DENVER — Nearly 100 people took to the steps of the Colorado State Capitol Tuesday afternoon to rally in support of safe, accessible and legal abortion.
The rally came after Politico published a draft opinion from the United States Supreme Court Monday night showing that a majority of justices, led by conservatives, planned to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court ruling that protected a person's right to receive an abortion.
Attendees held signs with messages like "abortion is a human right" and "we will not go backward."
"We've seen this time and time again, when Republicans and conservatives try to take away our rights," said Lauren Harrington, who was at the rally. "They predominantly take them away from poor people, people of color, queer people and people who are already being screwed over from the system that's oppressing them."
The draft opinion obtained by Politico would not make abortion illegal nationwide, but by overturning Roe it would permit states to dramatically restrict, or outright ban, access to abortions. This would not be the case in Colorado, where Democratic lawmakers recently passed a law codifying abortion access in the state. However, many of Colorado's neighboring states are poised to make abortion illegal if Roe is overturned, which seems likely given the court's conservative majority (Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed the authenticity of the draft, but noted that draft opinions could change before a final ruling).
According to an analysis by NPR, 18 states — including Arizona, Utah, Wyoming and Oklahoma — have “trigger laws” to ban abortion if Roe is overturned or "have pre-Roe abortion bans still on the books." Officials in Colorado expect an increase of people traveling from out of state to obtain an abortion if the procedure is outlawed. There has already been an increase in abortion appointments from out-of-state patients in Colorado since Texas passed strict abortion limitations last year. According to the Denver Gazette, Denver's Planned Parenthood clinic saw a 520% increase in patients from Texas between Sept. 1 and mid-October of last year.
In February, the Associated Press analyzed data showing abortion bans and restrictions disproportionately affect women of color.
The Supreme Court is set to make a ruling on Roe's future in June.