DENVER, CO - January 22 -Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, joined NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado, leaders of other state-based organizations, and legislators at a statehouse rally commemorating the 35th anniversary of the Supreme Court's landmark decision, Roe v. Wade.
Keenan came to Colorado, a state where pro-choice gains in recent legislative elections have led to the enactment of pro-choice laws, because voters in the state could see a deceptively titled anti-choice measure on the November ballot.
Keenan commended NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado for helping restore pro-choice control of the legislature, and therefore, making the 2007 session the most successful for women's health and reproductive rights in more than a decade.
"We salute Colorado's pro-choice community for its tremendous success in changing the composition of the legislature and making it possible to advance pro-choice policies that improve women's health-care options," Keenan said. "The work pro-choice groups did with pro-choice lawmakers made the 2007 session the most successful for women's health and reproductive rights in more than a decade."
However, Keenan said the pro-choice gains could face an immediate threat in the form of a proposed ballot measure that, if adopted, would extend constitutional protections at the moment of conception and could lead to bans on abortion, birth control, stem-cell research, and assisted-reproduction technologies, such as in-vitro fertilization. Anti-choice groups are collecting signatures to put the measure on the November ballot.
"Colorado is a prime example of how anti-choice groups are using deceptive language to push a ballot measure that would undermine the values of freedom and privacy that Roe represents," Keenan said. "All eyes will be on Colorado as this debate unfolds. This state has made gains in the past because its pro-choice majority started a conversation with their friends, neighbors, and family members about the importance of protecting a woman's right to personal, private decisions. I am confident they will continue this conversation and emerge victorious once again."
Keenan's visit to Colorado is part of the organization's month-long commemoration of the 35th anniversary of the Roe decision. On January 15, NARAL Pro-Choice America also released the 17th edition of Who Decides? The Status of Women's Reproductive Rights in the United States, the nation's most comprehensive report and analysis of choice-related legislation, laws, and cases. On January 17, Keenan delivered a major speech on the future of the pro-choice movement at the University of Texas at Austin, the state where Roe originated. For more information, please visit www.ProChoiceAmerica.org.