Statement on Reproductive Rights

In Citizen’s Project’s 30-year history, countless supporters, staff, and board members have championed pivotal issues to embrace a more equitable, inclusive, and just society. While the words we’ve used to communicate our values have evolved over time, the central themes have remained steadfast: we will not sit by while members of our community are stripped of their rights. The Supreme Court’s likely impending repeal of Roe v. Wade would do just that.

We commend Governor Polis and the Colorado State Legislature for their commitment to maintaining access to safe abortion services in Colorado, but access to abortion in only select states is not enough. As it stands today, if the U.S. Supreme Court weakens or overturns Roe v. Wade26 states are certain or likely to ban abortion negatively impacting the remaining 24 states to adequately provide reproductive services.

Safe, reliable access to abortion services is a paramount health equity issue. Denying access to those who need services could result in a punitive mess that increases an already disparate justice system. The people most largely affected by this change will disproportionately be people of color. According to a 2018 Abortion Surveillance Report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Black women accounted for 33 percent of reported abortions. Black women have the highest abortion ratio in the country, with 335 abortions per 1,000 live births, a rate three times that of white women. [1]

When access to abortion requires interstate travel, the only people who will retain this right are those who have the financial capacity to make the journey. The result will leave large swathes of the most vulnerable people left to look for alternative and often dangerous options.