For Immediate Release:
March 24, 2021
For More Information:
Karen Middleton, President
Laura K Chapin
Communications Consultant, Cobalt
COBALT APPLAUDS DEFEAT OF TWO ANTI-ABORTION RIGHTS BILLS IN HOUSE HEALTH AND INSURANCE COMMITTEE TODAY
Denver – Cobalt tonight applauded the defeat of two anti-abortion rights bills in the Colorado House of Representatives Health and Insurance Committee.
HB 1017, “Protect Human Life at Conception,” would ban nearly all abortions, except for a very narrow exception when an abortion is necessary to save the life of the pregnant person. It would make providing an abortion a felony offense under Colorado law. This is the eighth time this legislation has failed in our state.
HB 1183, “Concerning Information Regarding Induced Terminations Of Pregnancies Reported To The State Registrar Of Vital Statistics,” is a new and dangerous invasion of privacy bill that wcould have put both abortion patients and providers at risk, as well as restricting abortion access by putting up barriers to care.
The bill would require health-care providers that perform abortions to collect private information about their patients and report it to the state registrar of vital statistics in the Department of Public Health and Environment, who would then create an annual report to be made available to the public.
According to Cobalt President Karen Middleton, “HB 1017 seeks to codify ‘personhood.’ It’s important to note that this very same bill has been introduced and voted down in committee at the Colorado General Assembly seven times over the past seven years. ‘Personhood’ has also been directly voted down by Coloradans numerous times.
A majority of Colorado voters – from all political parties and from all parts of the state – have repeatedly indicated that government should not have a say in whether or not someone chooses to have an abortion. We are glad their wishes were respected by the Committee members who voted no on this bill today. Again.”
In her testimony opposing HB 1183, Selina Najar, Political Director for Cobalt noted that the bill is “invasive, stigmatizing, and it violates a patient’s most basic right: the right to privacy. Anti-abortion activists who support HB 1183 have dubbed it an ‘abortion surveillance bill.’ This bill is straight out of the anti-abortion playbook, based on model bills being pushed across 30 states by national extremist organizations whose only goal is to criminalize abortion care.”
Dr. Aaron Lazowitz told legislators, “As an ObGyn and an abortion provider, I strongly oppose HB 1183. It represents an invasion of privacy for my patients and a professional threat to me as a doctor. This legislation would mandate state surveillance of additional data that is neither necessary for public health nor the patient’s care. In addition to being an overt privacy violation, HB 1183 would directly place both patients and providers in harm’s way.”
Concluded Cobalt President Karen Middleton, “No one should have to justify to the government the reason for making the decision that was best for them and their family. Everyone deserves the right to access healthcare without fear that it will become public. Both these bills are counter to our Colorado values and the will of Colorado voters and we thank the Committee members for voting them down.”
Cobalt is a grassroots, statewide Colorado organization that advances abortion access and reproductive rights. Our organization began in 1967 when Colorado became the first state to allow safe, legal abortion. Cobalt believes nothing should stand between you and your health decisions, which is why we are dedicated to fighting for systems, structures and policies that protect reproductive rights and guarantee comprehensive, universal access to reproductive healthcare, including abortion.