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Legislative Year: 2023 Change
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Bill Detail: SB23-188

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Title Protections For Accessing Reproductive Health Care
Status Governor Signed (04/21/2023)
Bill Subjects
  • Courts & Judicial
  • Crimes, Corrections, & Enforcement
  • Health Care & Health Insurance
  • Human Services
House Sponsors M. Froelich (D)
B. Titone (D)
Senate Sponsors J. Gonzales (D)
S. Jaquez Lewis (D)
House Committee Judiciary
Senate Committee Judiciary
Date Introduced 03/09/2023
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 (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.
Section 24 authorizes an action to enforce the provisions of the
Reproductive Health Equity Act to be commenced by a person or
business entity with standing in Denver district court.

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