You can really feel the start of the wave on that chilly morning in January 2017. Greater than 100,000 individuals gathered in Denver’s Civic Middle Park to take part within the first Girls’s March.
Amongst these within the crowd had been some acquainted faces, of us who work to guard and develop reproductive rights daily. However much more thrilling had been the legions of recent faces, standing up maybe for the primary time, or the primary time in 30 years, to say that girls’s voices and reproductive rights wouldn’t be ignored.
Main as much as the midterm elections, political specialists debated whether or not we’d have what they known as a “blue wave.” However what the Girls’s March marked was the start of a distinctly pink wave that has swept Colorado within the time since. As soon as once more, voters in our state made it clear that well being care and reproductive rights are a high precedence for Coloradans. They’re merely not up for debate.
Colorado elected a powerful advocate in Gov.-elect Jared Polis, who will proceed and strengthen the insurance policies which have made our state a nationwide function mannequin in entry to care. Our state has seen unintended pregnancies plummet amongst youngsters and younger ladies due to elevated entry to long-acting reversible contraception (LARC), saving the state about $70 million over a 10-year interval. Deliberate Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains and the Colorado Division of Public Well being & Atmosphere have supplied about 100,000 LARCs since 2010. Abortion charges have fallen precipitously amongst teenagers and ladies. And Polis has mentioned in no unsure phrases that he’ll defend and develop these and different applications that can proceed to enhance entry.
With robust, supportive majorities in each chambers of the state legislature and a newly elected lawyer common, Phil Weiser, who has pledged to combat to uphold equal protections for girls on the state and federal ranges, Colorado is poised to stay a secure haven for the total spectrum of sexual and reproductive well being look after all Coloradans.
However at the same time as we have fun these decisive wins in Colorado, there are nationwide forces at work trying to restrict reproductive rights. The Trump administration has proposed a one-two punch that will deny tens of millions of ladies entry to contraception and abortion care. Trump’s Division of Well being & Human Providers (HHS) is finalizing guidelines that will permit employers to decide out of the no co-pay contraception protection for unspecified “ethical” causes. Nationally, that will affect 62 million ladies, together with 17 million Latinas and 15 million African American ladies. Trump’s HHS has additionally proposed a rule that will make it unattainable for medical health insurance plans to cowl abortion care underneath the Reasonably priced Care Act. These insurance policies will cut back entry to contraception, thereby growing unintended pregnancies, all of the whereas making it tougher to entry abortion.
Federal courts in Pennsylvania and California struck down the Trump proposals limiting contraception protection final yr, however the Trump administration continues to push what they seek advice from as their “secret plan.” Authorized challenges will proceed because the Trump administration advocates an agenda that will take ladies’s reproductive rights again nearly 50 years.
Colorado should and can stay a secure haven for well being care, particularly as sufferers from neighboring states see their entry to sexual and reproductive well being care undermined and even eradicated altogether. Colorado voters have by no means wavered on this difficulty. Deliberate Parenthood Votes Colorado and different reproductive rights advocates will assist Polis and the brand new and returning lawmakers as they work to develop entry to well being care for everybody who seeks it. We plan to make sure that primary rights and customary sense rule the day, not politics.
We felt the primary rumblings of our pink wave in January 2017, and we noticed the decisive ends in November 2018. Colorado will proceed to be that paragon of reproductive rights and care, defending and additional increasing entry to the total spectrum of sexual and reproductive well being look after all individuals, it doesn’t matter what.
Vicki Cowart is the president and CEO of Deliberate Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains.
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