This year, the Colorado Legislative Session presented its own set of challenges. COVID-19 continued taking lives in our state, and economic insecurity increased within many families in our communities. Advocates on the ground worked tirelessly to bring legislative solutions to tackle the injustices this pandemic brought to the forefront, including lack of access to healthcare, housing, and food for our families. We are so proud of the work we accomplished, and are honored to share these wins with you.
“Working alongside many advocates in different fields, we collectively organized, strategized, and delivered.”
SB21-009 Reproductive Health Program is law!
Contraceptive use helps people realize their own reproductive goals which, in turn, helps them achieve their educational, employment, and financial ambitions. This bill creates a program within Colorado Medicaid that provides contraception to undocumented folks and allows anyone who uses Medicaid to receive a year supply at one time.
SB 9 was initially a three to five year messaging bill. With the pandemic and rumors of a slim budget, we intended to use this year to educate the community, legislators and others on contraception as healthcare and the intersections with racial justice, economic justice and immigrant rights. Instead, the meaningful relationships with legislators held by our Policy Director and lobby team helped catapult our bill to the top priority for the Democratic Women’s Caucus, Latino Caucus and Colorado Senate. Additionally, strong connections with partner organizations helped us anchor SB 9 in the healthcare space, rather than being confined to just reproductive health or immigrant rights.
Immigration status should not determine who has access to care or not. By staying true to our values and messaging, SB 9 was successful in creating the infrastructure that allows undocumented people to receive services through Medicaid. COLOR is proud to advance legislation that addresses obstacles to care that low-income and people of color need to manage their health and live with dignity — and this is just the beginning!