Alex FerenczAlex FerenczJuly 24, 20185min488

The risk to abortion rights in the U.S. has never been greater. Reproductive rights are under constant attack, with lawmakers at every level of government passing restrictions that make abortion unattainable for many across the country. The recent vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court makes this situation all the more dire as Roe v. Wade faces real risk of being overturned. It is hard to believe we could return to a time when women were denied the fundamental right to makes basic decisions about their bodies, families, and future. If Roe is overturned, women will no longer have a constitutional right to abortion -- rather, her chances of getting access to abortion will depend on which state she lives in.


Joey BunchJoey BunchMarch 4, 20186min541
Cynthia Coffman — nor her staff — want to talk about abortion. Three months into her run for governor, Colorado’s Republican attorney general still isn’t clarifying where she stands on the divisive issue that’s a pretty big deal to a lot of bedrock conservatives in Colorado — at least some of whom she would need […]

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Karen MiddletonKaren MiddletonAugust 15, 20176min389
NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado executive director Karen Middleton
Karen Middleton

For 50 years, Colorado has been a leader in protecting and expanding access to women’s health care — and in proving that being pro-choice on abortion rights is a political winner.

In April 1967, Colorado passed the nation’s first state law allowing safe, legal abortion. It was a bipartisan bill, passed in a majority-Republican legislature. In recent years, the state has emerged as a model for dramatically reducing unintended teen pregnancies by expanding access to long-acting reversible contraception and supporting policies to expand access to reproductive health care information and resources.

Access to reproductive health care is both good economic policy and an exercise in personal liberty, something Coloradans strongly believe in.

As Sandra Day O’Connor wrote in the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision, “The ability of women to participate equally in the economic and social life of the Nation has been facilitated by their ability to control their reproductive lives.” The Casey opinion also reaffirmed the rights found in the Roe decision, stating “Roe determined that a woman’s decision to terminate her pregnancy is a ‘liberty’ protected against state interference by the substantive component of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.”

Seven in ten Americans back Roe v. Wade, and that number holds all across the states, from the reddest part of Kansas to the bluest part of New York, including the districts some appear to be worrying about. Standing firm on the ability to make a personal decision about women’s access to abortion care without interference from politicians is even stronger.

If you want to focus on winning elections, we are a national model. In a state split evenly between Republicans, Democrats and unaffiliated voters, we have tested this theory across three elections — including two mid-terms — with attempts to overturn abortion rights via “personhood” ballot measures. Every time, anti-choice efforts have failed by landslide margins statewide, including  in Douglas County by  60-40 in 2014. The General Assembly has repeatedly rejected attempts to restrict abortion and reproductive rights, and in 2017 we passed measures increasing access to contraception, which received national accolades.

At a time when we are seeking pro-choice Republicans to step forward as candidates, it is troubling to see national Democrats signaling a willingness to compromise on the issue of anti-choice Democratic candidates. Among voters, we can identify clear majorities that support choice on both sides of the aisle.

Our message is simple: Leave the decision to the women, their families, their faith and their doctors. Do not attempt to restrict access to abortion care. This is not a litmus test. It is a civil-rights issue.

The voters don’t want it. Voters can differentiate between the right of an individual to make a decision on abortion, and the government making it for her. It’s not a matter of belief. It’s a matter of laws and public policy.

Bluntly, Republicans recognize being anti-choice is a losing proposition. Sen. Cory Gardner ceded the issue in 2014 when he pretended to be pro-choice and denied the existence of a federal personhood bill he co-sponsored. Gardner has since cast multiple anti-choice votes in Congress. But he knew if he campaigned on being anti-choice, he would lose.

This is where the argument that there are “some districts” where you cannot be pro-choice falls apart. There is no data to support that. When will we stop treating an issue with 70 percent support as controversial?

In 50 years, NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado has seen a lot of battles over abortion rights. Our organization grew out of bipartisan support for legalizing abortion in 1967, so we are somewhat of an authority on the subject. We know Coloradans are with us. And we believe in holding candidates and public officials accountable on supporting our Constitutional right to choose abortion.

And we will keep doing that — for Republicans and Democrats alike.


Rachael WrightRachael WrightJanuary 26, 201712min322

… Twenty Years Ago This Week in The Colorado Statesman … Take that President Bill Clinton! With Chuck Berry presiding as Speaker of the Colorado House, the Republican majority House State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee amended and then proceeded to methodically pass a contentious anti-abortion bill sponsored by state Rep. Barry Arrington, R-Arvada, to ban what he — backed by Christian conservatives who praised Arrington for the measure — called "partialbirth abortions." HB 97-1136, passed after an extensive cross examination by Arrington of Dr. Warren Hern, director of the Boulder Abortion Clinic. The bill made it a misdemeanor, punishable with jail time, for a physician to abort a fetus during a partial birth abortion.

Colorado PoliticsColorado PoliticsNovember 15, 201616min359

DENVER - Thanks for waiting patiently for today's Hot Sheet. There were some technical difficulties with our interwebs. All the cob webs have since been dispersed ... A week ago today, voters went to the polls (yep, that's what happened alright. Take our word for it). Following were tears, cheers and apparently protests. Despite the signs and marches, President Obama was correct, the sun did indeed rise the following day. We here at The Colorado Statesman are looking forward to following the state Legislature and new leadership from each of the House and Senate ...


Karen MiddletonKaren MiddletonApril 30, 20166min436

An interesting thing happened on the way to NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado’s 2016 Annual Gala and Silent Auction: after an escalation of both physical and legislative attacks on reproductive rights over the past year, it is on track to be one of our biggest events ever in terms of attendance. We are including a very special award to Vicki Cowart and in honor of the staff of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains for their leadership and literal courage under fire after the domestic terrorism attack on the Colorado Springs clinic. They truly embody their motto, care “no matter what.” Our event’s success reflects what we know: Colorado is a pro-choice state, and we have been since before NARAL was founded 40 years ago.


Ramsey ScottRamsey ScottJanuary 22, 20163min456
The Colorado House chamber.
The Colorado House chamber.

Abortion decision recognition

Democratic members of the House took time Friday morning in the chamber to recognize the 43rd anniversary of the Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.

Speakers, including Reps. KC Becker, D-Boulder, Angela Williams, D-Denver, Joann Ginal, D-Fort Collins, Lois Court, D-Denver, Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora, and Max Tyler, D-Lakewood, spoke for several minutes each about the importance of the decision to women’s health and safety and well-being. They also lauded Colorado for leading the nation by liberalizing its abortion laws in 1967, six years before the Roe decision.

Democratic caucus members stood in support of the remarks. No Republicans went to the well to speak and observers noted that some House Republican members left during the Democratic comments. Sources at the Capitol, however, said there was no statement-making undertaken on the part of Republicans — not with words or feet.

Republican Reps. Lang Sias, R-Arvada, and Lois Landgraf, R-Fountain, are sponsoring an anti-abortion personhood bill this session.

Bipartisanship for the championship

Members of the House and Senate agreed to pass a joint resolution supporting the Denver Broncos and the team’s push to make it once again to the Super Bowl, and declaring Sunday Jan. 24 as Denver Bronco’s Appreciation Day. The team will play a conference championship game this Sunday against the New England Patriots. Orange-clad lawmakers from both sides of the aisle teamed up to show their support and to throw shade on teams like the Dallas Cowboys and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Senators donned Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning jerseys and noted that his winning No. 18 is the same winning number of votes it takes in the Senate to pass a bill.