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LTTE: Sign Initiative 89 petition to protect abortion rights

LTTE%3A+Sign+Initiative+89+petition+to+protect+abortion+rights
Collegian | Trin Bonner

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board. Letters to the Editor reflect the view of a member of the campus community and are submitted to the publication for approval.

The new fight to protect abortion rights is underway, and now is the time for students to pitch in. You may have seen the canvassers in the plaza asking, “Are you a registered voter in Colorado?” or, “Do you want to protect abortion?” and it is worthwhile to take a moment to sign this petition. If we gather enough signatures to get Initiative 89 on the ballot in November, Colorado voters will be able to decide whether to enshrine the right to abortion in Colorado’s constitution.

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Here is the exact text of the proposed amendment:

“The right to abortion is hereby recognized. Government shall not deny, impede or discriminate against the exercise of that right, including prohibiting health insurance coverage for abortion.”

Two simple sentences that can change someone’s world. The Colorado-adopted Amendment Three currently prohibits the use of public funds for abortion, which has denied health insurance coverage for state and local public employees to have abortion access even in cases of rape, incest, fatal fetal conditions and pregnancies that endanger the life of the patient. Initiative 89 would lift this ban and allow around 1 million public employees working in schools, hospitals and the government to use their work health insurance to cover an abortion. 

“For the initiative to get on the ballot, we need 2% of Colorado registered voters in each state senate district to sign the petition, which correlates to around 144,000 signatures.”

Importantly, Amendment Three also currently prohibits the use of health insurance coverage provided through Medicaid for abortion services, even when the pregnancy endangers the patient’s health or when the fetus has a fatal condition. People living in poverty often cannot afford abortion access without insurance, much less to raise a child they are unprepared for. By amending the Colorado constitution, we can ensure everyone can get the health care they need regardless of the type of job they have, their insurance or their income. 

Since the Supreme Court passed down their decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, 14 states have banned abortion or restricted the procedure earlier in pregnancy than the standard set by Roe v. Wade. Thankfully, the Colorado legislature protected the right to abortion by passing the Reproductive Health Equity Act in 2022. Statutes, however, are subject to change with a future legislature or governor, so the only way to prevent abortion rights from being overturned on a whim is to enshrine them in our state constitution. To read the full text of the initiative, visit leg.colorado.gov/content/right-abortion.

I have been passionate about protecting the right to abortion since I went to my first Women’s March in 2017, so I jumped at the chance to become a petition circulator. It was a simple process, and I’m hopeful that more students and community members will get involved. For the initiative to get on the ballot, we need 2% of Colorado registered voters in each state senate district to sign the petition, which correlates to around 144,000 signatures. However, since some signatures will be invalidated due to mistakes such as writing a nickname or an incomplete address, reproductive rights organizations have set the goal of reaching 185,000 signatures by the end of March.

If you and your friends want to sign the petition or learn more about becoming a petition circulator, I’ll be at the tables outside of Sweet Sinsations in the Lory Student Center every Monday 11-11:45 a.m. and Friday 3-4 p.m. You can spot me by the flier on my laptop and a neon orange bag with petitions. If these times do not work or you want more information, please email me at co.abortionrights@gmail.com. If you need to register to vote in the state of Colorado, you can do so at coloradosos.gov.

As students, we represent the future and play an important part in the political system. Let’s register to vote and make our voices heard together.

Your fellow Ram,

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Amber Wright

Send letters to letters@collegian.com. When submitting letters, please abide by the guidelines listed at collegian.com.

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About the Contributor
Trin Bonner
Trin Bonner, Illustration Director
Trin Bonner is the illustration director for The Collegian newspaper. This will be her third year in this position, and she loves being a part of the creative and amazing design team at The Collegian. As the illustration director, Bonner provides creative insight and ideas that bring the newspaper the best graphics and illustrations possible. She loves working with artists to develop fun and unique illustrations every week for the readers. Bonner is a fourth-year at Colorado State University studying electronic arts. She loves illustrating and comic making and has recently found enjoyment in experimental video, pottery and graphic design. Outside of illustration and electronic art, Bonner spends her free time crocheting and bead making. She is usually working on a blanket or making jewelry when she is not drawing, illustrating or brainstorming.

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