For Immediate Release: July 01, 2020
Former Colorado Governor will face off against anti-choice, anti-freedom incumbent Senator Cory Gardner in November
Yesterday, John Hickenlooper won Colorado’s Democratic primary for the United States Senate and will now face off against anti-choice, anti-freedom incumbent Republican Senator Cory Gardner in the November general election.
Hickenlooper’s victory comes on the heels of Monday’s Supreme Court decision in June Medical Services LLC v. Russo, which struck down a medically unnecessary clinic shutdown law in Louisiana as unconstitutional. This was the first major abortion case before the Supreme Court since Sen. Gardner voted to confirm anti-choice extremist Brett Kavanaugh to the Court in 2018 — which cemented a majority on the highest court in the land that is hostile to Roe v. Wade and emboldened anti-choice lawmakers to double down on their agenda of gutting or overturning Roe. As expected, Brett Kavanaugh was a reliable anti-choice vote in the June v. Russo case and wrote a dissenting opinion that reaffirmed his hostility to reproductive freedom.
In response to Hickenlooper’s primary victory, NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue released the following statement:
“This week’s Supreme Court case showed us just how close we are to losing fundamental freedoms like abortion access. Flipping the Senate is imperative to safeguard these rights, restore rule of law to the courts, and advance social and economic progress from American families. John Hickenlooper winning in November is key to the fundamental freedom for women to control our own destinies.
For too long, Cory Gardner has failed the people of Colorado, serving as a rubber stamp for Donald Trump’s extreme agenda. He voted to put anti-choice Justice Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court and continues to demonstrate just how out-of-touch he is with the majority of Coloradans who support reproductive freedom and legal access to abortion.
NARAL and our more than 52,000 members in Colorado congratulate Gov. Hickenlooper on his primary victory, and we’re all in to send another champion for reproductive freedom to the Senate.”
Coloradans are committed to reproductive freedom and ensuring that people have the ability to make their own decisions about pregnancy. Yet more than a quarter of Colorado women live in a county without an abortion clinic and a ballot initiative in November could roll back access to abortion. Colorado already restricts access to abortion, including by pushing access further out of reach for low-income communities. And because there’s no law expressly protecting the right to abortion in Colorado, if Roe v. Wade were to be overturned, those hostile to reproductive freedom could quickly try to criminalize abortion.
As governor of Colorado, John Hickenlooper played a critical role in advancing reforms aimed toward expanding access to reproductive healthcare in the state, particularly for rural, low-income, and young women. This included signing legislation that would allow women to get 12-month birth control prescriptions, increasing funding for clinics that serve low-income and uninsured women, and overseeing a comprehensive plan to expand access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARC)—which led to a 54% drop in unintended pregnancies among young women.
Senator Gardner earned a 0% score from NARAL in the 2019 Congressional Record on Choice. As senator, he has voted to ban abortion and to defund Planned Parenthood by disqualifying the organization from participating in federal healthcare programs. Gardner has voted to confirm dozens of anti-choice judges and supports allowing states to place extreme restrictions on reproductive freedom.
NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates and chapters are dedicated to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom for all. For more than 50 years, NARAL has worked to guarantee that every woman has the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. Since 1969, NARAL has made history, grown to over 2.5 million members, and met the moments that have defined this fight with action, power, and freedom. In recognition of its work defending our constitutional right to choose, Fortune Magazine described NARAL as “one of the top 10 advocacy groups in America.”