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Colorado seeing rise of out-of-state people seeking abortions

Abortion Kentucky
Posted at 3:13 PM, Jul 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-05 17:24:02-04

COLORADO — Ten days after the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade, Colorado is seeing more and more people coming to the state for an abortion.

Cobalt, an organization providing financial assistance for people traveling to Colorado for an abortion, said they're working with triple the number of people needing assistance since the decision. The organization covers costs including plane tickets, hotels and meals while they are visiting.

Jaki Lawrence, communications director for Cobalt, said many people who call needing assistance are confused about the laws surrounding abortion in their own states.

"There's just a lot of sort of legal gray area and confusion right now and so we're seeing some folks reach out not sure if abortion is legal in their state if they shouldn't be traveling," she said.

Colorado is considered a "safe haven" state for people seeking an abortion, as one of six states without any term restrictions for abortions.

Neighboring states like Idaho and Wyoming have trigger laws, making it more likely they will pass bans on abortion in the near future now that Roe vs. Wade is overturned.

Right now, there are no current laws in place restricting state-to-state travel for an abortion, but some GOP legislators are trying to change that.

In Missouri, some lawmakers are backing an amendment that would allow citizens to sue anyone they know who has aided in an abortion for a Missouri resident- even across state lines. Republican state Rep. Mary Elizabeth Coleman is among those supporting the legislation and said in a statement to POLITICO that she believes current legislation can help the case.

“If a Missouri resident is hurt, even in Illinois, by a product that they bought in Illinois, there is still jurisdiction for them to sue in a Missouri court because that’s home for them and this is extending that same kind of thought to abortion jurisprudence,” she said.

However, in his concurring opinion on the overturn of Roe vs. Wade, Justice Brett Kavanaugh said that kind of legislation would be unconstitutional.

“Some of the other abortion-related legal questions raised by today’s decision are not especially difficult as a constitutional matter,” he wrote. “For example, may a state bar a resident of that state from traveling to another state to obtain an abortion? In my view, the answer is no based on the constitutional right to interstate travel.”

Nonetheless, Cobalt says it will still continue to offer financial services to those requesting.

"Your right to abortion should not depend on your zip code. And we are not going to stop fighting until everybody can access abortion care and have that care be free from shame, stigma and barriers," Lawrence said.
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