FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 11, 2014
Denver, CO – The Reproductive Health Freedom Act (SB 175), a proactive bill to protect private medical decisions by Colorado women, has passed its first vote in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. The legislation is co-sponsored by Sen. Andy Kerr (D-Lakewood) and Sen. Jeanne Nicholson (D-Gilpin), and it ensures that every individual in Colorado has the fundamental right of privacy and freedom to make their own decisions about contraception and abortion.
“We need to protect that right and ensure government doesn’t get in between women and their doctors.”
“We appreciate the fact that legislators are implementing mainstream Colorado values and reflecting the will of Colorado voters,” said Karen Middleton, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado. “Colorado voters have said over and over that they believe women have the right to make their own health-care decisions.”
“The momentum behind this proactive bill in Colorado signals that the majority of women and men in the state and across the country who believe in the principles enshrined in Roe are willing to stand up for women’s health in Colorado and politicians are backing them up,” said Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. “While many anti-choice bills passed in other states are in clear violation of the U.S. Constitution, Colorado is taking the extra precaution to make sure that they don’t see the light of day. This measure is an important protection for women so that their access to comprehensive-health care is not limited because of their zip code.”
During the hearing yesterday, women spoke out in support of the passage of this bill to make their own medical decisions in consultation with their doctors.
“I am 39 years old. I’ve been pregnant four times. I have no living children. And no, I’ve never had an abortion,” said Stacey Rader. She continued, “Sometimes the road to fertility is complicated and heartbreaking. Having legislators tell me what I should or should not do when they have not walked in my shoes is not what the state of Colorado is about.”
Other young women at the hearing cited their right to decide when to start a family.
“I need to have the freedom as a human being to make the decision on when I would like to start a family,” said Emma Decker, an 18 year old University of Denver freshman. She continued, “When there is ever a time in my life where I have to cross that bridge, it will be my decision and no one else’s. It won’t be the decision of a man or a woman behind a desk making policy, it won’t be the decision of a man or woman debating with their fellow politicians and it won’t be the decision of a politician with hard set religious beliefs. It will be my decision, the decision of a young woman based on her religious and moral beliefs who has her entire life ahead of her. This bill will make sure that the government cannot interfere with my private decisions on my reproductive health.”
NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado is the political leader of the pro-choice movement in Colorado. NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado is a 501c4 organization and has more than 40,000 supporters statewide and works to develop and sustain a constituency that uses the political process to guarantee every woman the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive health choices, including preventing unintended pregnancies, bearing healthy children and choosing legal abortion