Coloradans protest Texas' new abortion law

Abortion rights rally at Colorado State Capitol
Posted at 4:22 PM, Sep 04, 2021

DENVER -- The Texas State Capitol may be roughly 900 miles from Colorado's, but the decisions made within it can send shock waves as far as Denver.

The state's politics are making headlines again, this time for its new law banning abortions as early as six weeks. It also allows anyone to sue someone who helps provide an abortion.

"My heart breaks for the people who are in Texas right now that are not going to have the same opportunities that I had, although they were difficult, at least they were somewhat available," Leah Payne said.

She was one of dozens at the Colorado State Capitol on Saturday morning protesting the Lone Star State's new law.

Payne, who recently moved to Denver from Fort Worth, says she had an abortion at 19 years old. Now 31, she can't imagine the impact this new law would've had on her life by raising a child she wasn't ready to have.

"I would have a kid in school, and what would that have done to my career? What would that have done to my relationship?" she said.

The new law also does not make exceptions for rape or incest.

Katherine Riley, a policy director with the Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights, says interest from Texas women to have abortions elsewhere is already growing.

"Everyone's saying, 'my body, my choice' for a mask mandate, but it's not 'my body, my choice' for instances like rape or incest is just beyond me and beyond those of us in the movement," she said.

Anti-abortion groups like Colorado for Life are praising Texas' conservative leadership, and its Republican governor, for passing the controversial law.

"Our creator endowed us with the right to life, and yet millions of children lose their right to life every year because of abortion," Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said the day he signed the bill into law.

In a statement posted on its Facebook page, Colorado for Life says it plans to fight what it calls "abortion tourism" in Colorado.

But Democratic state Sen. Julie Gonzales says any anti-abortion measure introduced in Colorado likely won't get far.

"We see the attacks that are happening in Texas, and we are strong and united to say that's not going to happen here in Colorado," she said. "If anybody in Colorado tries to introduce the Texas ban here in Colorado, it ain't going far at all."