NOTE: This statement was written during the 2022 legislative session which has now concluded. Although the bill died in committee, the Catholic Conference was a strong supporter of the bill and testified in support of its passage.
The Colorado Catholic Conference supports HB22-1075, an important piece of legislation that will help shed light on abortion rates in our state.
The purpose of HB 1075 is to provide transparency on a vital area of public concern: abortion rates for late gestational ages of preborn fetuses. The bill requires providers that perform induced abortions, which are often late-term abortions, to report specified information to the state registrar and the registrar would then create a summary for the public. None of this information violates the privacy of a woman seeking an abortion; it merely provides Coloradans with accurate information about the prevalence of abortion in our state.
HB 1075 is not a “surveillance bill.” There is no identifying data collected. HB 1075 will NOT restrict abortion access and it will NOT create administrative burden on abortion providers.
According to the Guttmacher Institute (which is a sexual and reproductive rights policy organization formerly owned by Planned Parenthood – who spoke last), “incomplete reporting of pregnancy remains a fundamental shortcoming to the US fertility-related experiences. Efforts to improve abortion reporting are needed to strengthen the quality of pregnancy data to support maternal, child, and reproductive health research.”
As you heard, Guttmacher reports that abortion figures for Colorado are 40 percent higher than data provided by the Colorado Department of Public Health– despite the department’s limited efforts to collect such data.
Both proponents and opponents of late-term abortion have requested the data on abortion that is submitted to the CO Department of Public Health be more accurate.
Furthermore, the administrative burden on abortion providers is minimal –as it merely increases questions already asked by the department from 9 questions to 11 questions via an online drop-down electronic portal. Additionally, HB 1075 allows this new reporting capability to flag potential sex trafficking.
Citizens of Colorado have a right to know basic, nonidentifying, publicly appropriate statistics on abortion in our state. While the Catholic Church objects to abortion on the moral principle that each and every human life has inherent dignity from conception to natural death – HB 1075 is important regardless of if one supports or opposes the practice of abortion. And it is imperative that complete information on abortion in Colorado is provided to healthcare professionals and lawmakers, who can use that information best meet the needs of the people of Colorado.