WEB EXCLUSIVE: Colorado Abortion Debate (Part One)

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – Petition signatures for a proposed initiative banning abortions past 22 weeks in Colorado are due on March 4th, 2020.

Currently in Colorado, there is no time during pregnancy when an abortion would be considered illegal.

Colorado was the first state to legalize abortion in 1967, more than five years before Roe versus Wade.

“We are seeing women come to Colorado because we are a safe haven for abortion and we’re kind of surrounded by places that do have restrictions,” said Vicki Cowart, CEO and President of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains.

Providing quality healthcare is an important element when it comes to safety, according to Dr. Rebecca Cohen, a Denver area Obstetrician and Gynecologist.

“Complications are very rare but they do include things like hemorrhage or life-threatening bleeding or infection which in very rare cases can cause sterility,” said Dr. Cohen, “but because abortion is so common, we know that in almost all cases people can go on and have healthy pregnancies in the future when they choose to.”

Valerie Herrera, with The Pregnancy Center here in Grand Junction, knows first-hand about the risks that come with abortion.

“When I was young I was in a crisis pregnancy and I actually made the decision to have an abortion and the long-term consequences on my life have been not the greatest, it actually made me sterile so I was never able to have children after that,” said Herrera.

According to Herrera, Post Abortion Syndrome is another issue women face when in a crisis pregnancy.

“We do leave space in our medical world for acknowledging people do sometimes have negative emotions or a difficult time after an abortion procedure but we do not acknowledge post abortion syndrome as a medical diagnosis,” said Dr. Cohen.

Dr. Cohen also said, “most people after an abortion feel relief because they’ve ended a pregnancy that was unplanned or unwanted or otherwise affected by a major issue.”

Pregnancy can hit people in tough circumstances, even harder.

“So you’re talking about people of color, you’re talking about rural women, younger women, women who already don’t have full and fair access to healthcare and full and fair access to resources in their life to take care of themselves and suddenly you’re placing them in an even harder situation,” said Cowart.

Cowart said access to free or affordable contraception is key.

“If you let women have access to contraception, you don’t put barriers in place like cost, women can control their fertility,” said Cowart, “they can reduce unintended pregnancies and consequently, reduce abortions, it’s a very simple equation.”

For “Part Two” of this series, which will focus more on the current proposed legislation and late term abortions, tune into our evening broadcasts on Thursday, February 6th.

That story will be posted to our website after it airs.

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