Roe v. Wade is threatened more than ever before. Women’s rights are under attack in courtrooms and legislatures across the country. Seventeen states passed restrictive abortion laws in 2019. The Trump administration continues to antagonize providers, both domestically and abroad.
Meanwhile, Republicans in Congress are trying to defund Planned Parenthood at every turn and have confirmed a slate of extreme, anti-choice judges. Politicians in Washington and nationwide are endangering people’s lives so that they can score political points. Senator Gardner has joined in the attacks: He supports putting politicians in charge of women’s health-care decisions, and even supports putting doctors who perform abortions in jail.
The constitutionally protected right to an abortion is one essential component of a comprehensive approach to reproductive health care. We must also guarantee access to affordable and safe contraception, coverage for routine cancer screenings and management of chronic conditions, and access to reliable information about reproductive health that is private, fact-based, and tailored to an individual’s needs.
I am, and have always been, a staunch supporter of reproductive health and justice. As Governor, I oversaw the implementation of the Colorado Family Planning Initiative. This initiative helped over 30,000 young women gain access to long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) devices that they may not have been able to afford or access otherwise. In less than a decade, the program reduced unintended pregnancy rates in Colorado by 54% and was estimated to save taxpayers about $70 million. Allowing young women to decide when they are ready to start a family, while also saving millions in tax dollars, is something that would find bipartisan support in the Senate if Senator McConnell were not in control.
But gaps in coverage and access still yawn wide, particularly for low-income individuals, members of the LGBTQ community, and people of color. Advocacy for reproductive health means supporting reproductive justice and individuals’ ability to make safe decisions about their sexuality, health, and identity. I support organizations like Planned Parenthood, which provide intersectional care for individuals of all ages, identities, and backgrounds. I am committed to fighting for legislation that expands access to comprehensive reproductive health care for all who need it.