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Colorado Voters Defeat Proposition 115, Maintaining Support for Abortion Access

As of this morning, 59.1 percent of Colorado voters voted “no” on Proposition 115, a proposition that would restrict abortions after a fetus reaches 22 weeks gestational age except when “immediately required to save the life of a pregnant woman”.

This proposition did not include exceptions for rape or incest, would impose $5,000 fines on anyone who performs an abortion procedure, and would suspend the medical license of any physician who violates this measure. The proposition designated 22-weeks, as this marker is the earliest point in the pregnancy during which a fetus could survive outside the womb with medical intervention.

Proposition 115 would have forced health providers to wait until the pregnant person was dying to perform the abortion. Additionally, nearly 99 percent of abortions happen before the 22-week mark. Nonetheless, this decision allows Colorado to remain as one of only seven states without gestational limits on abortions, which maintains its status as a state that pregnant people from stricter states can travel to for abortion care. This also allows pregnant people from within the state, particularly those who are low-income and of color, to receive care close to home.

This decision is increasingly important, as the appointment of Justice Amy Coney Barrett puts Roe v. Wade at risk, which would put abortion rights into the hands of individual states.

Sources: New York Times 11/4/20, Vox 11/3/20, CBS Denver 11/3/30, Feminist Newswire 10/27/20, Feminist Newswire 10/29/20

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