The decision about whether, when and how to become a parent are some of the most important life decisions we make. Access to the full spectrum of reproductive health care – including contraception and abortion – helps ensure that people can control their own bodies, lives, and futures. Creating a just and equitable world means prohibiting restrictions on abortion care. This is especially critical since the harm of abortion restrictions falls hardest on those who already face significant barriers to care and those struggling to make ends meet — young people, LGBTQ+ individuals, people with low incomes, and people of color.
Due to systemic barriers, families that experience unintended pregnancies often have poorer health outcomes, struggle to complete school, and have difficulty advancing their careers. Unintended pregnancy is also associated with several adverse birth outcomes that are the driving causes of infant mortality in Colorado, such as preterm birth and low birth weights.
The recent Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade has made it difficult for people across the country to access the abortion care they need to make the best decisions for themselves, their families and their futures. Bipartisan investments in family planning services in Colorado led to a more than 50% decline in the rate of births and abortions among young Colorado women aged 15-19 during the past decade, but our progress may be in jeopardy as more individuals travel to Colorado to access critically important abortion services, straining our reproductive health system.
Together with the reproductive rights and justice organizations in Colorado, the Children’s Campaign works to maintain and expand access to reproductive health care services – including high-quality family planning services and the abortion care that people need to ensure autonomy over their bodies and chart their own futures.
Recent Policy Successes
HB22-1279 (Froelich & Esgar/Gonzales) Reproductive Health Equity Act declares that every individual has the right to use or refuse contraception; every pregnant person has the right to continue a pregnancy or have an abortion; and a fetus, fertilized egg, or embryo does not have rights under the state. It prohibits public entities from interfering with an individual’s rights to contraception and abortion, as well as depriving an individual of their right to act or refrain from acting during their pregnancy.
SB21-009 (Jaquez Lewis/Caraveo) Contraception for Undocumented People through Medicaid and Expanded Access to Contraceptive Care expands Medicaid to provide contraceptives for undocumented communities in Colorado and improve access to a 12-month supply of contraceptives for all who use Medicaid.
SB21-016 (Pettersen & Moreno/Mullica) Ensuring Access to All Forms of Contraception without Costs to Patients protects access to preventive health care in Colorado law, including critical maternity services such as recommended treatment for preeclampsia, and expands access to all forms of contraception without cost sharing.
SB21-025 (Pettersen) Expanded Income Eligibility for Medicaid Family Planning Services expands Medicaid coverage for family planning services to people who lack coverage and are just above the Medicaid eligibility income limit. It would bring federal dollars into Colorado through a state option that the majority of other states have already taken up.