Colorado House Democrats spoke out Friday against legislation recently proposed by their GOP counterparts that aims undermine access to women’s health care.
In the two days prior to the inauguration of Donald Trump, House Republicans introduced four separate bills that would limit access to reproductive health care in a variety of ways.
“We’ve heard some really scary rhetoric from the new president and his vice-president, and seen attacks on women’s health in states across the country,” Rep. Susan Lontine (D-Denver) said in a press release from the House Democrats. “To see it this early on in session from our own colleagues is unsettling.”
The not-so-aptly named Women’s Health Protection Act, sponsored by State House Minority Leader Patrick Neville (R-Castle Rock), would place restrictions and potential fines on abortion clinics around the state.
State Rep. Joann Ginal (D-Fort Collins) criticized the bill, which she said “comes directly from the national anti-women’s health playbook,” for singling out doctors and nurses and “placing impossible regulations on health clinics.”
Ginal also criticized the proposed Abortion Pill Reversal Information Act, a bill sponsored by State Rep. Justin Everett (R-Littleton) and State Rep. Dan Nordberg (R-Colorado Springs), that would require doctors to tell women seeking abortions though medication that there is a reversal method available.
“The Abortion Pill Reversal Information Act is something altogether new and is intended to scare and misinform women about safe and legal abortion care. Moreover, some doctors believe it may cause serious health complications in women,” said Ginal.
The reversal method referred to in the bill, which consists of administering a large dose of the hormone progesterone after the abortion process has been initiated, hasn’t undergone clinical trials or been approved by the FDA.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has warned that in addition to being just as effective as doing nothing at all to reverse an abortion, the procedure is potentially risky and can cause significant cardiovascular, nervous system and endocrine adverse reactions.
HB17-1099, put forward by Rep. Tim Leonard (R-Evergreen), would eliminate state funding for medical research involving the use of fetal tissue donated from abortion clinics. Fetal tissue is widely used in life-saving medical research, including the development of vaccines and new methods to treat AIDS, cancer, diabetes, and more.
Research involving fetal tissue has even protected unborn children in the womb by helping develop a vaccine against rubella, which used to cause 5,000 miscarriages per year in the U.S. alone.
“We cannot and we will not tolerate attacks on women,” Rep. Daneya Esgar (D-Pueblo) said in the press release. “We will continue to stand up for the reproductive health of women and work to find ways to expand access to affordable healthcare, not bring us backward.”
HB17-1108, sponsored by Rep. Stephen Humphrey (R-Severence), would place an outright ban on abortions in Colorado.
The proposed legislation came amid Denver’s wildly successful women’s march, which stunned organizers by drawing a crowd of around 200,000 people compared to the previously estimated 40,000. Reproductive rights were of primary importance in the official platform of the march.