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Colorado abortion providers see double the patients after Dobbs decision

The Cobalt Abortion Fund, a donor-funded organization helping people access abortion services, say spending has more than doubled since 2021.

DENVER — Seven months after the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade with the Dobbs decision, abortion patients are coming to Colorado in droves.

Medical providers and abortion access advocates have stepped in to fill the gaps in care. The Cobalt Abortion Fund, a donor-funded organization helping women access abortion services, released its annual spending report on Monday. 

"Pretty much the day that the Roe v. Wade decision came down back in June, the requests for help already started pouring in within a matter of hours," Cobalt's Abortion Fund Director Amanda Carlson said.

Cobalt provides funding for abortion procedures, and they say that spending has more than doubled since 2021. However, their spending on "practical support," which includes things like travel expenses for out-of-state patients, has increased 30 times over.

Cobalt spent about $6,000 on practical support in 2021. Last year, it was more than $221,000.

"So, we had only done really piecemeal travel support in the past. There were other organizations, particularly so in restricted states, who could help their clients traveled to Colorado, and then we would sort of pick up the missing pieces once they got here," Carlson said. 

"Knowing that was not going to be a possibility moving forward because most abortion access funds like ours, in states like Texas, did have to shut their doors and stop assisting clients because they wanted to protect their staff and justifiably so. So, we made the decision to sort of pick up that slack." 

Even so, Carlson said she thinks they're barely scratching the surface of need.

She said more than two-thirds of the out-of-state patients providers in Colorado are seeing are coming from Texas, where abortion is banned and providing abortion services is a felony.

Colorado's Department of Public Health estimates more than 800 Texans traveled to Colorado for abortions last year. 

Cobalt said they anticipate that demand to continue this year, since Republicans control the House and could block any federal abortion rights bill.

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