U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) has been endorsed by the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. Bennet is facing a challenge from Republican Joe O’Dea, who doesn’t support Colorado Reproductive Health Equity Act (RHEA), but also didn’t support overturning Roe v. Wade, but also supported the nomination of the three conservative Supreme Court Justices who voted to overturn Roe.
“Colorado codified the right to abortion into state law, affirming its commitment to reproductive freedom and ensuring people can always have access to care,” said Alexis McGill Johnson, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund. “But there is a dangerous possibility that these rights are not safe nationwide, as some anti-abortion politicians contemplate passing a national abortion ban in Congress. At a time when extreme lawmakers are staging an all-out attack that could put reproductive health care out of reach for everyone, Senator Bennet remains steady in fighting back to protect abortion access. Planned Parenthood Action Fund is proud to endorse his campaign and urge Coloradans to send him back to the Senate this November.”
In addition to the endorsement from the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Bennet has also been endorsed by local pro-abortion advocacy groups COBALT and COLOR Action Fund, which means he has been endorsed by all the major statewide pro-abortion groups in Colorado.
“[Bennet] has been a champion in the Senate for reproductive rights and he’ll never stop working in the US Senate to protect a woman’s right to choose,” said Georgina Bevin, a Bennet for Colorado spokesperson. “Michael’s campaign is energized by the Planned Parenthood Action Fund endorsement. Reproductive rights are on the ballot this November and Coloradans have a moral obligation to elect pro-choice candidates like Senator Bennet.”
During a June campaign event in Colorado Springs, Bennet spoke about the impact of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, which overturned Roe. “When it comes to a woman’s right to choose, we cannot let the Supreme Court of the United States be the last word,” he said. “They’re the ones who ignored how important this human right was to this country. They’re the ones who couldn’t appreciate what this freedom meant to women. They’re the ones who read the constitution as if it was written in 1868 when the 14th Amendment was passed, when women didn’t even have the fricking right to vote. They said it’s up to us, and now it is up to us. In Colorado, we already have made sure, because of [Rep.] Marc [Snyder’s (D-Manitou Springs)] leadership, and the leadership of the people up there, we’ve already made sure in this state a woman’s right to choose has been protected. We can’t wait to make sure that we’re codifying Roe v. Wade at the national level, and that’s what we need to do. In order to do that we have to elect pro-choice majorities in the United States Senate and the United States House, and across the country.”
During the primary, O’Dea faced criticism from Rep. Ron Hanks (R-Cañon City). “Joe O’Dea is now, not only running as a pro-abortion candidate in a Republican primary, he’s siding with the radical Democrat lobby set on taking away states’ rights on the issue,” said the Hanks Campaign in a May news release. “O’Dea’s pro-abortion position defies the Republican National Committee’s and the Colorado GOP’s pro-life platform.”
Despite the criticism over his position on one of the primary issues for conservative voters, O’Dea was able to defeat Hanks with 54.5% of the vote. O’Dea has also been endorsed by a dozen anti-abortion leaders in Colorado.
“During the primary, Joe O’Dea campaigned on being endorsed by pro-life leaders and said he would move the pro-life movement forward,” said Justin Lamorte, Michael Bennet’s campaign manager. “He opposes Colorado’s law and federal legislation that would protect the right to choose. Like Cory Gardner, he would have voted for Trump’s Supreme Court justices that overturned Roe v. Wade. He cannot be trusted on this issue and Coloradans will see through his political doublespeak.”
O’Dea’s “political doublespeak” has been a major point of contention recently. During the primary, O’Dea was vocal in his support for former President Donald Trump, who is currently under federal investigation. During a June primary debate O’Dea said he would support Trump in 2024; however, during an Aug. 5 appearance on Ross Kaminsky’s radio show, O’Dea said he “wouldn’t support [Trump] running again.” He clarified later that day that he would vote for Trump if the former president did run.
“O’Dea is tossing away his dignity to try and erase his embrace of Trump in the primary in order to get elected,” said Nico Delgado, a Colorado Democratic Party spokesperson in a news release. “Coloradans won’t be fooled by O’Dea’s embarrassing flip-flop. He still thinks Trump bears no blame for Jan. 6th and he’ll ultimately be a rubber stamp for Mitch McConnell and the MAGA agenda.”