LETTERS TO THE EDITOR – Reproductive Health Equity Act (RHEA) state legislation sparks debate among local officials 

State Rep. Meg Froelich addresses Greenwood City Councilmember Dave Bullock’s recent newsletter and RHEA legislation

I have been contacted by several of my constituents who are concerned with Greenwood Village City Councilperson Dave Bullock’s latest newsletter in which he chose to offer his personal opinion using City of Greenwood Village taxpayer dollars on Colorado’s recently passed Reproductive Health Equity Act (RHEA).

After reading the newsletter I share their concerns in three areas: 

  • 1. Use of taxpayer funds to publicize personal opinions 
  • 2. Irrelevance of information to City matters and 
  • 3. Inaccurate and false depiction of RHEA.

One, Councilperson Bullock has responded that he can say whatever he wants in his newsletters and the City Attorney has confirmed that there are no guidelines and no censorship of content. Perhaps City Council can revisit this because this is not the first time GV newsletters have contained opinion and inaccuracies. A comparison was made to my e-newsletters. I do not use any taxpayer funds to communicate with my constituents whether it is through email, mailings, or Town Halls (of which I have had over 50.) In addition, I cannot by law and do not censor or block my Twitter followers or my Facebook page.  

 Two, if the goal is to help residents “keep up with happenings at the State Legislature,” then there are many pieces of legislation that directly impact local governments, such as  transportation, education, or community safety. Hundreds of millions of dollars this year alone were invested in housing, mental and behavioral health, workforce growth, small business relief and homelessness. Neighboring communities are already building housing, addressing homelessness locally, and accessing grants to police and first responders. Of course Councilman Bullock has previously stated that “I, for one, feel no connection or commitment to anything our legislature does.” (Villager, 8/5/21) – except apparently when it comes to reproductive rights. 

On the nonpartisan website for the legislature is http://leg.colorado.gov, you can search by bill topic and you can listen in to debate and sign up to testify in committee – with remote options. This platform provides an easy and transparent way to monitor and participate in the legislation process. Many of these options are not available with the City of Greenwood Village.

And finally, as the prime House sponsor of RHEA, his description of RHEA is not only wrong but dangerous. Every day we are already seeing the effects of the fall of Roe v. Wade. Bans and restrictions have already been put in place in neighboring states. RHEA establishes that fundamental right that pregnant people are the only people who should be making these private medical decisions. 

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology has been adamant that “as a science-based organization, ACOG works hard to combat misinformation about obstetric and gynecologic health care. Statements about “abortion up until the point of birth” or “elective abortion” are unscientific and crafted to polarize the conversation about abortion.” 

In addition ACOG issued the following statement: “we don’t believe that elected politicians, who lack our members’ education, training, experience, expertise, and responsibility to patients, can or should be in the exam room weighing those factors or in a position of substituted judgment for our members and their patients.” 

The central premise of RHEA is that no one except the pregnant person and their medical provider have the right to determine the best course of treatment. The voters have affirmed this over and over again, most recently with the rejection of Proposition 115 in 2020 by almost 20 points. The NO on 115 was the #1 biggest vote getter in 2020 – a larger vote than the US Senate race and the Presidential race.

In keeping with our Colorado values, I trust Coloradans to make their own private medical decisions. And politically-motivated misinformation about this bill and our rights has no place in a taxpayer funded newsletter from a Greenwood Village City Councilman. 

State Representative
Meg Froelich, HD-3

Caucus Co Chair
Member, Energy and Environment
Vice Chair, Transportation and Local Government

Dave Bullock, Greenwood Village City Councilmember responds to State Rep. Meg Froelich’s letter to the editor

For the record, only six residents have complained to me about the newsletter.  That is six out of over 1,300 homes and over 4,500 residents in District 1 which equates to .004% of the households and .001% of the residents.  Therefore, when Representative Meg Froelich says that “several” constituents have complained to her about the newsletter, she is either not telling the truth or is simply engaging in hyperbole.  Conversely, I have received far more positive comments of support.

Meg has made allegations that have repeatedly been discredited by legal authorities yet she continues to make her baseless claims.  She wrote a complaint to the Greenwood Village City Attorney, Tonya Hass Davidson who replied with the following:  

“…the Council resolution regarding newsletters contains absolutely no restrictions on content.  The only restriction is that newsletters may not exceed 4 pages, can go out only once per quarter, and cannot be distributed within 60 days prior to a municipal election… As for RHEA, I read the Reproductive Health Equity Act, and it does not limit the time during any pregnancy that it cannot be terminated.  It says a pregnant individual may undergo a medical procedure with “an intention other than to increase the probability of a live birth,” period.  Thus, up until a live birth occurs, a pregnancy can be terminated.  Thus, Councilmember Bullock’s statement was not inaccurate.”  

This confirms that all three of Meg’s accusations are untrue and legally inaccurate.  Here are three key points in this discussion:

  • The majority of the newsletter provided information directly related to City issues.  To claim that I used City funds for a personal letter that only included one line of a four page letter is by any measure an overreach.  
  • State Legislators, including Meg, have used their positions in being quite critical of certain ordinances passed by our City Council.  They even organized a protest outside of City Hall.  By commenting on their legislation, it is no different than their statements against our Council.  
  • It is quite common for elected officials at all levels to express their viewpoints on issues in the capacity of their position.  The President, Senators, Representatives and State elected officials regularly use public resources to forward their political ideologies.  Constituents then have the right to re-elect them or not.    

Meg and her liberal allies continually forward the idea that “no one except the pregnant person and their medical provider have the right to determine the best course of treatment.”  However, since RHEA allows abortions up to and including the ninth month of pregnancy (as confirmed by legal experts), this abhorrent legislation is legalizing the termination of innocent lives.  Anyone who has held an infant child in their arms knows that they did not just become a living person the moment they were born.  

An AP Poll says that 53% of the country is pro-choice and 47% are pro-life.  So Americans are essentially split down the middle.  However, the same survey says that 82% of the country including pro-choice advocates are opposed to late-term abortions.  Even those who identify as pro-choice understand how horrendous it is to take the life of a living, breathing child.   

Meg restated a comment of mine; “I, for one, feel no connection or commitment to anything our legislature does.”  I made that statement and own it.  However, context is everything.  Greenwood Village is a “home rule” city which means that we have the legal authority to pass our own laws which in some cases can be different from that of the state legislature.  I made that statement when discussing solar panel regulations where our city was establishing a different set of criteria for our residents than state guidelines.  Some of my liberal opponents have all taken that quote out of context several times.   

Coming back to Meg’s allegations, the bottom line is that she just does not like it when people disagree with her and she goes to great lengths to retaliate.  She needs to understand that our democracy was built on debate and disagreement which is a foundation of our freedoms.  I for one and many others fundamentally and strongly disagree with the RHEA legislation that she sponsored and was passed by our liberal legislature.  Elections have consequences and this is one example of why people need to elect representatives that reflect their values.  

Dave Bullock, Greenwood Village City Councilmember – District 1

Editor’s Note: To learn more about the Reproductive Health Equity Act (RHEA) go to:
https://leg.colorado.gov/bills and type in the search box the bill number  HB22-1279