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Gov. Polis issues executive order further protecting abortion rights in Colorado

July 6, 2022, 4:49 pm

The office of Colorado Gov. Jared Polis on Wednesday issued the following press release on an executive order he signed to protect abortion rights in the state:

Today, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed an Executive Order to protect the freedom and privacy of Coloradans, and ensure Colorado remains the best place to live, work, and run a business.

Jared Polis
Gov. Jared Polis

“We are taking needed action to protect and defend individual freedom and protect the privacy of Coloradans. This important step will ensure that Colorado’s thriving economy and workforce are not impacted based on personal health decisions that are wrongly being criminalized in other states,” said Colorado Governor Jared Polis upon issuing this Executive Order.

“In the wake of the wrong and misguided decision in Dobbs, numerous states have moved and will move to ban abortion outright, and many other states already have “trigger laws” that will ban abortion within 30 days of the Dobbs decision. This impending loss of freedom for people around the country poses a threat to the people of Colorado to the extent that other states may seek to infringe on essential rights protected by Colorado law, and impose criminal penalties or civil liability for conduct that is now outlawed in other states, but remains legal in Colorado,” the Executive Order issued by Governor Polis states. 

“Colorado is experiencing a workforce shortage in many professions, and disqualifying people because they were prosecuted for taking actions in other states that are fully legal under Colorado law would hurt our economy and our State,” the Executive Order continues. 

“Colorado is committed to protecting access to reproductive health care. No one who is lawfully providing, assisting, seeking, or obtaining reproductive health care in Colorado should be subject to legal liability or professional sanctions in Colorado or any other state, nor will Colorado cooperate with criminal or civil investigations for actions that are fully legal in our State. This Executive Order ensures that all Coloradans are afforded protections and rights under Colorado law and directs state agencies and departments managed by Governor-appointed executives to protect access to reproductive health care in Colorado within their authority under the law,” the Governor’s Executive Order states.

The Governor’s action directs the Department of Regulatory Affairs to protect people working in Colorado from any disciplinary action against a professional license for providing or seeking reproductive health care in Colorado or any other state.

The action further makes it clear that Colorado will not cooperate with criminal or civil investigations in other states for health decisions that are legal in Colorado.

“I will exercise the full extent of my discretion to decline requests for the arrest, surrender, or extradition of any person charged with a criminal violation of a law of another state where the violation alleged involves the provision of, assistance with, securing of, or receipt of reproductive health care, unless the acts forming the basis of the prosecution of the crime charged would also constitute a criminal offense under Colorado law,” the Executive Order concludes. 

This April, Gov. Polis signed into law the Reproductive Health Equity Act, which codifies protections to ensure that abortion and choice remain legal in Colorado. 

“Colorado Nurses Association supports the Governor’s efforts to affirm women’s independent and autonomous decision making in access to all reproductive care, including abortion.  We also support efforts to protect the licensees who provide these essential services,” – Colorado Nurses Association. 

“Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains (PPRM) is so proud to provide care in states that take decisive action to secure reproductive freedom,” said Adrienne Mansanares, President and CEO of PPRM. “Today’s executive order makes two things very clear: If you are a patient seeking abortion care, you are safe and welcome in Colorado. If you are a health care provider serving local patients and those forced to travel here for access to this essential health care, you are safe and welcome in Colorado. We’ve long been known as a safe state for access to abortion care, and we’re grateful for this order which reinforces that important message.”

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