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Impacts on Colorado if Roe v. Wade is reversed by the Supreme Court

Several of Colorado's neighboring states would likely ban abortion, leaving Colorado to pick up the care, according to Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains.

DENVER — Supreme Court justices heard oral arguments Wednesday morning for a Mississippi law that bans almost all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

It is the most direct challenge to Roe V. Wade in three decades, and conservative justices suggested they would uphold the Mississippi law but a decision likely won't come until summer. 

RELATED: Abortion rights at stake in historic Supreme Court arguments

“The outcome of the Mississippi case will have far reaching impacts on the accessibility of abortion care across our country," said a demonstrator on Wednesday afternoon at the Colorado Capitol. 

According to the Guttmacher Institute, if Roe V. Wade falls, 26 states are certain or likely to ban abortion. 

Their study shows a total ban would mean 1.2 million women of reproductive age in Colorado's neighboring states wouldn't have access to abortions, and they could potentially drive to Colorado for care. 

"One out of four women has had an abortion," said Vicki Cowart, the President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains. 

Cowart said Denver's largest clinic already saw a more than 500% increase in the spring when a Texas law that limited abortions went into effect.

RELATED: A Denver Planned Parenthood has seen a 520% increase in patients from Texas

“We’ve worked hard to make sure that we do have that access available but when you get that many new patients coming it has a ripple effect, and so our schedules get filled up," said Cowart. 

She said she is confident that Colorado would continue to offer abortion care. The state has increased access during the pandemic with telehealth appointments and the ability to mail abortion pills overnight. 

"Coloradans believe that people should make their own healthcare decisions," said Cowart. "We are independent and we are firm about that." 

But some lawmakers have tried to change that. 

RELATED: Proposition 115: Coloradans projected to reject ban on late-term abortions

In 2008, a ballot initiative to define persons as "any human being from the moment of fertilization" was voted down. 

In 2013, legislators introduced a bill that would ban abortion in most cases failed and similar bills were introduced and unsuccessful every year from 2014-2018. 

And in 2020 another ballot initiative that would have banned abortions after 22 weeks unless the pregnancy endangered the mother's life was rejected by Colorado voters. 

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