NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado, a local leader in reproductive rights advocacy, is breaking away from its national parent organization, NARAL Pro-Choice America, to refocus efforts on state-level battles.
Now named Cobalt, the organization will continue to focus on electing pro-choice lawmakers, advocating for patients and providers, and confronting stigma and misinformation. The biggest change will be the organization’s independence to craft its own tactical approach to protecting abortion access for Coloradans and those who come to the state for care.
“It’s not that work at the national level isn’t needed. It is,” executive director Karen Middleton wrote in an op-ed in the Colorado Sun. “But direct access to abortion care, and the ability of doctors and medical professionals to provide it, rests in the hands of those on the front lines in states like Colorado. By spinning off from NARAL Pro-Choice America, Cobalt is focusing all of our energies here in Colorado and solidifying our reach with our state’s providers, patients, and advocates.”
The rebranded organizations’ leaders point to Colorado’s history of trailblazing when it comes to access to abortion and other reproductive health care. Colorado was the first state to legalize abortion, six years before the U.S. Supreme Court made abortion a constitutional right for all Americans.
Since then, Colorado has resisted efforts by conservatives to make abortion less accessible, efforts that have been extremely successful in many states, including Colorado’s neighbors like Kansas and Utah.
Due to the lack of laws restricting abortion and the state’s geographical location, Colorado serves as a critical access point for those seeking abortion care from states where that care is either difficult or impossible to obtain.
“…as we face the potential of a national landscape without Roe, one in which abortion rights may very well return to the states, the work Cobalt does here and in the Rocky Mountain West becomes even more crucial,” Middleton said in a press release.