Colorado Abortion Laws

Abortion laws are currently a hot button topic as many states are reexamining their laws.  Much controversy continues as laws have tightened up in many states.  Many people are left wondering what the current laws are for their state.  Colorado laws, at least for the present time remain liberal in nature, allowing much more freedom for abortions that states such as Alabama.

Is Abortion Ever Illegal in Colorado?

Colorado considers an illegal abortion or “unlawful termination of a pregnancy” to occur when the abortion is not conducted via a medical procedure.  The abortion must only be conducted by authorized medical personnel after the woman has given consent.

What Constitutes a Legal Abortion?

In order for a legal abortion to occur, it must take place via a medical procedure, instrument, agent, or abortion causing drug that the patient consents to.  Colorado allows for late term abortions as there is no set gestational limit.  It will be difficult to obtain an abortion after 26 weeks as outpatient abortions are no longer offered after 26 weeks.  Planned Parenthood offers abortions for an even smaller amount of time, refusing service after 19 weeks gestation.  In the event of a medical emergency requiring abortion, late terms abortions will be still be available.

It is possible for a non-resident to obtain an abortion in Colorado.  There is also no waiting period required to have an abortion completed in Colorado.

A woman’s spouse has no say in whether she goes through with an abortion.  She may even hide the fact altogether and obtain an abortion without her spouse’s knowledge.

If the woman is under the age of 18, medical professionals are legally obligated to notify the parent or guardian within 48 hours prior to the procedure.  The parent cannot stop the minor from having the abortion but must be notified.  Exemptions are included for emancipated minors or a judicial bypass.  Other exemptions will be made in the event of a medical emergency as confirmed by a licensed physician.  A child who has been victimized by child abuse and/or neglect may also qualify for an abortion without parental notification if the minor child has informed the licensed physician of the situation.

Who Is Able to Legally Perform an Abortion?

In Colorado, only licensed physicians are authorized to perform an abortion.  They must adhere to approved medial procedures.  The abortion may only take place in building that has been licensed by the Department of Public Health and Environment.

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About the Author: Alex Fisher