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It’s time for a litmus test on abortion access

WJ editorial staff
It should really come as no surprise that the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to strike down Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision which enshrines a pregnant woman’s right to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction.
On the day the ink dries on whatever version of Justice Samuel Alito’s leaked screed survives editing, quite possibly in late June or early July, abortion will become immediately illegal in at least 24 states — in many cases even if a pregnancy is the result of rape or incest or if the woman stands to die in the process of giving birth.

Thank goodness Colorado is not one of those states — for now.

As far back as 1967 — six years before the Roe v. Wade decision — Colorado became the first state to decriminalize abortion in cases of rape, incest or when pregnancy would lead to permanent physical disability of the woman.
Colorado remains one of seven states in which abortion is legal in all stages of pregnancy.

A month ago, Gov. Jared Polis signed legislation enshrining unrestricted access to abortion into state law. That bill reaffirmed existing law, but was meant as a statement as other states pursued tighter limits.

Advocates say they plan to push a ballot initiative in the 2024 election to add abortion protections to the state constitution.
In 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 the state legislature mounted attempts to restrict abortion. Those attempts failed.
But that could change in the time it takes to count the ballots in November’s election.

Colorado’s statehouse is up for grabs this year, as is the U.S. House of Representatives. An ideological shift in Denver will almost certainly see Colorado join the ranks of many of its neighbors in outlawing abortion. Likewise, it’s a fair bet that the first law introduced in a Republican-controlled Congress will be a nationwide abortion ban.
It’s time to apply a litmus test to all state and national political candidates.

It’s time to ask political hopefuls bluntly and often if they stand with the six in 10 Coloradans who favor a woman’s right to healthcare privacy — including access to legal, safe abortions.

It’s time to reject those who equivocate on this vital issue and to support those who refuse to bow down to a vocal minority.
It’s time to vote like never before to ensure our daughters and granddaughters maintain the same constitutional rights enjoyed by their mothers and grandmothers.