May 3, 2022 - News

Abortion remains legal in Colorado and advocates want to go further

What would immediately happen in each state if Roe v. Wade is overturned
Data: Axios Research; Cartogram: Sara Wise and Oriana Gonzalez/Axios

A leaked draft opinion showing the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade galvanized Colorado abortion advocates on Monday evening.

State of play: If the landmark ruling is formally overturned, abortion would remain legal in Colorado.

  • Already, Gov. Jared Polis signed legislation enshrining unrestricted access to abortion into state law just a month ago.
  • That bill reaffirmed existing law in Colorado, but it was meant as a statement as other states pursued new, tighter limits.
  • And advocates say they plan to push a ballot initiative in the 2024 election to add abortion protections to the state constitution.

What they're saying: Karen Middleton, president of legal reproductive rights organization Cobalt, said in a statement that the pending court decision "makes the urgent need to put the right to abortion in our Constitution in 2024 even more of a priority."

  • Other Democratic lawmakers reacted strongly against the court's justices. U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Denver) called them radical and the forthcoming decision "an attack on a fundamental constitutional right."

The big picture: As soon as Roe v. Wade is overturned four states on Colorado's borders — Arizona, Utah, Wyoming and Oklahoma — would immediately ban abortion at any point in a pregnancy.

Of note: The leaked draft opinion, first reported by Politico, could not be verified by Axios.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to reflect that four, not five, states along Colorado's borders would immediately ban abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned. Nebraska is not one of the states.


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