If you have never read a proposed bill from the legislature, you MUST read this one.
I have been reading legislation occasionally for most of my adult life. For the last decade plus I have read nearly every proposed bill in the Colorado legislature. None, I repeat, NONE, have been more egregious and terrifying than this one. It will codify RACISM and DISCRIMINATION into state law. It will codify the murder of innocent babies. And it will eventually lead to taxpayer-funded abortion clinics, especially in rural Colorado and minority neighborhoods once the lawyers get involved.
One other thing. It even calls murdering innocent babies ‘moral’ and ‘ethical’.
The bill passed the House on 14 Mar on a vote of 40-24-1. All Democrats voted yes with one absent. No Republican voted in favor. It now heads to the Senate where the Democrats have a 20-15 margin.
HB22-1279 CONCERNING THE CODIFICATION OF A PERSON’S FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT TO MAKE REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH-CARE DECISIONS FREE FROM GOVERNMENT INTERFERENCE.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced and does not reflect any amendments that may be subsequently adopted. If this bill passes third reading in the house of introduction, a bill summary that applies to the reengrossed version of this bill will be available at http://leg.colorado.gov.)
The bill declares that every individual has a fundamental right to use or refuse contraception; every pregnant individual has a fundamental right to continue the pregnancy and give birth or to have an abortion; and a fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent or derivative rights under the laws of the state.
3rd Reading Unamended
March 14, 2022
2nd Reading Unamended
March 12, 2022
Froehlich and Esgar, Amabile, Bacon, Benavidez, Bernett, Bird, Boesenecker, Caraveo, Cutter, Daugherty, Duran, Exum, Garnett, Gonzales-Gutierrez, Gray, Herod, Hooton, Jodeh, Kennedy, Kipp, Lindsay, Lontine, McCluskie, McCormick, McLachlan, Michaelson Jenet, Mullica, Ortiz, Ricks, Roberts, Sirota, Snyder, Sullivan, Tipper, Titone, Valdez A., Weissman, Woodrow, Young, Valdez D.
Gonzales, Bridges, Buckner, Coleman, Danielson, Fenberg, Fields, Ginal, Hansen, Hinrichsen, Jaquez Lewis, Kolker, Lee, Pettersen, Rodriguez, Story, Winter, Zenzinger Shading denotes HOUSE amendment. Double underlining denotes SENATE amendment.
Capital letters or bold & italic numbers indicate new material to be added to existing statute.
Dashes through the words indicate deletions from existing statute.
The bill prohibits state and local public entities from:
Denying, restricting, interfering with, or discriminating against an individual’s fundamental right to use or refuse contraception or to continue a pregnancy and give birth or to have an abortion in the regulation or provision of benefits, services, information, or facilities; and
Depriving, through prosecution, punishment, or other means, an individual of the individual’s right to act or refrain from acting during the individual’s own pregnancy based on the potential, actual, or perceived impact on the pregnancy, the pregnancy’s outcomes, or on the pregnant individual’s health.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Colorado:
SECTION 1. Legislative declaration. (1) The general assembly finds that:
(a) Access to abortion and reproductive health care is currently under attack across the nation. Impending federal court cases, including Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, United States Supreme Court Docket No. 19-1392, jeopardize access to legal abortion care for tens of millions of people, particularly those living in most Southern and Midwestern states.
(b) There are social, moral, and economic benefits when people are able to decide whether and when to have children. Access to family planning allows all Coloradans to pursue personal, educational, financial, and familial goals and helps decrease the health and socioeconomic disparities disproportionately faced by people of color and people with low incomes.
(c) Access to reproductive health care is a matter of statewide concern affecting the health and safety of Coloradans, including those who live outside the Denver metropolitan area and the Front Range,
especially those residing in rural areas;
(d) Rural populations face limited access to primary care, including abortion care and other family planning services, and often navigate increased travel times when seeking health care. There are fewer
health-care providers in rural areas, and providers with rural mailing addresses are significantly less likely to provide abortion care.
(e) Colorado has a strong history of supporting and protecting access to reproductive health care, including for communities of color.
Colorado was the first state to decriminalize abortion care in an overwhelmingly bipartisan effort in 1967, well before the Supreme Court affirmed the right to abortion care nationwide in Roe v. Wade. Colorado is a national model for access to family planning services, including long-acting reversible contraceptives.
(f) Despite repeated rejections of attacks on abortion care by the people of Colorado, there have been over 40 legislative attempts to criminalize or outlaw abortion since 2010. Colorado voters have demonstrated that they trust individuals to make their own ethical decisions about abortion care based on what is best for their health and their families.
(g) When individuals decide to have an abortion or use contraception, it is critical that they get care on a timeline that works for their health, with the support of providers whom they trust. Politically motivated, medically inappropriate restrictions on health care have no place in our statutes or our medical offices.
(2) Therefore, in order to modernize Colorado’s statutes, the general assembly affirms the fundamental right of individual Coloradans to make their own reproductive health-care decisions.
SECTION 2. In Colorado Revised Statutes, add part 4 to article-3- 1279 of title 25 as follows:
REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH EQUITY ACT
25-6-401. Short title. THE SHORT TITLE OF THIS PART 4 IS THE REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH EQUITY ACT”.
25-6-402. Definitions. AS USED IN THIS PART 4, UNLESS THE CONTEXT OTHERWISE REQUIRES:
(1) “ABORTION” MEANS ANY MEDICAL PROCEDURE, INSTRUMENT, AGENT, OR DRUG USED TO TERMINATE THE PREGNANCY OF AN INDIVIDUAL KNOWN OR REASONABLY BELIEVED TO BE PREGNANT WITH AN INTENTION OTHER THAN TO INCREASE THE PROBABILITY OF A LIVE BIRTH.
(2) “PREGNANCY” MEANS THE HUMAN REPRODUCTIVE PROCESS, BEGINNING WITH THE IMPLANTATION OF AN EMBRYO.
(3) “PUBLIC ENTITY” HAS THE SAME MEANING AS SET FORTH IN SECTION 24-10-103 (5) AND INCLUDES PRIVATE CONTRACT PRISONS, AS DEFINED IN SECTION 17-1-102.
(4) “REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE” MEANS HEALTH CARE AND OTHER MEDICAL SERVICES RELATED TO THE REPRODUCTIVE PROCESSES, FUNCTIONS, AND SYSTEMS AT ALL STAGES OF LIFE. IT INCLUDES, BUT IS NOT LIMITED TO, FAMILY PLANNING AND CONTRACEPTIVE CARE; ABORTION CARE; PRENATAL, POSTNATAL, AND DELIVERY CARE; FERTILITY CARE; STERILIZATION SERVICES; AND TREATMENTS FOR SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS AND REPRODUCTIVE CANCERS.
25-6-403. Fundamental reproductive health-care rights.
(1) EVERY INDIVIDUAL HAS A FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT TO MAKE DECISIONS ABOUT THE INDIVIDUAL’S REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE, INCLUDING THE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT TO USE OR REFUSE CONTRACEPTION.
(2) A PREGNANT INDIVIDUAL HAS A FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT TO CONTINUE A PREGNANCY AND GIVE BIRTH OR TO HAVE AN ABORTION AND TO MAKE DECISIONS ABOUT HOW TO EXERCISE THAT RIGHT.
(3) A FERTILIZED EGG, EMBRYO, OR FETUS DOES NOT HAVE INDEPENDENT OR DERIVATIVE RIGHTS UNDER THE LAWS OF THIS STATE.
25-6-404. Public entity – prohibited actions. (1) A PUBLIC ENTITY SHALL NOT:
(a) DENY, RESTRICT, INTERFERE WITH, OR DISCRIMINATE AGAINST AN INDIVIDUAL’S FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT TO USE OR REFUSE CONTRACEPTION OR TO CONTINUE A PREGNANCY AND GIVE BIRTH OR TO
HAVE AN ABORTION IN THE REGULATION OR PROVISION OF BENEFITS, FACILITIES, SERVICES, OR INFORMATION; OR
(b) DEPRIVE, THROUGH PROSECUTION, PUNISHMENT, OR OTHER MEANS, AN INDIVIDUAL OF THE INDIVIDUAL’S RIGHT TO ACT OR REFRAIN FROM ACTING DURING THE INDIVIDUAL’S OWN PREGNANCY BASED ON THE POTENTIAL, ACTUAL, OR PERCEIVED IMPACT ON THE PREGNANCY, THE PREGNANCY’S OUTCOMES, OR ON THE PREGNANT INDIVIDUAL’S HEALTH.
25-6-405. Application. (1) THIS PART 4 APPLIES TO ALL STATE AND LOCAL LAWS, ORDINANCES, POLICIES, PROCEDURES, REGULATORY GUIDELINES AND RULES, PRACTICES, EXECUTIVE ORDERS, AND GOVERNMENTAL ACTIONS AND THEIR IMPLEMENTATION, WHETHER STATUTORY OR OTHERWISE. THE RIGHTS PROTECTED UNDER THIS PART 4 ARE A MATTER OF STATEWIDE CONCERN.
(2) NOTHING IN THIS PART 4 MAY BE CONSTRUED TO AUTHORIZE A PUBLIC ENTITY TO BURDEN AN INDIVIDUAL’S FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS
RELATING TO REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE.
25-6-406. Severability. IF ANY PROVISION OF THIS PART 4 OR THE APPLICATION HEREOF TO ANY PERSON OR CIRCUMSTANCE IS HELD INVALID, THAT INVALIDITY DOES NOT AFFECT OTHER PROVISIONS OR APPLICATIONS OF THIS PART 4 THAT CAN BE GIVEN EFFECT WITHOUT THE INVALID PROVISION OR APPLICATION, AND TO THIS END THE PROVISIONS OF THIS PART 4 ARE DECLARED TO BE SEVERABLE.
SECTION 3. Safety clause. The general assembly hereby finds, determines, and declares that this act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety.