Is Abortion Legal in Colorado?

Disclaimer: The information contained in this post is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.

young woman contemplating abortion in colorado

Q: Is Abortion Legal in Colorado?

A: Yes, abortion is legal up to 40 weeks gestation in Colorado. 

Q: Does the Dobbs decision affect the legality of abortion in Colorado?

A: No. In short, the overturning of Roe v. Wade turned the decision back to individual states rather than being a matter decided at a federal level. In April, the Reproductive Health Equity Act in Colorado codified the right to have an abortion, and prohibits the government from prohibiting the procedure or access to contraception.

Q: What if I’m a minor?

A: Colorado law requires that your parents or legal guardians are notified, but their consent is not required.

Q: What do I need to know before obtaining an abortion? 

A: Before obtaining an abortion (or traveling to obtain an abortion), it is extremely important that you know whether or not your pregnancy is viable, the gestational age of the pregnancy, the location of the pregnancy and whether or not you have an STD. 

Follow up question: Why?

Viability: Since approximately 1 in 3 pregnancies (known and unknown) do not carry to term and end on their own, it is possible that you may not need an abortion. This would be determined by ultrasound. During the ultrasound, our nurses will also check to make sure that the pregnancy is located in the uterus and not ectopic, as the treatment for ectopic pregnancy is different than an abortion and, if left untreated, can cause life-threatening bleeding.

Gestational Age: The age of the pregnancy determines the kind of abortion you would qualify for. As the pregnancy progresses, the failure rate of a medication (or abortion pill, RU-486) abortion rises. 

STD Testing: At 10 weeks gestation, there is up to a 10% risk of the medication abortion being incomplete, or leaving tissue behind, requiring a surgical abortion. If you have an STD at the time of the procedure, the infection could be introduced to your uterus, which can lead to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease. This is why we recommend getting STD testing done regardless of the type of abortion you are considering. 

Q: How Can I Find Out This Information?

A: At Alpha Center, we offer pre-abortion screenings. These appointments include a pregnancy test, gestational dating and viability ultrasound, and an STD screening, which are offered at no cost to you. Request one today.

For more information about the abortion pill, click here.

 

 

Written by Kristen Long, Alpha Center. Last edited August 2022. 

Sources:

  1. https://www.cpr.org/2022/06/24/roe-v-wade-has-been-overturned-colorado-will-now-be-one-of-few-places-in-the-west-where-abortion-access-is-the-law/
  2. https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb22-1279
  3. https://cwhccolorado.com/for-patients/parental-notification/index.html
  4. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ectopic-pregnancy/symptoms-causes/syc-20372088#:~:text=An%20ectopic%20pregnancy%20occurs%20when,is%20called%20a%20tubal%20pregnancy
  5. https://www.cdc.gov/std/pid/stdfact-pid.htm
  6. https://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/pregnancy-miscarriage#1

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