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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.