A lot has happened in the short time since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. As of August 2, there are 10 states abortion is now prohibitedfour more women bar the procedure after six weeks, most women do not know they are pregnant.
Lawmakers have introduced bills that would allow citizens to sue mothers seeking abortions in nearby states like Colorado. And A particularly disturbing incident involving a 10-year-old girl highlighted how draconian laws can prevent even the most vulnerable from getting the health care they need.
It is sometimes difficult to recognize the country in which the nine justices were rebuilt. The speed with which the lives of millions of Americans are changing serves to highlight just how dangerous some fundamental rights are. And that makes it all the more important that our lawmakers work to fully protect these rights.
Ideally, these protections could be enacted through constitutional amendments or legislation—like Colorado’s Reproductive Health Act, which protects abortion rights. Without these protections in place, executive orders can go a long way.
Gov. Jared Polis took a good first step when he signed the deal last month executive order “To ensure that no Coloradan is penalized for the possession, cultivation or use of marijuana.” The ordinance, based on Amendment 64, which legalized marijuana in the state and was approved by voters, offers protections to employees and prevents certain state agencies from using resources to “assist in professional investigations of information, data, or activities related to legal marijuana in the state. Colorado.”
Importantly, the Police announced the order as a means of “protecting individual freedom and rights”. This statement was no doubt intended to counter the High Court’s violations, but it is important for the Police to prove that it was more than just opportunistic rhetoric.
Because in the eyes of some conservative leaders, ousting Roe was just the beginning. The regressive views that Justice Clarence Thomas so proudly advanced in a concurring opinion are proof of how far some on the right are willing to go.
Thomas laid out a vision for an America without the right to contraception, same-sex intimacy, or same-sex marriage. After the overturning of Roe and the furious and destructive path some lawmakers have taken to impose punitive laws to reshape our society, it’s no longer difficult to imagine those rights diminishing.
Or, as with Roe, back into the hands of the states.
If our basic rights are going to be left up to the states, now is the time for the Police – and our Colorado lawmakers – to legislate them. Since marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug at the federal level, it was a good place to start. Similar protections must now be afforded to those seeking legal abortion services in Colorado. Contraception, same-sex intimacy, and same-sex marriage rights must be protected for all Coloradans and anyone who comes to the state.
A country moving towards equality is not a country looking for new ways to take away rights or punish its citizens. Through collective action and civic participation, we must do the daily work to continue our progress toward becoming a society that values freedom and fulfillment for all, where each of us has the right and opportunity to pursue happiness.
Regardless of what happens in Washington, as long as Colorado has a say, it should be about the freedoms and rights of Coloradans – to consume legal substances, to buy and use legal contraceptives, and to be intimate with a partner of their choice and consent. marry anyone who brings joy and love to your life – all are equal here.
—Gary Garrison for the Daily Camera Editorial Board, August 5