By Jennifer McRae

DENVER (CBS4)– Gov. Jared Polis signed the Reproductive Health Equity Act into law on Monday. HB22-1279 saw a lot of support and opposition, leading to nearly 24 hours of debate, before a final state House vote last month.

The bill gives every pregnant person the right to choose to continue their pregnancy or have an abortion. It also states that a fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent rights under the laws of Colorado.

“No matter what the Supreme Court does in the future, people in Colorado will be able to choose when and if they have children,” said Polis.

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“Across the country, and here in Colorado, abortion rights are under attack from GOP politicians who want to ban abortion in all cases – here in our state, we won’t let that happen,” said Rep. Meg Froelich in a statement. “Coloradans have made it clear that they want to keep abortion legal in our state. I’m proud Governor Polis has signed the Reproductive Health Equity Act into law to safeguard reproductive rights in Colorado.”

“With reproductive freedom under attack at the federal level, we’re taking historic action today to ensure Colorado remains a safe haven for folks in need of reproductive health care,” said Sen. Julie Gonzales in a statement. “Until today, Colorado law didn’t expressly protect the right to abortion care. We’re changing that because all Coloradans should have the freedom to make decisions about their lives and their futures. This landmark bill enshrines the fundamental right to abortion into Colorado law, and we sincerely hope other states choose to follow our lead. The health and well-being of millions of Americans depends on it.”

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“Enshrining the right to choose when it comes to reproductive health care, including the right to abortion, shows we trust Coloradans to make their own medical decisions,” said House Majority Leader Daneya Esgar in a statement. “Politicians shouldn’t get to decide whether or not someone is ready to start a family. With the passage of this law and the governor’s signature today, we’ve taken a giant step forward to protect fundamental reproductive rights and abortion access in Colorado, and I couldn’t be more proud.”

With the governor’s signature, Colorado joins 15 states and Washington D.C. in protecting a woman’s legal right to an abortion.

Polis also signed four other bills into law, including Telehealth for Hearing Aid Providers, Veterans and Military Status in Fair Housing, Board of Education Executive Session and Altered Truck Weight Documents.

Jennifer McRae