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Freedom equals abortion access

Expected changes: reform for justices, stretched resources, investment in Colorado

A Washington Post/ABC News poll last week showed that 70% of Americans say a decision about an abortion is between a woman and her doctor. This majority is considerable. And we couldn’t agree more. This has been a longstanding, unwavering position in these Opinion pages. With the leak of the draft opinion from the Supreme Court, reversing Roe v. Wade, we are absolutely outraged.

Two generations of women have relied on this law, this right to self-determination. We are stunned by the arrogance of justices, hell-bent on reshaping the moral landscape based on their individual beliefs rather than precedent and settled law. Go back to recordings of confirmation hearings with Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito to hear them say settled law is just that, and laws and cases reviewed, including Roe v. Wade, are stronger after having been reviewed and left alone. Amy Coney Barrett showed her hand a bit, so no surprise there.

Politics have firmly infiltrated the high court, and we have lost respect for unelected justices at odds at what the majority of the country wants. The same Washington Post/ABC News poll shows Americans support upholding Roe v. Wade by a 2 to 1 margin.

This judicial branch of our government has shown itself as being compromised, so the executive and legislative branches will have to compensate. This leak has shown us that this court, once highly regarded, is badly in need of reform, whether it’s term limits or age limits or an updated code of ethics or something else entirely. We want accountability. That lifetime in black robes on this seemingly esteemed bench is under scrutiny. It may not be protected.

And talk about government overreach. We’ll save that argument for another editorial.

If SCOTUS reverses Roe v. Wade, abortion would not be outlawed. Instead, states would determine the procedure’s legality. Thirteen states have passed trigger laws, which would ban abortions almost immediately after a decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Fortunately, Colorado citizens have spoken through their lawmakers and are protected with codified rights in the Reproductive Health Equity Act, signed into law on April 4. This would make our state an abortion destination, which will certainly stretch our resources. (Thanks, Texas!) Ideally, being a safe haven for women will give Colorado some leverage in future conversations and actions around abortion.

Business leaders will likely see the value in investing in a state that values women, where they are free to make deeply personal choices that affect every aspect of their lives. A state free of draconian law.

Already, some companies, including Apple, Amazon, Salesforce and Uber are condemning the high court after the leak. Next up is voting with wallets. We expect to see new investors, new companies moving in state, bringing jobs here. In ways that we don’t yet see, Colorado will be changed.

At a time when we didn’t think the divide in our country could not get any deeper, it has become an abyss between the haves and the have-nots, the red team vs. the blue team. Midterm elections will reflect this. As usual, white, male Republican lawmakers are making the most noise about restricting abortions - the same crowd that doesn’t want to offer safety nets for children born into dire circumstances. It’s a tired story, the moral policing of women whose reasons for abortions are heartbreaking as it is: poverty, abusive partner, young age, limited skillsets.

In the runup to the polls, Democrats will likely yank the rallying call for freedom and make it their own. Remember the talk about masks and freedom? That was small potatoes compared with what freedom will mean in November. Freedom will equal women’s rights and access to safe, legal abortions. We will vote for candidates who take us there.