On Air Now

Pittsburgh Pirates
Pittsburgh Pirates
1:00pm - 4:00pm

DuBois Weather

Colorado abortion access amendment has enough signatures to make 2024 election ballot, organizers say

SHARE NOW

(DENVER) — The Coloradans for Protecting Reproductive Freedom coalition, which is working to get a constitutional amendment on the state’s ballot that would enshrine abortion access, said Friday that it has collected over 225,000 signatures, passing the 124,238 signature threshold to make it onto the ballot.

The group said it is still working to get enough signatures in all 35 state Senate districts as required by Colorado’s secretary of state, but said it has only three state Senate districts remaining to meet that threshold.

The announcement comes just days after the Arizona Supreme Court upheld an 1864 law in the state banning nearly all abortions.

“The news of Arizona’s near-total abortion ban ultimately exposed just how vulnerable every state is, and will remain, without passing legislation that constitutionally secures the right to abortion,” campaign manager Jessica Grennan said in a statement released by the coalition.

CBS News first reported the milestone, which the coalition confirmed to ABC News.

In Colorado, ballot initiatives need to get 124,238 signatures to get on the ballot, and proposed constitutional amendments also need to “be signed by at least 2% of the total registered electors in each of the 35 Colorado state senate districts,” according to the office of the Colorado Secretary of State.

The petition is due on April 26; the group plans to submit it sooner. The Colorado Secretary of State will then have 30 days to verify the petition’s signatures.

The proposed amendment would amend Colorado’s state constitution to enshrine the right to get an abortion, prohibiting the state from restricting access to abortion. It would also stop Colorado from “prohibiting health insurance coverage for abortion.”

Grennan told ABC News in a recent interview, before the group’s announcement and the Arizona Supreme Court decision, that the campaign is confident about its efforts – and that a large swath of voters of all ages and backgrounds are signing.

“We see teenagers — they’ll be walking with their parents and their parents are like, ‘we’re too busy to sign. And the kids are like, but Mom, Dad, you have to sign for us. And they’re stopping their parents on it and talking with them about this… we get a lot of older folks, especially older women — they’re annoyed that they still have to keep doing this, but they’re so grateful that we’re out there doing it,” Grennan said.

Signees are across partisan lines as well, she said. “I got a text last night from one of my team members, saying that a Republican mayor, in a smallish rural town… signed our petition last night at an event — and so that those are the things that we’re seeing. We are going to get Republican support; it’s Colorado, we’re gonna get a lot of independent support.”

Colorado has not been getting the same attention as some other states because its laws are not as restrictive as other states, Grennann acknowledged. Abortion is legal in the state and not restricted by how far along the pregnancy is, although State Medicaid can not cover abortion except in a few circumstances, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

“But we want to make sure that people have access to the health care they they need,” she said, as well as to make it into a constitutional right and to allow it to be covered by state insurance.

The Centennial State may face dueling ballot initiatives on abortion access in 2024. A separate initiative circulating in Colorado, the Equal Protection of Every Living Child in Colorado initiative, would add to state statutes language banning abortion fully in the state, framed around protecting children beginning at conception.

The Arizona Supreme Court ruling, Grennan wrote in a subsequent email, emphasizes the importance of the Colorado effort.

“This week has made crystal-clear that abortion rights aren’t safe anywhere in the United States, including in Colorado… In Colorado, abortion may be legal, but we’re not safe, either. Until we enshrine abortion into the state constitution, reproductive rights will remain vulnerable to bad actors in the legislature,” Grennan said in an emailed statement after the ruling was made.

Abortion access and reproductive rights related measures could make the 2024 ballot in a plethora of states, with measures already confirmed on the ballot in New York, Maryland, and Florida.

In Arizona, the Arizona for Abortion Access campaign said earlier in April that they have gathered over 500,000 signatures – surpassing the 383,923-signature threshold to get a ballot initiative on the Arizona general election ballot. Organizers told ABC News on Tuesday that they plan to turn in signatures on the state’s July 3 deadline, and to try to collect every possible signature they can until then.

ABC News’ Libby Cathey contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.