President Donald Trump signed a bill Thursday that would allow states to withhold federal money from Planned Parenthood and other organizations that provide abortion services. In Colorado, abortion rights supporters called it an assault on women’s constitutional rights.
“Whether our elected leaders take action publicly or privately to restrict women’s health care and attack their reproductive rights, it is unacceptable and dangerous,” said Karen Middleton, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado.
Trump’s signature reverses an Obama-era rule that blocked states from interfering with federal dollars to Planned Parenthood because most of the money supports women’s health and family planning services unrelated to abortion.
Planned Parenthood claims just 3 percent of federal dollars go to abortions.
“(Women’s) worst fears are now coming true. We are facing the worst political attack on women’s health in a generation as lawmakers have spent the past three months trading away women’s health and rights at every turn,” Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood, said in a statement.
U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, a Republican from Colorado Springs, rejoiced, calling it “an important step for pro-life values.”
“By undoing this regulation, we are acknowledging the importance of life, and listening to the majority of taxpayers who agree that federal funds should not be used for abortion,” Lamborn said in a statement. “I applaud President Trump for signing this resolution into law.”
Middleton said she was “disappointed but not surprised” Colorado Republican Sen. Cory Gardner supported the bill.
“He and President Trump, who signed it in secret, should both be ashamed of themselves,” Middleton said.
Middleton noted that April 24 is the 50th anniversary of Colorado becoming the first state to allow legal abortions before the passage of Roe v. Wade.
Editor’s note: This story was updated to correct that Colorado passed legalized abortions before the passage of Roe v. Wade.