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.
In late May 2022, Oklahoma once again passed the nation’s worst abortion ban, making it the first state to effectively end women’s right to have an abortion, and making this article, that I first published on May 20, 2019, even more relevant.
Oklahoma Republicans just passed a mind-blowingly strict law that makes abortion illegal in virtually every circumstance, effectively terminating the right of women in the state to control their own bodies and reproductive fate.
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.
Amid the pandemic, the Mesa County Democratic Party Womens’ Group is expanding on the annual Womens’ March by asking people to display posters and signs in their front yards and windows from now until January 20th, 2021 celebrating the return of the country to American ideals with the inauguration of President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President Elect Kamala Harris.
Throughout his time in office, Trump has made life more difficult for all Americans, but especially for women, in innumerable ways, through cuts to child care assistance, stalling federal action on paid family and medical leave, making student debt harder to pay off, cutting nutrition assistance, increasing bullying, racism and anxiety in the country, slashing health care benefits, tearing families apart, putting kids in cages, weakening protections against gender-based violence and much more.
Colorado Pols examined District 3 Congresswoman-elect Lauren Boebert’s campaign expenditures and discovered Ms. Boebert reimbursed herself a total of $30,177 in mileage expense from her campaign donations in 2020. She reimbursed herself about $22,000 of that in one lump on 11/11/2020.
For the sake of comparison, Colorado Pols compared Boebert’s mileage reimbursements with those of outgoing CD-3 Congressman Scott Tipton’s claimed mileage expenses over the entire time he served in Congress, and found Tipton reimbursed himself a total of $12,255 from his campaign — over the entire last TEN YEARS he held the office.
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.
In a new documentary released Friday, May 22, Norma McCorvey, the plaintiff in the landmark 1973 Supreme Court ruling in Roe V. Wade, reveals that she was paid by anti-abortion factions to switch her position from supporting to opposing abortion rights for women.
If you are pregnant and looking for an abortion in Mesa County, you may find information about abortion services is very hard to find here. Local obstetrical practices don’t mention abortion on their websites and may not even offer abortion services. “Pregnancy Centers” are fake health clinics in the area that lure in scared and worried women by promising free services, like pregnancy tests, ultrasounds and “counseling,” but they are really Christian ministries whose real purpose is to shame and guilt women out of getting abortions.
But don’t despair. You may not have to leave town to obtain a safe abortion.
Thanks to the internet, there are now options for women to access abortion services no matter where they are, and you may even not have to leave home to get an abortion if you live in Grand Junction.
UPDATE: On December 16, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) permanently lifted restrictions on access to abortion medications by mail, making them more widely and easily available for use by women who are up to 10 weeks pregnant. The move allows women to obtain the pills by mail instead of having to appear in person at a clinic.
The Roadshow is traveling around the state to inform Colorado citizens about what is happening in the legislature and what’s being done in our community to preserve and strengthen reproductive rights and access to abortion care. The Coalition also wants to listen to you and find out what issues are of greatest concern to people here in our community.
Grand Junction’s newest City Council member, Kraig Andrews (right), pictured here with Donald Trump Jr. Councilman Duke Wortman lamented that City Council has gotten “incredibly political,” but then made it political by pushing to select a candidate with low initial support, but a solid Republican background. [Photo: Facebook]
The Grand Junction City Council voted last night to fill the vacant District E seat, but only after a tense session in which one council member publicly pressured another to change his vote after the six council members deadlocked four times in trying to choose a candidate.
The meeting started congenially enough as each council member was allowed to name up to three of their favorite candidates from among the pool of people who applied for the vacant seat. The top three vote-getters in the first round continued on to the next round of voting, and that’s where the trouble started.
AidAccess is a private initiative by a committed team of medical doctors and longterm abortion rights activists. The website is supported by a team of English and Spanish-speaking help-desk members. The goal of AidAccess.org is to assist women who don’t have access to locally available abortion services.
AidAccess was established a decade or so ago by Dr. Rebecca Gomperts, acting on the conviction that laws do not control whether or not abortions happen, the only thing laws can control is whether or not they happen safely.
Aid Access helps arrange for abortion pills to be shipped to patients around the world, and last October, as a result of growing requests and tightening abortion laws, the organization started arranging for the shipping of abortion pills to the United States.
Community Hospital in Grand Junction is a non-religious hospital where the only concern about medical care is what is best for their patients.
Community Hospital issued a press release today announcing it has ended discussions to merge with Centura Health, a religious hospital management company. Community Hospital’s board of trustees has decided to stay secular and independent for now.
Here is the hospital’s statement:
“After thoughtful consideration and thorough due diligence, Centura Health and Community Hospital have agreed to discontinue merger discussions. Although this was a difficult decision and one the Community Hospital Board of Trustees (BOT) did not take lightly, the board has made the decision to remain independent. The board wants to do what is best for the hospital and the community. The entire BOT and leadership team at Community Hospital were impressed with the Centura Health organization and the great work they are doing across the state and region. Likewise, Centura leadership respects the tremendous growth and physician partnerships that have been developed by the team at Community Hospital. Both parties remain open to discussing future partnership opportunities.”
The U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled February 15, 2019 that a Fort Collins, Colorado city ordinance prohibiting women from baring their breasts in public and punishes them for doing so while putting no similar restrictions on men violates the U.S. Constitution.
Two female plaintiffs and an unincorporated group called “Free the Nipple” sued Ft. Collins over an ordinance the city enacted in 2015 that made it a misdemeanor for a woman to bare her breasts in public for anything other than breastfeeding. Violations were punishable by a fine of up to $2,650 or up to 180 days in jail. The ordinance did not specify the same for men.
In October 2018, Community Hospital and Centura Health Network signed a letter of intent to merge. It provided each party with a 120 day-long window to evaluate the deal and decide whether or not to go ahead and finalize it.
Those 120 days are almost up, and a final decision on the merger must be made by February 10th.
The third annual Women’s March in Grand Junction on Saturday, January 19th, drew an enthusiastic crowd of about 2,000 liberal and progressive western slope residents who came out to support women’s rights, equality for women and gay, lesbian and transgender people, people of color and immigrant communities.
Placard proposed to be displayed by businesses that advertise in the Business Times.
The Grand Valley Business Times (GVBT) has long been a source of business news in Mesa County, usually focusing on helpful items like what new businesses are moving in, the newest soups at Zoup, and which authors will be appearing at the downtown bookstores. In his latest issue, though, the paper’s owner, Craig Hall, used his editorial column to denigrate and insult Democratic and progressive business owners in the valley, and criticize women who seek to control their own reproductive destiny.
Many ardent Trump supporters happily call themselves “deplorable,” making fun of a point Hillary Clinton tried to make during her 2016 campaign that many Trump supporters are racist, sexist, xenophobic and homophobic.
Members of Trump’s “Deplorable” contingents across the country, including those locally, typically deny they are any of these things, yet the Facebook pages of “Deplorables” groups (Trump supporters across the country who have personally labeled themselves “Deplorables”) do in fact reveal a strong component of sexist, racist, xenophobic and homophobic thought runs within these groups.