All people deserve access to abortion care when they need it, through whatever method they decide, and in their own community.
As the leaders of the Colorado WISE (Working to Institutionalize Sex Education Initiative through our Youth Sexual Health Program, Trailhead fundamentally believes that every young person has the right to receive medically accurate information so that they are empowered to make informed decisions about their own sexual health. The right to bodily autonomy is the bedrock from which we will continue to advance comprehensive sex education across the state and support young people with affirming resources to make decisions about their health.
This deeply-rooted tenet of our Youth Sexual Health Program reinforces Trailhead’s commitment to serving as a bridge to resources, collaboration, and justice alongside young people and our partners who are serving communities most impacted by this harmful decision to overturn nearly half a century of federal constitutional protection of abortion rights.
Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade will, without a doubt, disproportionately harm young people, communities of color, rural communities and those living on low income. While we unequivocally oppose this heartbreaking and harmful decision, we are grateful for the invaluable work of organizations such as Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR) and Cobalt whose successful passing of Colorado’s Reproductive Health Equity Act (RHEA) in April has ensured that the right to abortion care is legal and protected in Colorado, despite the federal decision here today.
As our partners at COLOR have attested to in their decades of organizing and advocacy work and elevated throughout the successful passing of RHEA, young people want a future where freedom and bodily autonomy are a part of it. They hear this from the young people of color who use their collective power to organize, advocate, and testify on behalf of ensuring abortion and reproductive rights are protected for all people in Colorado. At Trailhead, we hear this in classrooms across the state where young people tell us they want the fundamental freedom to decide what’s best for themselves and education that centers pleasure and joy.
It is our job, and of all those with institutional power, to listen to young people.
We owe it to this next generation of leaders who will one day be responsible for responding to the public health crises formed by the failings of our systems to not only protect reproductive rights, but to take meaningful action on gun violence prevention, address climate change, and reverse the pervasive societal inequities that are perpetuated by institutions rooted in white supremacy.
In addition to listening, we need to continue to take action and partner with those who share in our vision of a healthier nation and Colorado. We recognize the power we hold in our deep network of multi-sector partners across community-based organizations, state and local governing agencies, and philanthropic entities. With this network, we’ll keep exploring better ways to collaborate, stronger ways to use the platforms that we have, and more meaningful ways to stand alongside those who are fighting for reproductive justice, addressing systemic barriers to health and dismantling white supremacy culture.
If you have a resource that you would like Trailhead to amplify, or would like to connect to discuss how we might bridge initiatives working for reproductive justice within our network of public health partners, please email us at email@example.com.
We know that many people like us are looking for ways to engage and respond to this health crisis. The resources below offer a starting point for action, learning, and support.
Donate to Abortion Funds
In addition to the National Network of Abortion Funds (linked above), please consider making a donation to the following organizations:
- Indigenous Women Rising is committed to honoring Native and Indigenous People’s inherent right to equitable and culturally safe health options through accessible health education, resources and advocacy. IWR’s abortion fund is open to all Indigenous people and undocumented people in the United States and Canada who have the capacity to become pregnant
- Cobalt Abortion Fund and their associated Practical Support Fund can provide care and travel/logistics to anyone from anywhere (or to anywhere) who is seeking abortion care.
Support Reproductive Justice Organizations
As of today, abortion is still legal in Colorado. One of the best ways you can help is to donate to your local Reproductive Justice organization like COLOR where their Latina-led and Latina-serving team work year-round to protect and expand abortion access.
Spread Awareness for Reproductive Healthcare Provided in Colorado
- Ensuring access to abortion care: Colorado’s Reproductive Health Equity Act (RHEA) guarantees access to abortions and affirms a person’s fundamental right to make reproductive health-care decisions free from government interference
- Expanding access to preventive reproductive services for undocumented people in Colorado: Beginning July 1, 2022, the Reproductive Healthcare Program (SB 9) expands Medicaid to 1) include contraceptives for undocumented people, and 2) require coverage of a year supply of oral contraceptives for all who use Medicaid
- Expanding comprehensive health insurance coverage to children, and pregnant and postpartum Coloradans regardless of immigration status: Cover All Coloradans Provides full health care coverage using existing federal funding for pregnant people who would otherwise be eligible for Medicaid and CHP+ if not for their immigration status, and continues coverage through 12 months postpartum. It also provides full health care coverage to children, regardless of immigration status, through age 18
Center Youth Voices
- Read and Share: A Community Informed Approach to Understanding Youth’s Perspectives on Abortion Access
This new report from The Youth Abortion Access Table (YAAT) (co-founded by Advocates for Youth, URGE, and If/When/How) examines assets and barriers young people face when seeking abortion care, and seeks to determine what cultural change is necessary in youth abortion access.
- Elevate What Young People Are Saying About Abortion
Abortion Out Loud is a project of Advocates for Youth that harnesses the power of storytelling, grassroots organizing, leadership development, and policy advocacy to end abortion stigma and strengthen support for young people’s access to abortion. Activists leading the Abortion Out Loud project in their community host abortion speakouts, lead public education campaigns, and work with campus and local officials to strengthen young people’s access to abortion services.
- Learn How AUL Denver is Empowering Peer Sex Educators
Learn about how AUL Denver is empowering peer sex educators to give students the tools they need to make good, healthy decisions about their lives in Jenny Brudin’s recent article for CPR, “What’s the best way to teach high schoolers about sexual health? Teach their peers to become educators and turn their understanding into art.”
Learn From, Support, or Volunteer With These Organizations
- Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR) exists to advocate for the Latinx community and their families who are disproportionately impacted by abortion bans because of class, race, gender, ability, sexual orientation, and documentation status.
- Cobalt is dedicated to fighting for systems, structures and policies that protect reproductive rights in Colorado and guarantee comprehensive, universal access to reproductive healthcare, including abortion
- Advocates for Youth works alongside thousands of young people here in the U.S. and around the globe as they fight for sexual health, rights, and justice.
- SIECUS (Sex Ed for Social Change) advances sex education through advocacy, policy and coalition building.
- Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains has been committed to delivering the highest quality reproductive and sexual health care; teaching medically accurate, age-appropriate sexuality education; and working diligently to protect the right to access safe, legal abortion since 1916