Pro-choice candidates, many of them women, won big in Colorado on Election Day, and with their victories bring Colorado one step closer to ensuring access to abortion despite potential restrictions on reproductive rights from the Trump administration and the U.S. Supreme Court.
Colorado’s path to a pro-choice majority in state government ran through five Democratic women in competitive state Senate districts — four in suburban Denver areas and one in Colorado’s Western Slope region. Two of those races in particular — Faith Winter’s in Westminster and Jessie Danielson’s in Lakewood — were expected to be incredibly close. But Democrats defied expectations on Election Day by winning every one of those races with double-digit point margins.
In fact, 98 percent of the candidates who were endorsed by Planned Parenthood won their races.
That includes Colorado’s governor-elect Jared Polis, who has been outspoken in his support of reproductive rights. With his victory and Democratic majorities in both state legislative chambers, Colorado’s government is in pro-choice hands. At a time when the future of abortion rights is uncertain, Colorado is set up to pave the way for the rest of the nation in passing pro-choice legislation that can increase access to reproductive care and potentially secure abortion rights for its residents.
“Colorado is a pro-choice state – as tonight’s results clearly demonstrate,” said NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado’s Karen Middleton in a statement released on election night. “Coloradans strongly support candidates who prioritize access to abortion care, access to contraception, equal rights for pregnant women on the job, and family leave. And with a pro-choice majority in both the Colorado House and Senate, we will be able to put those values into action going forward.”
Last year, Democrats introduced a bill in Colorado’s legislature that would have required insurers to cover the entire gamut of reproductive care, including abortion, at no cost to patients. With Democrat’s newfound control of the state Senate, such a bill actually has a chance of passing.
Colorado could also join several other states have been taking proactive steps to secure abortion rights through state laws that are completely independent of Roe v. Wade, meaning that should it be overturned or weakened by the Supreme Court, Coloradans will still be guaranteed access to abortion.
This isn’t the first election where Coloradans have shown strong support for abortion rights. Colorado voters have in the past rejected three ballot measures that would have enshrined fetal personhood in Colorado’s constitution, most recently in 2014.
Edited 11/14 to include an updated percentage of Planned Parenthood endorsed candidates who won their races.