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Supporters Say Birth Control Bill About "Prevention Over Politics"

February 26, 2009

Denver, CO - It's about prevention, not politics. That's the message Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains and other members of a coalition called "Protect Families, Protect Choices" will be bringing to the Capitol in Denver today. Lawmakers there are taking up a bill called the "Birth Control Protection Act." The coalition supports the bill, which would define forms of birth control and make it clear that those methods of preventing unwanted pregnancy are not the same as abortion. Sen. Betty Boyd is sponsoring the bill.

"Birth control is all about family planning and about spacing of children and assuring good reproductive health."

Boyd says she is bringing forward the bill, in part, because of the rhetoric over last year's defeated "Personhood Amendment." The amendment would have defined a fertilized egg as a person and set the stage for a court challenge to abortion.

The sponsor of that amendment says she is not opposed to birth control but does oppose any methods that destroy a fertilized egg. Boyd points out that a large majority of Coloradans support the availability and use of many birth control forms, including emergency contraception.

Katie Groke Ellis with Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains says the measure would cover a full spectrum of legal methods, "including emergency contraception, the most common forms of the birth control pill, IUDs and condoms."

Groke Ellis says passing the legislation would be an important step in defining birth control as separate from the abortion debate.

"We would really get the word out there that birth control is not abortion, and it is what prevents unintended pregnancies."

Today is the annual "Pro-Choice Lobby Day" at the Capitol. More information about the day's events is available at www.theactivist-pprm.blogspot.com.

Eric Mack, Public News Service - CO