In the wake of Colorado’s primary elections last week and the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and return abortion laws to state authority, Republicans and conservatives continue to push anti-abortion policy via legislation, ballot initiatives, campaign rhetoric, and leadership elections. Despite recent failures in enacting their agenda and a demonstrated lack of support from the state’s voters, the Colorado GOP is undeterred.

Colorado has a history of defending reproductive rights and access to abortion. Colorado was the first state to codify abortion rights in pre-Roe America, decriminalizing abortion in cases of rape, incest, and the life of the mother in 1967.

Since 2008, three different ballot initiatives to amend the state constitution to ban or severely limit abortion access have failed by large margins at the polls, including the first attempt spearheaded by a young Kristi Burton Brown, now the chair of Colorado’s Republican Party.

The latest attempt to restrict abortion access came with Proposition 115 in 2020, which sought to impose a ban on abortions after 22-weeks, failed by a margin of 18 percentage points.

But despite the abysmal track record, Colorado Republicans aren’t giving up, and are now emboldened by the June Supreme Court decision to overturn the landmark decision in the 1973 Roe v. Wade case, returning states’ authority in determining abortion rights.

pro-life, pro-choice, women’s health, women’s rights, reproductive health, planned parenthood

In 2022, the GOP of Colorado has put forward anti-abortion bills, spread misinformation about reproductive rights legislation, celebrated the overturn of Roe v. Wade, and debated the electoral viability of Republican candidates who take moderate positions on extreme and absolute anti-abortion ideology.

The following pieces published by the Colorado Times Recorder detail Republican efforts this year in pursuing their agenda to limit reproductive rights in Colorado before the overturning of Roe v. Wade:

  • Democrats Defeat ‘Truly Disgusting’ Abortion Ban at Colorado Capitol: In February of 2022, three bills attempting to create bans and roadblocks to abortion were put forward by Rep. Stephanie Luck (R-Pueblo), Rep. Patrick Neville (R-Castle Rock), and Rep. Dave Williams (R-Colorado Springs). All three bills failed after a twelve-hour hearings in the Colorado House’s Health and Insurance Committee where each was voted down four to seven. 
  • Republicans ‘Rally To Resist Roe’ Days Before Polis Signs Abortion-Protection Bill: In April of 2022, Rep. Dave Williams (R-Colorado Springs) joined a ‘rally to resist Roe’ where he encouraged the election of anti-abortion candidates. “We didn’t win the vote, but that’s not the end of it,” said Williams. “The battle belongs to God, and what we did was a victory. We laid a groundwork that can be built upon and pushed forward.”
  • Boebert’s Response to Leaked Roe Decision: the ‘Left’ Wants Abortion ‘After Delivery’: In May of 2022, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Rifle) lied about progressive support for infanticide, commenting, “I know the preciousness of the steps of life and of children. And It is so disgusting to me that the left wants full-term abortion. They want post-term abortion, where a mother can later decide, after delivery, that she doesn’t want to go through with this. This is what’s happening right now. And it’s so heartbreaking.”
  • CO High Country Statehouse Race Highlights Stark Differences on Abortion in Wake of Leaked Roe v. Wade Opinion: In May of 2022, Savannah Wolfson, the eventual Republican nominee for House District 26, responded to the leak of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade saying, “The fall of Roe would only mean that the voters decide, and Colorado voters consistently uphold abortion. I will start by upholding religious liberty, advocating that our tax money not be used for this extreme practice, and that healthcare providers not be forced to participate in these procedures.”
  • Hanks Goes on Offensive Against O’Dea on Abortion: In May 2022, Rep. Ron Hanks (R-Canon City) accused his rival in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, Joe O’Dea, of not aligning with anti-abortion ideology enough for the standards of the Republican Party. “O’Dea’s pro-abortion position defies the Republican National Committee’s and the Colorado GOP’s pro-life platform,” said Hanks. O’Dea described himself as a pro-life candidate, and does not support RHEA.
  • Heidi Ganahl Takes Aim at Stem Cells: In June of 2022 during a meeting of Board of Regents for the University of Colorado, Republican candidate for CO Governor Heidi Ganahl proposed a resolution that encouraged the University to create policies that would ensure that tissue from aborted fetuses could not be used for scientific research. 
  • Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade: In June of 2022, after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Colorado GOP Chair Kristi Burton Brown, celebrated by tweeting: “Today is the most beautiful day. One more step towards equal rights.”