Blog: News Update – March 26, 2019

Blog: News Update - March 26, 2019

Dear Friend of CORCRC,

Mail order abortion pills now available

Dr. Rebecca Gomperts established Aid Access a decade or so ago that ships abortion pills to patients around the world.  In October, the Dutch websiteAidAccess.org began shipping abortion pills to the United States as a result of growing requests.

In 2015, CORCRC hosted a viewing of the documentary VESSEL.  The film chronicled the mission of Dr. Rebecca Gomperts who acted on the conviction that laws do not control whether or not abortions happen; the only thing they can control is whether or not they happen safely. Dr. Gomperts, founder of Women on Waves, sailed a ship around the world, providing abortions at sea in international waters for women with no legal alternative.

Aid Access allows a woman to self- manage an early abortion in privacy with comprehensive telemedicine aid that includes an online medical screening, the prescription, thorough instructions and support as needed. The service is under $100 and delivery time can range from two days to more than three weeks.

The abortion pill is a combination of mifepristone (also known as RU-486) and misoprostol. Mifepristone was developed specifically to induce abortion and was first licensed for public use in 1988. The drug works by blocking the hormone progesterone, which is necessary for sustaining a pregnancy. Access to this medication has been restricted in the U.S. by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). FDA restrictions prohibit mifepristone from being available in pharmacies. Note that these restrictions are deemed medically unnecessary by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Approximately 600 U. S. women used AID Access between April and October before it officially announced the availability of this service to women in the U.S.   One can only imagine how this option impacts women in such restrictive states as Mississippi and Kentucky that endorsed ‘fetal heartbeat’ laws.

Mississippi passed a fetal heartbeat law on March 21st. Mississippi’s new ‘heartbeat’ law bans most abortions at 6 weeks before a woman usually knows she is pregnant! (You might have missed this news since most media attention quickly switched to the release of the Mueller report.)

Reproductive Rights activists reading this information can assume that access to this controversial service will inevitably be challenged.  Thanks to organizations like Plan C and the Self-Induced Abortion (SIA) Legal Team in Berkeley, California, support is already in place.

Legislation Update

On March 21, 2019, Governor Jared Polis signed HB19-1077 into law. This bill allows pharmacists to dispense life-saving medication even when the prescription has expired. Due to the bill containing a “safety clause” the bill is effective immediately.

The bill, also known as Kevin’s Law, has been enacted in 12 other states and is currently under consideration in many more. It was written after an unfortunate situation that caused Kevin Houdeshell, of Ohio, to lose his life when the pharmacist could not dispense insulin to him after his prescription had expired. Neither the pharmacist nor Kevin were able to reach the doctor to authorize a refill over that holiday weekend. Kevin died before the prescription could be refilled. Kevin’s parents, Dan and Judy Houdeshell, have worked hard to help patients like Kevin who rely on medication to live a full life.

In Colorado, Kevin’s Law allows Colorado residents and visitors to our state to obtain life saving medication including insulin, Epi-pens, asthma inhalers, and many other medications that allow patients to stay alive. The pharmacists are given full discretion to extend the expired prescription and dispense the medication.

The Colorado bill was sponsored by Representative Dylan Roberts (Eagle and Routt Counties) and Senators Jack Tate and Brittany Pettersen. Gail deVore, member of the CORCRC Board of Trustees and who also has Type 1 Diabetes, worked closely with Representative Roberts to bring this bill to passage.

Join CORCRC in supporting the following bills:

HB19-1032 Comprehensive Human Sexuality Education/The Youth Wellness Act. Concerning comprehensive human sexuality education, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation.  This bill allocates $1million in state funds annually to an existing grant program administered by CDPHE.  Schools that wish to provide sex ed can apply for funding, and priority will be given to rural schools and schools that don’t have the resources to teach sex ed. LAST ACTION: 02/28/2019 | Senate Committee on Health & Human Services Refer Amended to Appropriations SPONSORS: Rep. S. Lontine | Rep. Y. Caraveo | Sen. N. Todd | Sen. D. Coram

HB19-1001 Hospital Transparency Measures To Analyze Efficacy Concerning hospital transparency measures required to analyze the efficacy of hospital delivery system reform incentive payments, Sen. D. Moreno is a sponsor. Passed by House. Last Action: 2/4/19, assigned to Senate Health & Human Services Committee.Last Action:  03/20/2019 | Sent to Governor. Sponsors: Rep. C. Kennedy

HB19-1004 Proposal For Affordable Health Coverage Option, The bill requires the department of health care policy and financing and the division of insurance in the department of regulatory agencies (departments) to develop and submit a proposal (proposal) to certain committees of the general assembly concerning the design, costs, benefits, and implementation of a state option for health care coverage. Additionally, the departments shall present a summary of the proposal at the annual joint hearings with the legislative committees of reference during the interim before the 2020 legislative session.  LAST ACTION: 03/13/2019 | Senate Committee on Health & Human Services Refer Unamended to Appropriations. Sponsors: Rep.D.Roberts | Rep.M.Catlin    Sen.K.Donovan  https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb19-1004

HB19-1064 Victim Notification Criminal Proceedings   Concerning eliminating requirements that victims must opt in to affect their rights in criminal proceedings.  Proactively adds victims into the notification of criminal proceedings system unless the victim opts out.  Last Action: 02/28/2019 | House Committee on Judiciary Refer Amended to Appropriations. Sponsors: Rep. T. Sullivan

HB19-1122 Colorado Department Of Public Health And Environment Maternal Mortality Review Committee  Concerning the creation of a maternal mortality review committee in the department of public health and environment.  LAST ACTION: 02/13/2019 | House Committee on Public Health Care & Human Services Refer Amended to Appropriations  Sponsors: Rep. J. Buckner | Rep. L. Landgraf | Sen. R. Fields | Sen. B. Gardner

SB19-085 Equal Pay For Equal Work Act  Concerning the creation of the “Equal Pay for Equal Work Act” in order to implement measures to prevent pay disparities. LAST ACTION: 02/20/2019 | Senate Committee on Judiciary Refer Amended to Appropriations. Sponsors: Sen. J. Danielson | Sen. B. Pettersen | Rep. J. Buckner | Rep. S. Gonzales-Gutierrez

HB19-1224 Free Menstrual Hygiene Products In Custody Concerning providing free menstrual hygiene products to people in custody.  The bill requires local jails, multijurisdictional jails, and municipal jails to provide menstrual hygiene products to people in custody at no expense to the people in custody.  In House Judiciary Committee LAST ACTION: 03/20/2019 | House Third Reading Passed – No Amendments. SPONSORS: Rep. L. Herod | Sen. F. Winter

SB19-188 FAMLI Family Medical Leave Insurance Program. Concerning the creation of a family and medical leave insurance program.  This bill would guarantee all Colorado workers up to 12 weeks of paid leave to care for themselves and their family. LAST ACTION: 03/13/2019 | Senate Committee on Business, Labor, & Technology Refer Amended to Finance. SPONSORS: Sen. F. Winter | Sen. A. Williams | Rep. M. Gray | Rep. M. Duran

Your support nourishes and serves as a catalyst to grow our mission. With a financial contribution, you will ensure our continued commitment to Colorado Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (CORCRC) bringing interfaith and multiracial voices to reproductive health and rights issues.
With comments or questions, or if you would like to get involved with CORCRC, please contact Nora Bashir, CORCRC Exec Director at nora@corcrc.org or Joyce Lisbin at joyce@corcrc.org

Points of Interest:

Voting by smartphone will be available in Denver to members of the military and those living outside of the United States. Denver has offered a website for overseas voters which now offers a phone option.

Purim, simply put, commemorates the salvation of the Jewish people in ancient Persia from Haman’s plot to kill all the Jews, in a single day. The heroine is Queen Esther who reveals her Jewish identity to the King and foils the plot. The holiday includes giving charity to the poor, dressing in costume and generally ‘letting loose’. This year’s celebration at Temple Emanuel featured a tongue-in-cheek debate over which traditional Jewish food was more important – hamantaschen or latkes. The debate was moderated by State Representative Dafna Michaelson Jenet dressed as Supreme Court Judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Governor Jared Polis defended latkes and Attorney General Phil Weiser hamantaschen. Both defenses were appropriately laughable.

 

Upcoming Events

April

April 2nd: Accessing Abortion Support and Services” A panel discussion and networking event connecting medical providers and community members to learn more about:

– How and where to access abortion services
– Meet providers and allies in the community
– Funding and resources available
– Current events and improvements needed in this sector
Location: the UC Health Leprino Building 12401 E 17th Ave, Aurora, CO 80045, 5:30-8:00 pm
RSVP: executivedirector@prochoicecolorado.org or
call 303-394-1973 x112

April 10th: Nadia Bolz-Weber, a Lutheran minister and public theologian, will discuss her new book, SHAMELESS. Details TBA.

May

May 1st: Save the Date: CORCRC will be hosting Women and Family Day. This is a fine opportunity to share your opinion about legislation directly with representatives.

May 7th: Save the Date: Faith and Freedom – The CORCRC annual award ceremony will take place at Temple Emanuel. This year’s honoree is Senator Joann Ginal. She is the newest state Senator representing Ft Collins and surrounding area. She has been a strong supporter of reproductive justice and a devoted friend to CORCRC.

Use AmazonSmile and Help CORCRC! 
For all Amazon Shoppers, a great way for you to support CORCRC is to start using AmazonSmileAmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support us every time you shop at Amazon–with no additional cost to you.Find all of the same great deals you normally find on Amazon–the only difference is that through AmazonSmile, Amazon will donate .5% of your purchase price to CORCRC when you pick us as your selected charity. Bookmark the page so that you continue to through smile.amazon.com–that way, Amazon will continue to donate to us throughout the year.

Get started by visiting smile.amazon.com. From there, use your standard Amazon login. Your shopping cart, wishlist, wedding or baby registry, and other account settings will remain the same. Just make sure to select Colorado Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice when choosing your charity beneficiary.

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