Even in Colorado, women’s rights, human rights are under siege

About ten years ago I attended a meeting of the Colorado Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice where the speaker chastised the members for continuing to advocate for abortion rights when he was not obviously no longer needed.

The matter was settled, the speaker insisted to the crowd of clergy and lay women. Pick yourself up. Pass.

The coalition members were speechless.

Diane Carman

Did this woman and so many others who had come of age at the time after Roe v. Wade in 1973 had any idea of ​​the fragility of women’s rights? Were they so ignorant?

So here we are in 2022, feeling a bit like the women of Afghanistan, who have been ordered back to their burkas by the Taliban after two decades of relative freedom. How stupid we were to think that our rights could not be revoked.

The American Taliban now control the Supreme Court of the United States, and women are rightly terrified.

The leaked draft opinion on the court’s decision expected next month on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization would overturn Roe v. Wade and would unleash an avalanche of repressive measures designed to control the lives of women in at least 26 states.

Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves has already announced new restrictions when he declined to answer questions last week about his plans to enact a measure banning birth control.

The state already has a law set to go into effect if Roe is overturned that would ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy except to save a woman’s life or in cases where “a formal charge of rape has been filed”.

Under the law, if Mississippi doctors perform abortions for any other reason, including cases of incest or severe fetal abnormality, they could be prosecuted and face up to 10 years in prison.

Meanwhile, a movement is brewing in the state to expand the law to ban abortion after six weeks of pregnancy or in cases of rape.

At 21st century, as in the 19andMississippi stands proudly at the forefront for its celebration of tyranny and human servitude.

Despite the relentless political twist, abortion bans have nothing to do with life and everything to do with controlling women.

If anti-abortion activists genuinely cared about life, they would implement programs that have been proven to dramatically reduce unwanted pregnancies. They would demand universal health care, affordable childcare, support for the world’s growing refugee population, decent wages and an end to the death penalty.

In Judaism, life is believed to begin when a child takes their first breath. In the religion of anti-abortion activists, this is where the commitment ends.

Again, consider Mississippi.

The US nonprofit health rankings place the state last in women’s, infants’ and children’s health. It’s also 50and in infant mortality, infant mortality, low birth weight, neonatal mortality and prematurity.

He ranks 51st average salaries (behind all other states and the District of Columbia).

And his dedication to the death penalty is absolute. He’s so fervent he fights to keep a man on death row years after he’s been cleared by DNA testing. The wrongfully convicted Sherwood Brown’s attorney summed up the situation by saying, “The state was trying to come up with something to incriminate Sherwood, but every time they did it choked them deeper.”

Brown managed to live entirely despite the state’s relentless efforts to kill him.

For the women of Colorado who saw Governor Jared Polis recently sign a bill stating that no government entity may “deny, restrict, interfere with, or discriminate against an individual’s basic right to use or refuse contraception or to continue a pregnancy and give birth or have an abortion,” Mississippi culture can seem strange, foreign, even barbaric.

We would be totally wrong to succumb to such naivety.

After all, Republicans in Colorado debated House Bill 1279 to guarantee women’s right to 24-hour reproductive health care. He was one of the longest filibusters in state history.

The state’s Republican Party has chosen Kristi Burton Brown, who cut her political teeth by sponsoring an amendment to grant personality to embryos and ban abortion, as party chairwoman.

And the three Republican members of the Colorado congressional delegation asked the United States Supreme Court to strike down Roe.

The leaked draft Supreme Court opinion suggests they are not outliers.

READ: Colorado Sun Opinion Columnists.

They win.

The ground under our feet has shifted. Hard-won fundamental human rights are under threat.

The logic used in Judge Samuel Alito’s draft opinion on Dobbs could underlie the ban on same-sex marriage, a range of protections for gay rights and contraception.

With an overwhelming conservative majority on the Supreme Court, all sorts of ruthless judicial activism is possible. No precedent is sacred.

What was once considered cheap political grandstanding is about to become the law of the land.

In 2016, when so many Trump voters said they wanted to blow up the system, we wondered what that might look like.

That’s it.


Diane Carman is a communications consultant in Denver.


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