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Polis, Bennet, Weiser sharply critical as SCOTUS rejects precedent, strips away reproductive rights

June 24, 2022, 9:04 am

Colorado officials on Friday reacted with swift and certain condemnation of the U.S. Supreme Court decision to reject nearly five decades of legal precedent by overturning Roe v. Wade.

Here are some of the press releases and statements, starting with Colorado Gov. Jared Polis:

“Coloradans do not want politicians making their healthcare decisions. Because of my administration and Democratic leadership in the legislature, Coloradans don’t have to worry because our rights are still protected today despite the unfortunate reality that the U.S. Supreme just rolled those freedoms back for millions of Americans in other states. In Colorado, we will continue to choose freedom and we stand against government control over our bodies. State leadership matters now more than ever and in Colorado we will not retreat to an archaic era where the powerful few controlled the freedoms over our bodies and health decisions,“ Polis said.

This April, Gov. Polis signed a new law, the Reproductive Health Equity Act,which codifies protections to ensure that abortion and choice remain legal in Colorado.  Governor Polis recently joined a coalition of 17 governors urging Congressional Leaders to take immediate action and pass legislation protecting reproductive rights; unfortunately that measure, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives, failed in the U.S. Senate. Under the Polis-Primavera administration and in partnership with the legislature, Colorado has enacted laws to protect access to abortion and reproductive health care and services. Colorado was the first state to allow safe, legal abortion, which was signed into law by Republican Governor John Love in 1967.

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet:

Today, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet released the following statement after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization to overturn Roe v. Wade:

“In 1973, the Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade that a woman’s choice about whether to have an abortion is a fundamental, Constitutional right. For half a century, courts have repeatedly upheld this decision as a bedrock of American law.

“Today, a radical majority of the Supreme Court demolished fifty years of legal precedent. This activist ruling strips women of their individual liberty to make intensely personal decisions about their bodies and futures, and eviscerates their Constitutionally protected rights to freedom and equality. 

“This ruling is not the last word. In the months ahead, the American people have the opportunity to elect pro-choice majorities in the Congress and in state legislatures across the country to codify in law the fundamental right to choose.”

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser, a former U.S. Supreme Court clerk and dean of the University of Colorado Law School:

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser released the following statement regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision upending the right to access abortion care in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization:  

“Today, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned 50 years of settled and reaffirmed legal precedent affirming the constitutional right to an abortion. The Court’s decision is not only legally incorrect, but also remarkably out of step with the views of the two-thirds of Americans who believe government should not interfere in a woman’s very personal decision to end a pregnancy. 

“The Court’s decision to overrule Roe v. Wade will cause significant suffering and harm. In many states, women who are raped will be forced to continue the pregnancy, causing untold mental anguish and distress. Doctors providing abortions will be arrested and jailed. Women who cannot access abortion care will resort to desperate and dangerous measures to end a pregnancy, even in ways that threaten their health. Women who experience life-threatening conditions during pregnancy will die. And women of color will be disproportionately impacted. These scenarios are now realities as laws in other states restricting abortion go into effect.

“Overruling Roe v. Wade—a decision repeatedly reaffirmed over the last 50 years—was a momentous mistake on multiple levels. And the Court’s lack of sensitivity in Dobbs to a range of issues now open to litigation portends more legal battles to come. I will stand firm for protecting personal freedoms when they are attacked—whether those challenges relate to access to the morning after pill to access to birth control to marriage equality. By opening the door to chipping away these established precedents, the Supreme Court has undermined public confidence in the rule of law, dealing itself and its reputation a self-inflicted wound. The Court and the nation will come to regret this decision to undermine women’s equality and personal freedoms. That’s why I believe that, after much harm and pain to many, our country should and will find a way to permanently protect reproductive rights.

“As attorney general, I am committed to doing all I can to make certain all women have access to safe abortion care. Abortion remains legal in Colorado even after Dobbs. The Colorado Reproductive Health Equity Act guarantees the right to abortion and reproductive healthcare, including the right to medication abortion. The Dobbs decision does not curtail these rights in Colorado and these protections remain available for all seeking reproductive healthcare in our state regardless of their residency. I will continue to defend these rights and work to protect Colorado’s medical professionals who provide reproductive care to all who seek it in our state. 

“As part of my duties to defend all state laws, our office will defend the Reproductive Health Equity Act in court if necessary and will ensure it is followed.”

Colorado was part of a coalition of state attorneys general that filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court defending abortion rights in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse, who represents Vail and part of Eagle County in the U.S. House:

In light of today’s Supreme Court decision in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Center case, Congressman Joe Neguse issued the following statement:   

“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court to overrule Roe v. Wade is deeply disappointing. The ruling, which departs from nearly fifty years of legal precedent, will deprive countless women across the country of the freedom to make deeply personal reproductive health decisions.”  

“Our work does not end today, and we cannot lose faith. House Democrats know the importance of protecting our freedoms and constitutional rights. That is why we passed legislation earlier this year to codify Roe v. Wade. While these efforts fell short in the Senate, we must continue to make every effort to secure passage of this critical legislation.”  

One Response to Polis, Bennet, Weiser sharply critical as SCOTUS rejects precedent, strips away reproductive rights

  1. Carol R Cohen Reply

    June 24, 2022 at 9:03 pm

    Thank you.

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