The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Karen Middleton, Executive Director, NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado
720-251-6695 (cell)

Colorado Abortion Ban Bill Defeated

Legislation at Odds with Colorado Voters and Values, Puts Government in Between Women and their Doctor on Private, Personal Medical Decisions


Last night, the Colorado House Judiciary Committee voted to defeat HB 1133, a proposed total abortion ban that could also have banned emergency contraception and sent doctors to jail. Colorado is a historically pro-choice state and attempts to ban abortion at the legislative level and through ballot measures have repeatedly failed. Coloradans have declared that they support keeping personal, private medical decisions, including the decision to have an abortion, between women and their doctors.

HB 1133 would define pregnancy from the moment of fertilization in Colorado, banning abortion and emergency contraception in almost all cases, even for victims of rape or incest. It makes providing abortion care in Colorado a Class 3 felony, which carries a minimum 4-12 year sentence. The abortion ban bill had the support of Republican Leadership with Minority Leader Brian DelGrosso (R-Loveland) signed on as a co-sponsor.

According to Dr. Kristina Tocce, a practicing obstetrician-gynecologist, "House Bill 1133 defines pregnancy from the moment of "fertilization." 30-70% of fertilized eggs do not develop into a newborn baby due to natural processes. Making it illegal to terminate all fertilized eggs will limit the ability of physicians to administer medically appropriate treatments for ectopic pregnancies, spontaneous miscarriages, and molar pregnancies - which can often be life threatening.

She continued, "Passing this bill will cause physicians like me to pause and wonder 'Will I be charged with a felony for treating this condition?' By legislating the doctor-patient relationship, this bill would invade the privacy that is essential for standard and safe medical care. It will ultimately hurt patients, and this is my biggest fear.

"Making it a class 3 felony to help these patients through a private medical decision seems surreal. These decisions need to be made between patients, their families and their physicians. They should not have to deal with politicians during one of the most difficult times in their lives."

"This bill would put women in real danger," said Ilyse Hogue, President of NARAL Pro-Choice America. "It goes to show how far the anti-choice movement's values have drifted from mainstream America that they would push a bill that would ban not just abortion, but emergency contraception, and threaten doctors with jail for treating their patients. This is a great example of why politicians should stay out of women's personal medical decisions - they make lousy doctors."

"It's bad enough that this bill put politicians and government in between Colorado women, their families, and their physicians, something Colorado voters have repeatedly rejected at the ballot box," said Karen Middleton, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado. "This bill could result in jailing doctors."

"This bill is an insult to Colorado women and physicians, and out of touch with Colorado voters. Too many of our politicians still don't get it, and we need to say thank you to those that do support us and stand up for mainstream Colorado values," Middleton concluded.

NARAL Pro-Choice America fights for reproductive freedom for every body. Each day, we organize and mobilize to protect that freedom by fighting for access to abortion care, birth control, aid parental leave, and protections from pregnancy discrimination.

(202) 973-3000