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I was surprised to learn my friend was undecided on the abortion ban ballot measure in November. I assumed she knew the devastating impact of Proposition 115.

Despite the fact that Colorado voters decisively affirmed a person’s right to choose, the Centennial Institute is still proposing another abortion ban this legislative session. As a political think tank, they know this policy is unlikely to pass through our state legislature; however, passing this particular bill isn’t their only goal.

I became an activist in 2017, back when progressive bills in Colorado were sent to die in a “kill committee” every year. Advocates can mobilize people to change the political climate on an issue by having conversations that educate voters and grow support, then getting out the vote. This is one of the Centennial Institute's goals, but a crucial difference is that anti-choice organizations have a history of using inaccurate and misleading medical information to manipulate people. I learned this firsthand while booking an appointment at Planned Parenthood. Their staff warned me that a protester had been attempting to get patients to miss their appointments by wearing a safety vest and telling everyone that the center is closed.

My friend did not vote for Prop 115, but she experienced firsthand how false information and judgmental propaganda can mislead the public into supporting policies that harm pregnant people. BIPOC (Black, indigenous, and people of color) and low-income people are harmed the most by this rhetoric because they face the most barriers to accessing abortion. It’s more important than ever to combat these attacks by making sure our neighbors and legislators have the facts, so I’m urging everyone who voted no on 115 to find local reproductive health, rights, and justice organizations and volunteer this legislative session.

Paulina Castle


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