Reproductive Health

Overview

Abortion is a vital health care service. Access to legal, safe abortion and comprehensive sexual and reproductive health is critical to protecting and supporting the public’s health.

DDPHE has joined with both the Metro Denver Partnership for Health and the Big Cities Health Coalition to advocate for comprehensive reproductive sexual health care for all. 

“The decision by the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade is devastating and a dangerous reversal of precedent. Never before has the Court taken away a right. Never before has the Court opened the door so widely to an assault on other foundational rights. This decision is nothing more than an incendiary attack on women’s rights and women’s health, and the consequences to the rule of law will be profound. Thankfully, Colorado has protected this right, and our city and state will continue to stand up for women and their right to autonomy over their own bodies and healthcare decisions...” - Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock 

Click through to get the facts about sexual and reproductive health in Denver and view resources that are available. 

What is Comprehensive Sexual and Reproductive Health?

Comprehensive sexual and reproductive health encompasses a broad range of services that allow people to decide whether, when, and how often to have children, experience safe pregnancy and delivery, have healthy newborns, and have a safe and satisfying sexual life.

Sexual and reproductive health services include:

  • Access to comprehensive sexual health education
  • Contraceptive care
  • STI/HIV prevention and treatment
  • Maternal and newborn health care
  • Safe abortion and postabortion care
  • Breast and cervical cancer screening

Access to these services is crucial for disrupting health disparities, reducing rates of infectious diseases and infertility, reducing infant mortality, and improving maternal health. 

Know Your Rights in Colorado

Colorado has relatively few restrictions on abortion access

  • Abortion is not restricted based on gestational age.
  • If you are over 18, you can get an abortion. Check with your insurance provider to see if abortion is a covered service. Some non-profit organizations offer financial assistance. 
  • Medicaid or other state-funded insurance coverage for abortion is banned, except in cases of life endangerment, rape, or incest.
  • Minors must notify a parent or guardian before an abortion is provided. A judge can also approve a minor’s petition without parental notification (Judicial Bypass).
  • Qualified health care professionals, not just physicians, can provide abortions.
  • It is illegal in Colorado to block the entrance to an abortion clinic. Colorado law protects patients and abortion clinic staff by requiring a buffer zone.
  • Many sites across Colorado offer free or low-cost reproductive health services, including contraception, wellness exams, pregnancy testing and STI screening.

Sources: Center for Reproductive RightsGuttmacher Institute, Cobalt

 

Resources

Many sites across Colorado offer free or low-cost reproductive health services, including contraception, wellness exams, pregnancy testing and STI screening. Find services

The following organizations offer assistance to individuals seeking reproductive health care:

Financial Help

Local Reproductive Justice Organizations 

 

Types of Abortions

There are two types of abortions – medical and procedural. Your provider may recommend a certain type based on your personal preference, your medical history, and the number of weeks since your last menstrual period.

Medical Abortion

Also called “medication abortion” or “abortion with pills,” a medical abortion involves taking two safe and effective Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved prescription drugs, mifepristone and misoprostol. Medical abortion is available up until the 11th week of pregnancy.

Procedural Abortion

Also called “in-clinic abortion” or “surgical abortion,” a procedural abortion is performed in an outpatient setting. The type of medical procedure your provider uses depends on how long you have been pregnant. 

 

Legislation

  • The Reproductive Health Equity Act (HB22-1279) affirms the fundamental right of individuals in Colorado to make their own reproductive health decisions including:
    • Right to use or refuse contraception
    • Every pregnant individual has a right to continue the pregnancy and give birth or to have an abortion
    • A fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent or derivative rights under the laws of the state
  • Colorado Governor Jared Polis  signed an executive order protecting access to reproductive health care:  
    • Individuals providing, assisting, seeking, or obtaining reproductive health care in Colorado is subject to legal liability or professional sanctions
    • The State of Colorado will not cooperate with criminal or civil investigations for actions that are legal in our state
  • President Joe Biden signed an executive order protecting reproductive health care access by:
    • Safeguarding access to reproductive health care services, including abortion and contraception
    • Protecting the privacy of patients and their access to accurate information
    • Promoting the safety and security of patients, providers, and clinics
    • Coordinating the implementation of Federal efforts to protect reproductive rights and access to health care

 

Accessing Services For Out of State Residents

Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed an executive order that protects anyone seeking or obtaining reproductive health care from sanctions in Colorado or any other state. Additionally, Colorado will not cooperate with criminal or civil investigations for actions that are fully legal here.