Governor Jared Polis of Colorado on Monday, signed the Reproductive Health Equity Act, guaranteeing its citizens the right to have an abortion without government interference.
The Reproductive Health Equity Act, states that “every individual has a fundamental right to make decisions about the individual’s reproductive health care, including the fundamental right to use or refuse contraception; a pregnant individual has a fundamental right to continue a pregnancy and give birth or to have an abortion and to make decisions about how to exercise that right; and a fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent or derivative rights under the laws of the state.”
The bill, which passed in the state’s Democratic-majority House and Senate last month on party-line votes, also prohibits local entities from implementing their own restrictions.
The Governor affirmed that lawmakers want to protect the rights women already have under federal law, so that no matter what happens with the landmark ruling, women in Colorado can choose what to do about their own pregnancies, whether that’s in vitro fertilization or termination.
Polis also said that the bill does not make any changes to the current legal framework for parental notification that exists in state law, but will also prevent any person from being forced to end or continue a pregnancy and ensure that no one is forced to perform or have an abortion against their will or conscience.
With the signing of the Reproductive Health Equity Act, Colorado has just joined 15 other states and the District of Columbia that have codified abortion into law.