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Saturday marks one year since Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade

The fight over abortion rights continues in states like Colorado, which seeks to become a 'safe haven' for abortion access
boulder abortion rally
Posted at 3:05 PM, Jun 24, 2023

DENVER — Saturday marked one year since the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, striking down the constitutional right to an abortion.

But the fight over abortion rights is not over.

It continues to play out across the country, in states like Colorado, whose leaders want it to become a safe haven for abortion access.

Debbie Pope remembers how she felt the moment she learned of the court’s decision.

“I have daughters, and it was almost unbelievable,” said Pope.

Pope is the CEO of the YWCA Boulder County. She also chairs the Women’s Collaborative of Boulder County.

“Even though I work in the advocacy space and we knew this was probably going to happen, it didn't change how it felt,” said Pope. “As a woman, it just felt like the respect was gone.”

Since the court’s decision, Colorado has sought to become a safe haven for women seeking abortions.

Earlier this year, lawmakers approved a series of bills to protect and expand abortion access.

Data from the Colorado Department of Health and Environment shows over 14,000 abortions were performed in the state last year, the most since the 1980s.

Many of the patients seeking an abortion have come from states where abortion is either banned or severely restricted.

“I think that right now in Colorado, for some people, we feel like, oh, we're safe,” said Pope. “But we cannot just sit back and say that we're okay. We've already seen what happens when we do that with the overturning of Roe.”

That’s why Pope helped organize a rally in Boulder on Saturday on the one-year anniversary of the court’s ruling.

Younger women at the rally said the court’s decision was a wake-up call.

Saturday marks one year since Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade

“There was so much chaos and so much fear,” said Sydney Wu of Boulder. “We took a massive step backward.”

“It’s been such a long journey of the protesting, the fighting to get Roe v. Wade and to now lose it,” said Bella Chang from Superior. “And so, there's a lot of anger in that.”

On the other side, groups like Colorado Right to Life continue to celebrate the court’s decision.

“No state has the right to deprive anyone of life, including the unborn, without due process of law,” said Will Duffy, the group’s president.

Duffy spoke with Denver7 in January ahead of the 50th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision.

He said he wants abortion outlawed nationwide and said his group’s mission had become more important in Colorado in the wake of Roe.

“Colorado is trying to become California. They're trying to become as liberal as California. And so, therefore, they're trying to make abortion as easy to obtain as possible,” said Duffy. “And so that's why we're fighting here. The fight is needed here just as much as anywhere else.”

That fight will likely continue into the 2024 election.

Pope says pro-choice groups will push for a ballot measure to have the right to an abortion enshrined in the Colorado constitution.

“That’s the next step we’ll be fighting for,” said Pope.

Meanwhile, at the federal level, Colorado Congresswoman Diana DeGette is calling on Congress to pass legislation to restore Roe.

"Today marks the one-year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s devastating decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and eliminate Americans’ right to abortion care," said DeGette. "This is the first time in our nation’s history that we have stopped to commemorate a fundamental right that’s been taken away from us. The pain, trauma and devastation that this decision has caused to countless women across this country over the past year is reprehensible. And the House majority’s refusal to stand up for the constituents they serve by working with us to restore Roe v. Wade as the law of this land is inexcusable."



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