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Colo. Reproductive Health Freedom Act Advances

Colo. Reproductive Health Freedom Act Advances

April 14, 2014 — A Colorado Senate committee has advanced a bill (SB 175) that would prohibit government entities from enacting policies that deny or interfere with reproductive health care, Fox31 Denver reports.

The measure, known as the Reproductive Health Freedom Act, passed the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on Thursday in a 4-3 vote. No Republicans voted in favor of the bill.

According to Fox31 Denver, the bill would bar state and local governments from restricting individuals' reproductive health decisions or their access to evidence-based information on reproductive health. Although Democrats currently control both chambers of the state Legislature and the governorship, the bill aims to prevent future attacks on reproductive rights that have taken place in other, Republican-led states, Fox31 Denver reports.

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State Sen. Andy Kerr (D), the bill's sponsor, said it is "an effort to keep politics and politicians away from Coloradans' health care and reproductive decisions."

NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado Executive Director Karen Middleton said the organization "appreciate[s] the fact that legislators are implementing mainstream Colorado values, sound health care policy, and reflecting the will of Colorado voters." She added, "[W]omen have the right to make their own health care decisions. We need to protect that right and ensure government doesn’t get in between women and their doctors" (Stokols, Fox31 Denver, 4/10).