Energetic crowd sends strong signal to our state’s lawmakers—keep politics out of women’s health
DENVER – At least 200 supporters of women’s health turned out today at the state Capitol for a Rally to Protect Women’s Health. Lawmakers, physicians and families described the attacks on women’s access to health care in Colorado.
Specifically, speakers addressed the looming threat of HB 1130, which would create fetal “personhood” by creating a new class of victim for a fetus. Speakers, representing diverse backgrounds and organizations, also addressed a third personhood ballot initiative (currently known as proposed initiative 46), expected on the 2012 ballot. Colorado voters overwhelming defeated two similar fetal “personhood” ballot initiatives in the 2008 and 2010 elections, yet it continues to return.
Dr. Andrew Ross, a general OB-GYN in Denver, described how these measures harm the physician-patient relationships.
“As a health care provider, I see these and other attacks on women’s health as extreme government interference in a woman’s private decision that needs to be in consultation with her family and her physician…And as a husband and father, I see them as outrageous attempts to single out the women in our lives and limit their access to basic health care.”
Jeremy Shaver, executive director of the Interfaith Alliance, offered the crowd a religious viewpoint on issues surrounding women’s health.
“Religious freedom is our first freedom and it shouldn’t be cheapened,” he said. “Religious freedom must include the right of women to make their own individual decisions about birth control and their health care. Many faith leaders respect women’s moral agency to make decisions about their reproductive health, without governmental interference or legal restrictions. Woman of all faiths use birth control while remaining faithful to their moral compass.”
Meagan Como, a student at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, talked about her experience being born with hemophilia. She described why her doctors put her on birth control in an effort to increase her blood’s ability to clot as a teenager. Meagan’s story highlighted the need for women to be able to access basic health care, no matter who they work for.
“Like 99 percent of American women, I also take birth control. While Sen. Brophy would have you believe taking birth control is something I do ‘recreationally,’ I’d like to point out that 58 percent of women take birth control for something other than pregnancy prevention.”
Reps. Crisanta Duran (HD5) and Andy Kerr (HD26) strongly urged their colleagues to defeat HB 1130.
Overall, speakers rallied the energetic crowd which included women, men, children, and families. Protect Families, Protect Choice and Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains is grateful to all those who attended today’s rally and showed their support for women’s health. Our voices were heard. Together, we reminded our state’s lawmakers to keep politics out of women’s health.
Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains empowers individuals and families in the communities we serve to make informed choices about their sexual and reproductive health by providing high quality health services, comprehensive sex education, and strategic advocacy. More than 123,000 women, men, and young adults annually visit our 28 health centers throughout Colorado, New Mexico, Southern Nevada, and Wyoming. Since 1916, we have been the region’s most trusted provider of reproductive health care. For more information about Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, call 1.800.230.PLAN or visit pprm.org for the health center nearest you.
March 12, 2012