For Immediate Release
Karen Middleton, Executive Director, NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado
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
DENVER - 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.
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“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.
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NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates are dedicated to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom for all Americans. NARAL works to guarantee that every woman has the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. In recognition of its work defending our constitutional right to choose, Fortune Magazine described NARAL as "one of the top 10 advocacy groups in America."