On July 2, the Party for Socialism and Liberation in Denver led a protest of 1,500 people from the Colorado Capitol building to the Governor’s Mansion to demand that Colorado Governor Jared Polis make Colorado an abortion sanctuary.
With the repeal of Roe v Wade and “trigger laws” in nearby states immediately banning abortion, Colorado has become the nearest source of abortion services for an additional 1.2 million women and others of child-bearing age from other states.
PSL member Elva Escobedo said, “We have a duty to urgently prepare in our state to respond to this increased need and give those seeking, aiding, and providing abortion services every protection possible.”
Protesters began with a rally at the capitol building, and then marched through downtown Denver to a building known as the Governor’s Mansion. Colorado Governor Jared Polis does not live in this mansion, but it houses offices of much of his staff. Instead, Polis lives in another mansion in Boulder, a wealthy liberal enclave northwest of Denver.
Last Monday, Polis gave a speech at a rally in Denver urging Coloradans to “thank” Democrats for keeping abortion safe in Colorado. Polis did not use the word “abortion” once in his speech.
PSL member Jenn Beverly said about Polis’ lack of action: “Every politician who claims to stand with women, but is not taking bold action in this emergency, must be understood as totally discredited.”
At the July 2 rally, the crowd marched to the Governor’s Mansion and posted demands on the gate to Polis. The demands are for Polis to use his authority to issue an executive order providing emergency funding to abortion clinics to ensure that no person is turned away from Colorado for lack of capacity. Further, the demands called on Governor Polis to issue an executive order prohibiting any state entity from cooperating in the investigation or prosecution — civil or criminal— of abortion recipients or providers. The final demand was for Polis to bar the sharing of medical records with law enforcement entities.
PSL member Eliza Lucero said, “We expect to hear from Governor Polis this week what concrete steps he will be taking to ensure that Colorado will be a state where abortion is both adequately and safely accessible to all who need it. We do not want to hear Polis say that he does not have the authority to touch the state budget without a referendum, or that state healthcare dollars cannot be used on abortions. This is a public health emergency, and just as in the COVID-19 pandemic, Polis has the authority to take emergency action in the interest of public health and has numerous pools of funding which can be drawn from. Any excuse is simply a failure of political will.”