Colorado leaders react to leaked Supreme Court’s opinion on abortion access, Roe v. Wade

Supreme Court Abortion
A crowd of people gather outside the Supreme Court, Monday night, May 2, 2022 in Washington. A draft opinion circulated among Supreme Court justices suggests that earlier this year a majority of them had thrown support behind overturning the 1973 case Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion nationwide, according to a report published Monday night in Politico. It’s unclear if the draft represents the court’s final word on the matter. The Associated Press could not immediately confirm the authenticity of the draft Politico posted, which if verified marks a shocking revelation of the high court’s secretive deliberation process, particularly before a case is formally decided. (AP Photo/Anna Johnson)

Updated at 10:04 a.m. on May 3, 2022 to reflect that the U.S. Supreme Court has confirmed the authenticity of the leaked opinion.

The draft Supreme Court decision published by Politico shows “courage and integrity”, according to the office of Colorado Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn, and the will “to right a historic wrong.”

Lamborn, who has consistently introduced bills to limit access to abortion during his time in Congress, was one of numerous Colorado political leaders who weighed in on the news that the Supreme Court appears poised to overturn Roe v. Wade. The U.S. Supreme Court confirmed Tuesday morning that the leaked draft opinion is authentic, though the court stressed that the document does not reflect the final position of any justices on the case.

“I pray and am hopeful that these reports are true, and the Supreme Court does the right thing,” said Lamborn in a statement. “The 1973 Roe v. Wade decision was tragically wrong and has cost over 73 million unborn children their lives.”

Lamborn’s Democratic colleague from Denver sits at the other end of the spectrum on this issue. Rep. Diana DeGette co-chairs the House’s Pro-Choice Caucus and warned that allowing states to ban abortion will disproportionately affect poor women and those in rural areas, who will struggle to travel for the procedure due to distance and cost. 

In a joint statement with her caucus co-chair, Rep. Barbara Lee of California, DeGette said the leaked draft “is the clearest indication yet that the court is poised to overturn decades of legal precedent and deal a shattering blow to the right to access abortion care in the U.S. Such a move would be an unconscionable rollback of a fundamental right and would have devastating impacts throughout the country.”

DeGette called on the Senate to pass a law legalizing abortion nationally, although that closely-divided chamber lacks the votes to do that.

Both DeGette and Lamborn did share one thing in their reactions: a note of skepticism that the leaked draft might or might not be authentic and a sense of caution that it may not reflect the final opinion.

But if the court does end up overturning Roe, one thing is certain, it will definitely make abortion a more significant issue in the upcoming elections.

Colorado Democrats swiftly sent out an email Monday night highlighting the abortion positions of the two men in the GOP primary for U.S. Senate. State Rep. Ron Hanks signed on to a bill this year to abolish abortion in Colorado. His opponent, businessman Joe O’Dea, has criticized the state’s new law protecting abortion access, but has also said he wouldn’t try to overturn Roe-v-Wade.

The man Hanks and O’Dea hope to run against, Sen. Michael Bennet, said in a statement that if the court overturns Roe, it “would drag us into a past when women faced horrific risks to their lives because they lacked the freedom to make their own health care choices.”