Colorado Democrat Gov. Jared Polis has signed into law a bill that creates a “fundamental right” to abortion without interference from the state government.
“Today I signed into law House Bill 22-1279, ‘Reproductive Health Equity Act,’ which codifies a person’s fundamental right to make reproductive health-care decisions free from government interference,” Polis said in a statement Monday.
“In the State of Colorado, the serious decision to start or end a pregnancy with medical assistance will remain between a person, their doctor, and their faith,” he added.
“I want to thank the sponsors and the General Assembly for ensuring that regardless of what happens federally, in Colorado these vital and oftentimes difficult decisions will continue to be made by Coloradans alone, free from government interference,” Polis continued.
The bill addresses the Supreme Court’s upcoming decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, in which the Court is expected to overturn Roe v. Wade (1973).
The law states that “Impending federal court cases, including Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization,… jeopardize access to legal abortion care for tens of millions of people, particularly those living in most Southern and Midwestern states”.
While “fundamental rights” are created for “Every individual” and “A pregnant individual,” the law explicitly denies rights for the unborn.
“A fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent or derivative rights under the laws of this state,” the law says.
Public entities cannot restrict abortions based on the individual’s “potential, actual, or perceived impact on the pregnancy, the pregnancy’s outcomes, or the pregnant individual’s health”.