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‘Enshrine abortion rights in state Constitution with Initiative 89’

In the face of relentless attacks on women’s bodily autonomy, it is more crucial than ever that we stand up and defend the fundamental right to choose.

And here in Colorado, where we were the first state to decriminalize abortion in 1967, we must continue to lead the charge in protecting this essential aspect of reproductive health care.

Abortion rights are under siege nationwide, with anti-choice politicians and activists pushing draconian laws aimed at restricting access at every turn. Republicans, in particular, have shown a disturbing willingness to stop at nothing in their efforts to roll back reproductive freedoms.

From unconstitutional bans on abortion as early as six weeks into pregnancy to onerous regulations designed to shutter clinics, the assault on reproductive freedom has reached alarming levels. Here in Colorado, we’re fighting back on these assaults and working to enshrine abortion rights in our state Constitution with Proposed Ballot Initiative 89, which is currently gathering signatures to be on the November ballot statewide.

However, these attacks are not limited to abortion alone. In-vitro fertilization and other assisted reproductive technology services are also under threat. Despite being crucial options for individuals struggling with infertility, IVF and ART services are increasingly targeted by anti-choice politicians who seek to impose their personal beliefs on others.

Restrictions on insurance coverage for IVF and discriminatory practices against LGBTQ+ individuals seeking fertility treatments are just some of the ways in which access to these vital services is being undermined.

In the face of such challenges, we must recognize and applaud the leaders who are unwavering in their support for reproductive rights. Sen. John Hickenlooper has proven himself to be a staunch advocate for the fundamental right to choose, standing up against attempts to roll back reproductive freedoms and fighting for policies that expand access to comprehensive health care for all.

Hickenlooper has been a strong supporter of federal legislation such as the Women’s Health Protection Act, and he has endorsed the campaign for Ballot Initiative 89.

But his dedication to reproductive justice extends beyond just defending abortion rights. His co-sponsorship of the Access to Family Building Act exemplifies his commitment to ensuring that all individuals have access to the full range of reproductive health care services, including IVF and other ART services. This legislation is crucial in establishing a statutory right to access these vital services, ensuring that no hopeful parent or doctor is punished for seeking to start or grow a family.

Colorado has a proud history of being at the forefront of reproductive rights, and we must continue to lead by example. We cannot afford to let the progress we have made be eroded by those who seek to impose their personal beliefs on others.

Now more than ever, we must stand together to protect abortion rights and ensure that individuals have the freedom to make their own health care decisions without interference from politicians or special interest groups.

In the face of adversity, we must remain steadfast in our commitment to reproductive justice. Together, we can defend and expand abortion access in Colorado and across the country, ensuring that everyone has the right to control their own bodies and futures.

And we can do so knowing that we have allies like Hickenlooper who are fighting alongside us every step of the way.

Karen Middleton is president of Cobalt, a Colorado abortion rights advocacy organization.