COLORADO — House Bill22-1279 or the Reproductive Health Equity Act passed Colorado’s legislature on Wednesday and is now on its way to the governor’s desk. The bill was brought forward by legislature Democrats to protect a woman’s right to have an abortion amid the threats of the Supreme Court overturning Roe vs. Wade 1976.
“We’re just seeing a massive attack on women’s reproductive rights across the US. And we wanted to make sure that no matter what happens in June or later this Summer that we are protecting a woman’s right to choose,” said House Majority Leader, Daneya Escobar (D-Pueblo).
Legislators in support of the bill said it shouldn’t change anything in the process of a woman seeking reproductive care.
“This is simply saying that what we have now will be put into law,” Escobar said.
But, the bill has generated some concerns among some members of the community who highlighted the section of the bill that would allow for a fetus to be aborted at 40 weeks.
“One of our legislators said her own personal story was she was born at 22 weeks,” said Robyn Chambers, Focus on the Family Advocacy for Children Executive Director. “That’s a really early term baby. She was celebrating her 50th birthday this year. And one of the comments she said was: ‘Isn’t every child deserving of a birthday?'”
Chambers said the bill also doesn’t advocate for women.
“I feel like we’re selling our young women short. I look at the young women I work with here at Focus on the Family every day. They are strong women. They are strong enough to have their dream of finishing college or their dream of having a baby and a career,” Chamber said.
Another way Chambers said the bill affects women empowerment is by not allowing for more education on their choices. Chambers cited an example of a young woman who took an abortion pill, then later decided she didn’t want to have the abortion.
“The information given back to her was… you just have to finish. I don’t know that that’s real education. When she’s not being given all the real information in order for her to make a really empowered decision that’s best for her life,” Chambers said.
Sponsors of the bill said it advocates for women by keeping Colorado a state that stands up for a woman’s right to choose.
“Within the last ten years there’s been over 44 anti-abortion bills introduced here in Colorado that are actually pretty scary as well that we have been able to solidly defeat,” Escobar said.
If the bill passes, it will be joining 15 other states that have already protected abortion rights in the event the Supreme Court overturns Roe vs. Wade. The Court has not released when that will be decided, but discussions usually come before the end of term around June or early July.