Rose Community Foundation is committed to ensuring that all people who can get pregnant have safe and legal access to a full range of reproductive health services, which is why we are proud to support a 2024 constitutional amendment to ensure the right to abortion is protected from government interference in Colorado.
This initiative would codify protections for abortion in the state constitution and remove restrictions in state law around public health insurance coverage of abortion care, allowing government funded insurance plans to include abortion care in their covered services. It was brought forward by the Colorado Reproductive Health, Rights and Justice Coalition, comprised of several current and former grantees whom we are proud to support, including ACLU of Colorado, Cobalt, Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR), Interfaith Alliance of Colorado, New Era Colorado, and Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains.
“The nonprofits leading the coalition are the most impactful advocates for reproductive rights and justice in Colorado, with numerous legislative and ballot wins under their belts over the last decade, and the campaign team they’ve assembled has the vision and talent to deliver this essential win in November,” says Rose Community Foundation president and CEO, Lindy Eichenbaum Lent. “The Foundation is proud to have invested early – both in the nonprofits leading this effort and directly in the campaign itself.”
On January 22, what would have been the 51st anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, the coalition formally launched their campaign on the steps of the Colorado State Capitol. Nonprofit and faith leaders, medical providers, community members and elected officials shared their stories and emphasized the need for action to ensure access to reproductive healthcare for all.
“We are here to officially launch our campaign to make sure we continue to strive forward, push back on the status quo and demand more for our communities,” says Dusti Gurule, president and CEO of COLOR. “We have an opportunity to build a future that serves us even more than our past did. We have a movement to guide us and that is reproductive justice.”
Senate Bill 23-189, which the Foundation previously endorsed, requires large-employer health insurance plans to cover the cost of abortions starting in 2025. However, despite Colorado’s national reputation as a leader in this work, a 1984 law bars many Coloradans’ insurance plans from covering abortion care. Right now, teachers, firefighters, civil servants, and other state and local public employees, as well as those enrolled in state health insurance plans like Medicaid are left without the same access to abortion care as other residents.
“Abortion is health care, and your insurance should cover your health care. The state ban on funding abortion care hurts people who are already struggling and people that we rely on every day for our public services,” says Rebecca Cohen, an OB-GYN and abortion provider in Denver. “Right now, our decisions about our bodies, our future and our lives are threatened by a 40-year-old law that wasn’t even popular at the time.”
Supporters have also emphasized the need to proactively push for policy changes that strengthen access to reproductive health care in Colorado and protect it from government interference.
“The assumption was that our constitutional right to abortion was anchored in the 1973 Supreme Court decision and that it was secure from politicians,” says Karen Middleton, president and CEO of Cobalt. “We knew better then, and everybody knows better now. We can’t make that mistake again. And that’s why this ballot measure is so needed and necessary.”
Initiative 89 needs approximately 125,000 signatures to make it on the November 2024 ballot. If successful, the measure requires the support of 55 percent of voters to pass. Donate and learn more about the campaign here.