Will voters make Colorado part of the US “abortion desert” with Proposition 115?

By Priscilla Blossom, Kaiser Health News

Colorado voters are in the process of deciding a voting question that seeks to limit the length of pregnancy during which an abortion can be legally performed. While the measure would only change the law in Colorado, it would resonate in the Rocky Mountain states and the Midwest amid an escalating national struggle, fueled by a Supreme Court vacancy, over the future of abortion.

In 1967, six years before the Supreme Court Roe vs. Wade The ruling protected the right to abortion in the United States – Colorado became the first state to pass a law expanding access to legal abortion. More than 50 years later, it remains one of seven states with no gestational limits on the procedure, making Colorado one of the few options for people nationwide who need an abortion later. in pregnancy.

Proposition 115 seeks to change this. It would ban abortion in the state after 22 weeks. The proposal makes an exception to save the life of the pregnant person, but none for cases of rape or incest or to protect the health of the pregnant person or the fetus.

But the impact of the measure would also be felt by neighboring states where people have little or no access to abortion. Kelly Baden, vice president of reproductive rights of the left-wing political group State Innovation Exchange, called the surrounding area an abortion desert.

“Colorado really plays an important role in the region by being a safe haven for people who live in these very restrictive states, some of which we are neighbors, like Kansas, Nebraska – that whole strip of the Midwest, from the Dakota to the Texas. Baden said.

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