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SB23-188

Protections For Accessing Reproductive Health Care

Concerning protections for accessing reproductive health care.
Session:
2023 Regular Session
Subjects:
Courts & Judicial
Crimes, Corrections, & Enforcement
Health Care & Health Insurance
Human Services
Bill Summary

The bill requires contracts between insurers or other persons and health-care providers regarding the delivery of health-care services to include a provision that prohibits the following actions if the actions are based solely on the health-care provider's provision of, or assistance in the provision of, reproductive health care or gender-affirming health-care services (legally protected health-care activity) in this state, so long as the care provided did not violate Colorado law:

  • A medical malpractice insurer from refusing to issue, canceling or terminating, refusing to renew, or imposing any sanctions, fines, penalties, or rate increases for a medical malpractice policy ( section 2 );
  • A health insurer from taking an adverse action against a health-care provider, including refusing to pay for a provided health-care service, terminating or refusing to renew a contract with the health-care provider, or imposing other penalties on the health-care provider ( section 3 );
  • A health insurer from refusing to credential a physician as a network provider or terminating a physician's status as a network provider ( section 4 ); or
  • A person or entity from terminating a health-care contract with a health-care provider, unless the person or entity is a religious organization and legally protected health-care activities conflict with the religious organization's bona fide religious beliefs and practices ( section 25 ).

Section 5 protects an individual applying for licensure, certification, or registration in a health-care-related profession or occupation in Colorado (applicant), as well as a health-care professional currently licensed, certified, or registered in Colorado (licensee), from having the license, certification, or registration denied or discipline imposed against the licensee based solely on:

  • The applicant's or licensee's provision of, or assistance in the provision of, a legally protected health-care activity in this state or another state or United States territory, so long as the care provided was consistent with generally accepted standards of practice under Colorado law and did not otherwise violate Colorado law;
  • A civil or criminal judgment or a professional disciplinary action arising from the provision of, or assistance in the provision of, a legally protected health-care activity in this state or another state or United States territory, so long as the care provided was consistent with generally accepted standards of practice under Colorado law and did not otherwise violate Colorado law;
  • The applicant's or licensee's own personal effort to seek or engage in a legally protected health-care activity; or
  • A civil or criminal judgment against the applicant or licensee arising from the individual's own personal legally protected health-care activity in this state or another state or United States territory.

Section 6 prohibits a court, judicial officer, court employee, or attorney from issuing a subpoena in connection with a proceeding in another state concerning an individual who accesses a legally protected health-care activity in Colorado or an individual who performs, assists, or aids in the performance of a legally protected health-care activity in Colorado.Section 7 prohibits the state from applying another state's law to a case or controversy heard in Colorado state court or giving any force or effect to any judgment issued without personal jurisdiction or due process or to any judgment that is penal in nature pursuant to another state's law if the other state's law authorizes a person to bring a civil action against another person or entity for engaging or attempting to engage in a legally protected health-care activity.

If a medical malpractice action is brought in this state against a health-care provider regulated in this state or another state, section 8 prohibits a court or arbitrator from allowing evidence or witness testimony relating to professional discipline or criminal or civil charges in this state or another state concerning the provision of, or assistance in the provision of, a legally protected health-care activity, so long as the care provided did not violate Colorado law.Section 9 prohibits a peace officer from knowingly arresting or participating in the arrest of any person who engages in a legally protected health-care activity, unless the acts forming the basis for the arrest constitute a criminal offense in Colorado or violate Colorado law.Section 10 prohibits the issuance of a search warrant to search for and seize any property that relates to an investigation into a legally protected health-care activity.Section 11 prohibits a judge from issuing a summons in a case when a prosecution is pending, or when a grand jury investigation has started or is about to start, for a criminal violation of another state's law involving the provision or receipt of or assistance with accessing a legally protected health-care activity that is legal in Colorado, unless the acts forming the basis of the prosecution or investigation would also constitute a criminal offense in Colorado.Section 12 prohibits the issuance of an ex parte order for wiretapping or eavesdropping to obtain any wire, oral, or electronic communication that relates to an investigation into a legally protected health-care activity.

Current law allows for the extradition of a person who committed an act in this state that intentionally results in a crime in the state whose executive authority is making the demand, even though the accused was not in the demanding state at the time of the commission of the crime. Section 13 requires the acts for which extradition is sought to be punishable by the laws of this state if the acts occurred in this state and prohibits the governor from surrendering a person charged in another state as a result of the person engaging in a legally protected health-care activity, unless the executive authority of the demanding state alleges in writing that the accused was physically present in the demanding state at the time of the commission of the alleged offense.Section 14 requires a correctional facility or private contract prison incarcerating a person who is capable of pregnancy to, regardless of the person's ability to pay, ensure access to abortions by providing a pregnant person with information about abortion providers; referrals to community-based providers of abortions; referrals to community-based organizations that help people pay for abortions; and transportation to access an abortion; and ensure access to miscarriage management, including medication.Section 15 adds a reproductive health-care services worker to the list of protected persons whose personal information may be withheld from the internet if the protected person believes dissemination of such information poses an imminent and serious threat to the protected person or the safety of the protected person's immediate family.Section 16 prohibits the prosecution or investigation of a licensed health-care provider if the health-care provider prescribes an abortifacient to a patient and the patient ingests the abortifacient in another state so long as the abortifacient is prescribed or administered consistent with accepted standards of practice under Colorado law and does not violate Colorado law.Section 17 through section 20 adds a protected health-care worker to the list of persons authorized to participate in the address confidentiality program.Section 21 authorizes the attorney general to independently initiate and bring a civil and criminal action to enforce the "Reproductive Health Equity Act".Section 22 prohibits a state agency from providing any information or using any government resources in furtherance of any out-of-state investigation or proceeding seeking to impose civil or criminal liability or professional sanction upon a person or entity for engaging in a legally protected health-care activity.Section 23 prohibits a public entity from:

  • Denying, restricting, or interfering with, through any efforts, including licensing or zoning restrictions, any person's or business entity's ability to provide reproductive health care; or
  • Interfering with, discriminating against, or penalizing, through any civil or criminal laws, any person or business entity for assisting, aiding, or treating an individual for reproductive health care; or
  • Prohibiting or restricting, through any civil or criminal laws, including the establishment or expansion of a private right of action, any person or business entity from assisting, aiding, or treating an individual for reproductive health care. Restricting any natural or legal person in performing, or prohibit any natural or legal person from providing, reproductive health care through the imposition of licensing, permitting, certification, or similar legislative or regulatory requirements that apply solely to providers of reproductive health care; or
  • Prosecuting or otherwise criminally sanctioning any natural or legal person for providing, assisting in the provision of, arranging for, or otherwise assisting a person in accessing reproductive health care performed within the scope of applicable professional licensure and certification requirements.

Section 24 authorizes states the venue to enforce an action to enforce under the provisions of the "Reproductive Health Equity Act" to be commenced by a person or business entity with standing is in the Denver district court.Section 26 and 27 require every local government that has adopted or adopts a zoning ordinance to recognize the provision of outpatient reproductive health care as a permitted use in any zone in which the provision of general outpatient health care is recognized as a permitted use.

(Note: Italicized words indicate new material added to the original summary; dashes through words indicate deletions from the original summary.)


(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)

Status

Introduced
Under Consideration

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Bill Text

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