Colorado was the first state in the nation to decriminalize abortion in certain cases in 1967. This year, the state reclaimed its status as a leader for abortion protections. During the 2023 legislative session, lawmakers passed a package of bills designed to protect and increase access to abortion in the state, just over a year after Colorado enshrined abortion as a fundamental right. The three bills were signed into law in April.
- Senate Bill 188 protects patients and providers of abortion and gender-affirming services in Colorado from penalties from other states.
- Senate Bill 189 expands health insurance coverage for abortion, sterilization and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.
- Senate Bill 190 prohibits what sponsors deem to be deceptive advertising and the use of abortion "reversal" pills in crisis pregnancy centers.
Nationally, 25 states and Washington D.C. have some kind of abortion protections via state laws, state constitutions, executive orders or state Supreme Court precedents, according to the Guttmacher Institute.
Gun control laws
Senate Bill 23-169 raises the minimum age to purchase any firearm in Colorado to 21, and a requirement for lost or stolen guns to be reported. House Bill 23-1219 creates a mandatory 3-day waiting period for any new gun purchases in the state. The waiting period begins after a licensed gun dealer starts a background check on the buyer. The purpose of the legislation is to reduce suicide gun deaths, where Colorado reports the highest suicidal rate.
The new laws increase legal liability for gun manufacturers, raise the minimum age to purchase firearms, and slow down the process of legally buying a gun. Young adults serving in the military or joining law enforcement are exempt.
“Gun manufacturers had enjoyed protection from litigation under previous statutes that limited their liability to defective products. Anyone who sued a gun manufacturer and lost had to pay the defendant's legal fees”.
Senate Bill 23-170 expands the state's Red Flag law by expanding the groups of qualified professionals who can apply to the courts for an Extreme Risk Protection Order. Teachers, doctors, and mental health professionals can now ask the courts to temporarily remove guns from someone they believe to be a risk to themselves or others.
Another bill still working its way through the legislature is Senate Bill 23-279. It would ban what are commonly called "ghost guns." Ghost guns are firearms that do not have serial numbers and are untraceable that are purchased online mostly and assembled at home.
Four bills in were signed by Governor Jared Polis. Three of these new laws impact the purchasing process of buying a firearm.
However the critics of this new legislation argue that the new laws will prevent the right people from getting guns and that they are unconstitutional.