Samuel Case, FISM News
Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed a bill into law on Monday enshrining abortion as “a person’s fundamental right,” sparking concerns that doctors may be forced to perform abortions.
Colorado GOP Chairwoman Kristi Burton Brown condemned the bill saying it places “Colorado’s abortion laws on par with China and North Korea.”
“Today I signed into law House Bill 22-1279, Reproductive Health Equity Act… which codifies a person’s fundamental right to make reproductive health-care decisions free from government interference. In the State of Colorado, the serious decision to start or end a pregnancy with medical assistance will remain between a person, their doctor, and their faith,” the governor said.
The bill, passed by the state legislature in March, comes as the U.S. Supreme Court is set to rule on an abortion case that pro-life groups hope may result in the overturning of Roe v. Wade. If Roe is overturned, states will be permitted to regulate or outright ban abortion as they see fit.
“No matter what the Supreme Court does in the future, people in Colorado will be able to choose when and if they have children,” Polis said at the bill signing. “We want to make sure that our state is a place where everyone can live and work and thrive and raise a family on their own terms.”
The bill “declares” that “every pregnant individual has a fundamental right to continue the pregnancy and give birth or to have an abortion,” while explicitly stating that “a fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent or derivative rights under the laws of the state.”
Under the law, Colorado government entities may not “deny, restrict, interfere with or discriminate against an individual’s fundamental right to use or refuse contraception or to continue a pregnancy and give birth or to have an abortion.”
Live Action reports that some legal groups, such as the American Center for Law and Justice, believe the law may force doctors to perform or participate in abortion procedures. The Center also questions the law for violating the right to life recognized in both the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.
Noah Brandt, Live Action’s Director of Government Affairs, expressed concerns that the law may even go as far as to permit infanticide in the state of Colorado, based on language in the bill that says mothers are permitted to make choices about abortions based on “the pregnancy’s outcomes.”
“Under the rules proposed by this bill, if a child is delivered alive during an abortion the doctors are under no legal compulsion to provide standard medical care as they would in any other circumstance and attempt to preserve the child’s life,” Brandt said. “Medical providers would listen to the mother’s instructions. which could include not providing life-sustaining medical care to the child, which would lead to the child’s death, which most reasonable people would consider infanticide.”