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Colorado Governor Signs Abortion, Gender-Care Bills

Colorado
BOULDER, CO - MARCH 23: Colorado Governor Jared Polis leaves a press conference the morning after a gunman opened fire at a King Sooper's grocery store on March 23, 2021 in Boulder, Colorado. Ten people were killed in the attack. (Photo by Chet Strange/Getty Images)(Photo by Chet Strange/Getty Images)

Colorado Governor Jared Polis on Friday signed three Democratic measures that would increase access to abortion and gender-affirming medical treatment in the state. 

Colorado Sun noted that these acts strengthened the state’s standing as a haven for persons fleeing other regions of the nation with restrictive rules on the timing of gender transitions and abortions. 

Before the US Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade and ended federal safeguards for abortion rights, WRAL reported that Polis signed legislation codifying the right to abortion into Colorado law a year earlier. 

While Utah’s Republican governor Spencer Cox signed a law prohibiting hormone therapy and surgical procedures for adolescents seeking gender-affirming care earlier this year, conservative bordering states Oklahoma and Wyoming have approved draconian abortion prohibitions.

Colorado

DENVER, CO – JANUARY 30: Colorado Governor Jared Polis (C) visits a mass COVID-19 vaccination event on January 30, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. UCHealth, Colorado’s largest healthcare provider, plans to vaccinate 10,000 seniors over 70 during the drive-up event this weekend. (Photo by Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images)

Colorado Gov. Signs Abortion, Other Healthcare Bills

Fox News reported that one of the measures would bar the state from taking part in any investigations or lawsuits involving anybody who gets or helps with abortions or ostensibly “gender-affirming care.” Another would mandate that all abortions be fully covered by insurance companies, with the exception of those who disagree based on their religion. 

The third law prohibits crisis pregnancy centers from engaging in “deceptive” techniques that influence women to select alternatives to abortion, as seen by pro-choice groups and Democrats. Pregnancy centers are criticized for misrepresenting themselves as giving abortions while really denying such services.

Legislators, activists, and healthcare professionals crowded the governor’s office for a ceremony with a festive atmosphere that sometimes resembled a rally with loud clapping and call-and-response chanting after the Colorado governor signed the abortion bill.

Abortions beyond six weeks were prohibited in Florida, which had been a temporary sanctuary for people seeking abortions in those states. The legislation isn’t immediately effective after being signed by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis on Friday in a ceremony held behind closed doors.

Following the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and give state legislators control over abortion restrictions, California and New York are drafting legislation along these lines.

Since the Supreme Court’s decision, the number of people visiting abortion clinics has grown by nearly a third, and it is anticipated that transgender-related surgery wait times would also rise.

READ ALSO: Abortion Politics: GOP Members Concerned About Upsurge In 2024

Religious, Pro-Family Organizations Oppose Law

Religious and pro-family organizations are against the law because they claim it limits the First Amendment rights of professionals and facilities that don’t provide these services. They contend that the restrictions placed on crisis pregnancy centers “censor” the beneficial job they carry out. 

The measure forbids doctors from recommending abortion pill reversal therapy and declares such behavior “subject to discipline.” One of these clinics has already filed a lawsuit against the law.

“[The bills] remove the ‘choice’ for women to choose life and violate the First Amendment rights of all Coloradans, healthcare providers, employers, and pregnancy centers,” The Colorado Catholic bishops said in a letter this week.

The bills, according to the bishops, including Denver Archbishop Samuel Aquila, violate the Constitution by “forcing all Coloradans to pay for abortion in their insurance premiums, violating parental rights by removing parental notification if their minor receives an abortion or abortion referral, and forcing private employers to pay for and medical centers to perform abortion and so-called “gender-affirming care.”

Last week, Focus on the Family president Jim Daly expressed similar worries in an opinion piece for Newsweek.

READ ALSO: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Strictly Signs Bill For Abortion Law Banning After 6 Weeks

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