Nov 1, 2021 - News
Where Colorado stands if Roe v. Wade is overturned
Data: Axios Research; Cartogram: Sara Wise and Oriana Gonzalez/Axios

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Monday morning in two cases challenging a restrictive new abortion law in Texas.

Catch up quick: The court fast-tracked the challenges to Texas' law, which bans most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy and is structured to avoid federal scrutiny.

Why it matters: The rulings will test the strength of Roe v. Wade, which allows abortions before fetal viability, or roughly 23 weeks into pregnancy, and the role of states in regulating the procedure.

  • Colorado is one of seven states without any gestational limits on abortion.

State of play: Unlike neighboring states, which codified a protection or prohibition on abortion, Colorado is one of 23 without any such state law.

  • In its absence, the Roe standard holds in Colorado. Only a Supreme Court ruling amending the landmark decision could affect the legal landscape.
  • But state lawmakers in the Democratic-led Legislature are drafting a bill to codify the right to an abortion, given increasing legal threats.

What they're saying: "We've always relied on the courts to protect us," said Laura Chapin at Cobalt, an abortion rights advocacy organization. "We're going to need something that explicitly lays out that you have the right to access abortion in Colorado."

Between the lines: Colorado is seeing an influx of women traveling from more restrictive states to get abortions, so the ruling will affect local providers.

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