‘VICTORY for the unborn’ and ‘a devastating day in America’ — Colorado’s elected officials react to SCOTUS abortion ruling

Caitlyn Kim/CPR News
House Pro-Choice Caucus co-chair Congresswoman Diana DeGette, holding a sign that reads “Abortion Is Essential,” and Congresswoman Joyce Beatty, holding a sign that reads “Equal Access to Abortion, Everywhere,” lead a group of lawmakers from the U.S. Capitol to the U.S. Supreme Court Building where they spoke out against the court’s ruling overturning Roe v. Wade on Friday, June 24, 2022. The group chanted “We trust women, we won’t go back” during their march.

Updated 1:44 p.m.

By Will Cornelius, CPR Campaign Finance Intern

Both Democrats and Republicans reacted passionately to this morning’s Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

The three Republican members of Colorado’s congressional delegation were united in their celebration of the ruling.

GOP Rep. Ken Buck, tweeted out “VICTORY for the unborn and JUSTICE for federalism at SCOTUS.”

One of Congress’s most vocal members, Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert, also took to Twitter for her response, tweeting “We’ve worked for this. We’ve voted for this. We’ve prayed for this. Roe v. Wade is dead, and as a result, millions of children will live. Praise God!”

Rep. Doug Lamborn, who has made opposing legal abortion one of his major issues in Congress, wrote “I applaud SCOTUS for making the right decision! The 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, made half a century ago, was tragically wrong & caused insurmountable damage to our nation. Life is precious from conception to natural death & this ruling will save countless innocent lives.”

CU regent Heidi Ganahl, who is now running for governor in next week’s GOP primary, tweeted “The Supreme Court has made the right decision today in empowering the states to make their own laws regarding abortion. State rights are essential to a thriving Constitutional Republic.”

Caitlyn Kim/CPR News
Congresswoman Diana DeGette, who co-chairs the House Pro-Choice Caucus, speaks to media in D.C. following the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling overturning Roe v. Wade on Friday, June 24, 2022. She was joined by co-chair Congresswoman Barbara Lee (left) and Congresswoman Karen Bass.

Colorado’s leading Democrats have condemned the court decision, arguing that the majority of Americans do not want the government — at the state or federal level — impeding abortion access.

Gov. Jared Polis, who is up for reelection in November, said in a statement, “Coloradans do not want politicians making their healthcare decisions. We will continue to choose freedom, stand against government control over our bodies, and will not retreat to an archaic era where the powerful few controlled the freedoms over our bodies and health decisions.”

Rep. Diana DeGette, who is a co-chair of the House Pro-Choice Caucus, joined other Democratic lawmakers in marching from the Capitol to the Supreme Court building Friday morning after news of the decision broke.

Even though this decision was expected, DeGette said it was still a "gut punch."

“It was hard, but it also sort of ripped off the bandage because what is said to Americans, not just women, all Americans, is your healthcare is at risk,” DeGette said, “because now Republican politicians want to put themselves in your doctor's office while you're making the very important and personal healthcare decisions that you should be making with your family and your doctor.”

And even though she knows that there are not enough votes in the Senate to codify Roe into law now she thinks that will change for two reasons. One, the public is supportive of abortion rights, and two, “because the result of the Supreme court decision today will be a two-tier system in this country.

One set of states like Colorado, where women have the full range of healthcare they need, including abortion, and another set of states, many of which are going to criminalize performing abortions or make women who need reproductive care into criminals.”

“Today is a devastating day for America,” said state Rep. Yadira Caraveo, who is running for Congress in the new eighth district. “With the fall of Roe and Republicans committed to banning abortion across our country, millions of American women have lost access to their freedom to choose and to essential health care.

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser also released a statement immediately following the decision. “Today, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned 50 years of settled and reaffirmed legal precedent affirming the constitutional right to an abortion. The Court’s decision is not only legally incorrect, but also remarkably out of step with the views of the two-thirds of Americans who believe government should not interfere in a woman’s very personal decision to end a pregnancy.”

Both of Colorado’s Senators joined other Democrats in condemning the ruling. “The vast majority of Americans support the right to an abortion,” said Sen. John Hickenlooper in a statement. “Republicans should join Democrats today and vote to keep politics out of reproductive health care decisions. Let’s follow Colorado’s lead and protect the right to choose.”

Colorado’s other senator, Michael Bennet, who is running for reelection this November also called on Congress to act. “This ruling is not the last word. In the months ahead, the American people have the opportunity to elect pro-choice majorities in the Congress and in state legislatures across the country to codify in law the fundamental right to choose.”