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⚖️ Where Colorado stands in the abortion debate



Here’s what’s going on:
For a while now, the U.S. Supreme Court has been considering overturning the landmark case for abortion rights, Roe v. Wade. (Why? See Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.) Late on Monday evening, some documentation from February was leaked that indicates the Supreme Court might actually do it, with five justices saying they’d vote to overrule Roe v. Wade. If they do, people across the country will lose their access to abortion.

But it’s not official yet.
It’s important to note that this was just an opinion draft — and what appears to be a first draft, at that. It shows which way the Supreme Court is leaning, but nothing’s been signed, sealed, or delivered. The formal decision isn’t expected until late June or early July and will likely go through several more draft iterations.There could still be changes made, and even a complete reversal of the majority (which can, and has, been done before). However, a leak of a draft of this significance hasn’t happened in modern history and could intensify the debate.

Many states have been preparing for this.
Without the federal protection of abortion, decision-making around the issue would move to the state level. Eighteen states, including Colorado, have codified the right to abortion into law, meaning even if Roe v. Wade is overturned, abortions will still be legal in those places. Likewise though, 22 other states are poised to enact total or near-total abortion bans, and at least 12 states have trigger laws that will outlaw abortion as soon as the Supreme Court’s ruling is made.

Here’s how this would directly affect Coloradans.
Abortions currently are — and would still be — legal here no matter the Supreme Court’s decision. At least, for now. Theoretically, our current law that codifies abortion access could be replealed by state legislature, though that seems unlikely. And Colorado abortion advocates say they’re ready to take it a step further by asking voters in 2024 to enshrine abortion protections in the state constitution.

More imminently though, Colorado would likely see people journeying to our state seeking abortion access. Neighboring states including Utah, Wyoming, Arizona, and Oklahoma are among those that would enact immediate bans if Roe v. Wade falls.

On today’s podcast, City Cast Denver Host Bree Davies and Producer Xandra McMahon hash out their feelings on the draft decision, talk through what abortion access looks like in Colorado now, and what could happen in the future:

“The folks behind the scenes working on reproductive health access for people saw this coming, and were nudging legislators to make sure that Colorado was prepared to say ‘Regardless of where you’re coming from, you have access to an abortion here.’”

Ways to get involved and organizations to support:

  • Reproductive health and justice advocate Alison Turkos created this informative how-to guide, if you are looking to support abortion access or get involved in reproductive justice.
  • The Colorado Doula Project is a grassroots organization providing information, education, and support to all bodies in the reproductive health space.
  • The Abortion Care Network provides support for a national network of independent reproductive healthcare and abortion clinics, including many right here in Colorado.
  • Cobalt Advocates (which you may know by its old moniker, NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado) works on abortion and reproductive justice issues from the community, policy, and legislative sides.
  • COLOR (Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights) also works on abortion and reproductive justice issues on the policy and legislative sides, through the lens of the Latinx community.


Denver’s Elitch Gardens turned 132 years old this week! Wow, what a difference nearly a century-and-a-half can make. Learn more about the amusement park’s local history 👉 [9News]


🎉 Juneteenth is now a state holiday! Gov. Jared Polis made it official this week. This means Colorado students and state workers will get the day off, and the history of the holiday will become a part of Colorado school curriculum. [CPR]

🚩 Officer accused of killing Elijah McClain, files to dismiss charges: The attorney for former Aurora police officer Nathan Woodyard, who was indicted on charges of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide in the death of Elijah McClain, is requesting a judge dismiss those charges. The attorney says several medical experts have testified to a grand jury that McClain died from the ketamine administered by EMTs, not the carotid chokehold Woodyard subjected him to. [CO Politics]

  • 🤔 My thoughts: Even so, that still doesn’t account for the fact that the police didn’t have reasonable cause to stop McClain, a young Black man, nor justification for their excessive use of force, all of which ultimately did lead to his death… 

📜 Sex workers just got new protections: Thanks to a new law signed into effect by Polis this week, sex workers now have the right to report serious crimes to the police without fear of facing criminal charges relating to their line of work. [Denver Post]

🌳 Some of Civic Center Park is still — and will stay? — off limits: After a two-month closure last fall, Civic Center Park has mostly reopened to the public, but there are still a lot of areas where you can’t hang out. City officials say much of the park’s lawns are still off-limits so they can focus on grass restoration, but also to discourage loitering. Chances are it will remain that way for the “foreseeable future” in order to “keep illegal drug activity away,” city officials said. Get a lay of the land 👇 [Denver Post]


Last Friday on the City Cast Denver podcast, we talked a little about the $400 TABOR rebate that Gov. Polis is promising. (Listen to that episode here.)

Listener Elizabeth S. wrote in to say:

“I thought the conversation about the TABOR refund coming this summer was a bit misleading, especially implying that we could spend the refunds on government services (unfortunately we can’t) and not mentioning that typically refunds have been regressive, and a flat refund per taxpayer is a slight improvement. I have appreciated Scott Wasserman’s posts about this ([and more] from Bell Policy Center).”

We’d also recommend checking out CPR’s podcast “The Taxman” for a comprehensive breakdown of the complex issue that is TABOR.

🗣️ Have thoughts on something we’ve covered on the podcast or in the newsletter? You can always write in to, or call and leave a voicemail at 720-500-5418

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