rights may be on the ballot in 2024 (Chart: Washington Post)

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

Republicans are passing laws to restrict womens freedom in the U.S., leading to the need for states to pass constitutional amendments to guarantee women keep those hard-won rights.

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.

CO Ballot Initiative #89 seeks to enshrine abortion rights in Colorado’s Constitution

Western Colorado is organizing to protect abortion rights, for real.

In 2022, Colorado enacted a statute to protect access to contraception and abortion, but because it’s just a statute, Republicans can still try to undermine the law by introducing bills and ballot measures to try to limit abortion access. So groups that support reproductive freedom are working to put Initiative #89 on the 2024 state ballot.

Bigger than Roe western slope march planned for Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023 @ 1:00 p.m.

Crowd gathering in front of the old courthouse before the 2019 Womens March in downtown Grand Junction

Fifty years to the day after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade made abortion a constitutional right, a march will be held locally in Grand Junction to demand that federal protections for abortion not only be restored, but be made even better than Roe allowed.

Last June (2022), the far-right Republican majority now sitting on the U.S. Supreme Court stunned the country when it reversed 50 years of precedent in Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling, invalidating Roe v Wade.  The ruling end Americans’ federally-protected right to obtain an abortion.  It was the first time the Supreme Court has ever taken away a fundamental constitutional protection from people in the United States of America.

Need a job? Want to make a difference? Cobalt Abortion Fund is seeking to hire 2-3 more organizers on the western slope

Are you looking for a rewarding job that will give you a way to help people and make big difference in their lives?

Cobalt Advocates is looking to hire two to three more organizers on the western slope.

Cobalt operates the Cobalt Abortion Fund, a dedicated abortion fund that helps people cover the cost and manage the logistics of getting an abortion, like transportation, lodging and child care. The Cobalt Abortion fund is 100% donor-funded, and it is the only independent fund of its kind in Colorado.

Cobalt’s goal is to make sure no one has to endure any financial or logistical burdens when it comes to abortion.

New Supreme Court Justices lied under oath to get on the Supreme Court, then changed U.S. law to force people, including child rape victims, to carry pregnancies to term. Justice Thomas indicates Court may go after the right to buy & use contraception next.


Three of the new, Republican-appointed Supreme Court justices intentionally misled the Senate and the public during their confirmation hearings about their intent to overturn Roe V. Wade, the 1973 ruling that established a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion. Among the three judges who were dishonest was Coloradan Neil Gorsuch.

The Court’s ruling ended the 50 year-old established constitutional right of American women to determine their own futures with regard to child rearing, and gives states the ability to enact laws that force women to remain pregnant against their will. The ruling effectively imposes extremist right wing Christian religious beliefs upon half the country, and instantly creates two classes of people: one class fortunate enough to live in states that protect people’s right to make decisions about their own pregnancies and child-rearing, and a second class in the other states with no such protections, with laws in place that force females to carry all pregnancies to term, no matter a woman’s age, health, emotional or economic circumstances, how many children she already has, or whether she wants to be pregnant or not.

Need help finding and paying for an abortion in Grand Junction? Contact Cobalt. They’ll help.

Cobalt Advocates and the Cobalt Abortion Fund are a terrific resources for anyone seeking an abortion on the western slope

If you live in Grand Junction, Mesa County or anywhere on the western slope, need an abortion and are having a hard time finding and/or affording one, your best resource and first stop should be Cobalt Advocates.

Cobalt believes nothing should come between you and your reproductive decisions, no matter who you are or where you live. Cobalt operates the Cobalt Abortion Fund, a dedicated abortion fund that helps people cover the cost of an abortion. They also help with the costs and logistics and other needs people often have when getting an abortion, like transportation and lodging. The Cobalt Abortion fund is 100% donor-funded, and is the only independent fund of its kind in Colorado. Cobalt’s goal is to make sure no one has to endure a a financial or logistic burden when it comes to abortion.

Need an abortion in Grand Junction, or on the western slope? Here is updated information.

NOTE: I’ve written about how to obtain an abortion in Mesa County before on this blog, most recently in 2020, but the landscape on this issue keeps changing. Some options disappear while others expand, and with potential changes looming on the national policy front, I’m re-visiting the topic, and will continue to update it periodically. 

In light of the recently-leaked draft Supreme Court ruling indicating the right wing majority of the U.S. Supreme Court is likely next month to formally overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that assured abortion was legal throughout the U.S., it is prudent to revisit the issue of abortion in Colorado, and specifically how to obtain one in Grand Junction and on the western slope.

First of all, there is no reason to fear losing the right to have an abortion in Colorado, ever. Abortion will stay legal and accessible in Colorado, whatever the Supreme Court does.

G.J. citizens rally to protest draft Supreme Court opinion indicating Court will vote to eliminate the constitutional right to abortion

Supporters of abortion rights attend a hastily-called rally in front of the old Mesa County Courthouse on 5/3/22 to protest an impending Supreme Court decision that threatens American womens’ right to obtain an abortion.

The Mesa County Women’s Right Action League organized a rally on short notice today in response to a leaked draft of a major Supreme Court decision published by Politico that indicates the far right majority on the Court will vote to eliminate women’s constitutionally-guaranteed right to obtain an abortion, a right women have had for 50 years. The rollback of womens’ freedom would be unprecedented.

Featured speakers included Jennifer Hancock, a board member of Cobalt, a Colorado-based organization that that helps people get access to abortions, Heidi Hesse of One Colorado, Jeriel Clark and Pastor Valerie Carlson of the American Lutheran Church.

New online resource map shows real and fake abortion clinics in Colorado

 

KeepAbortionSafe.com now offers a Pregnancy Resource Map that shows which “pregnancy clinics” throughout the country are real, and which are fake.

Offices that bill themselves as “crisis pregnancy centers” or “pregnancy clinics” often are not actual medical clinics, but religiously-based anti-abortion operations that lure in women struggling with unexpected pregnancies. They intentionally withhold information from women about their full complement of reproductive options. Such “clinics” steer women away from abortions and offer “information” that casts abortion as debilitating, dangerous and frightening.

Finding true reproductive health services clinics in Colorado, that is, ones that offer a full range of medically-accurate sexual health information, contraceptives, information and treatments for sexually-transmitted diseases and infections, and all legal and safe reproductive health options can be tricky because in Colorado fake “pregnancy resource” clinics and outnumber real abortion and medical information providers by almost 3 to 1.