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May 12, 2023 11:09 AM UTC

Caraveo, Senate Dems Fight For Interstate Abortion Rights

  • 7 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols
Rep. Yadira Caraveo (D).

Colorado’s U.S. Senators John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet announced last week the reintroduction of the Let Doctors Provide Reproductive Health Care Act, which would protect abortion providers from lawsuits originating in anti-choice states and prohibit federal support for such actions:

Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper joined U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Senate colleagues to reintroduce the Let Doctors Provide Reproductive Health Care Act. This legislation would protect abortion providers in states like Colorado — where abortion remains legal — from Republicans’ attempts to restrict their practice and create uncertainty about their legal liability.

“It’s outrageous that states have passed laws that threaten doctors with lawsuits and jail time for providing abortion care where it is legal,” said Bennet. “In the wake of Dobbs, Colorado has become a safe haven for women seeking reproductive health care, and this bill ensures doctors in Colorado and other states where abortion is legal can continue to care for their patients without fear of prosecution.”

“The Dobbs decision endangers women and their doctors,” said Hickenlooper. “Reproductive health care rights belong to women and we’re fighting to keep it that way.”

Axios reports today in their roundup of newly-introduced legislation that the companion bill in the House is sponsored by all four Democratic doctors in Congress, including freshman Rep. Yadira Caraveo of Colorado:

The Let Doctors Provide Reproductive Health Care Act was reintroduced by the House’s four Democratic physicians — Reps. Ami Bera, Kim Schrier, Raul Ruiz and Yadira Caraveo.

The Senate introduced an identical bill.

The bill would protect doctors in states with legalized abortion from being punished for providing abortion services to patients from other states.

The issue of protecting abortion providers from out-of-state legal action has taken on particular importance in Colorado, where patients from neighboring states where abortion has been restricted or outlawed have flooded into our state seeking care since the repeal of Roe v. Wade last year. There are sound legal arguments against these kinds of interstate civil suit laws to allow ideological activists to wage legal war on abortion providers in other states. What we don’t have today is a judicial system that can be counted on to agree, and the Republican-controlled U.S. House has no interest in weakening the newfound power of anti-abortionists in the post-Roe world.

What this does create, however, is a political opportunity for freshman Rep. Caraveo to make the case for her re-election in her swing district, in turn crucial to Democratic aspirations of flipping the U.S. House–so the fate of timely bills like this one is no longer a foregone conclusion. The backlash over Roe’s repeal played a big role in shutting down traditional midterm gains Republicans expected to reap last year, and despite ominous signs that Republicans are set for more punishment over the issue in 2024, they are dogmatically prevented from changing course.

What will make for good policy in 2025 is even better politics until then.

Comments

7 thoughts on “Caraveo, Senate Dems Fight For Interstate Abortion Rights

  1. I expect Republicans in the House will vote for the principle that states ought to be able to interfere in interstate commerce and varied state medical standards.

    To highlight the hypocrisy, I hope there will be some states which immediately enact equivalent laws allowing citizen suits against those purchasing guns and ammunition from out-of-state vendors.

     

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