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‘It’s now up to the states’: Republicans move to ban abortion after Roe falls

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“For 50 years, women have relied on their constitutional right to make their own medical decisions,” said North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, a Democrat who stands between his state’s Republican-controlled legislature and an abortion ban. “That means it’s now up to states to determine whether women receive reproductive health care.”

And abortion policy will remain in the hands of the states for the foreseeable future unless Congress enacts federal abortion protections or restrictions.

As of Friday, abortion is illegal in six states — Arkansas, South Dakota, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri and Oklahoma — except where it’s necessary to save the pregnant person’s life. Abortion is also civilly prohibited through a private enforcement mechanism after six weeks of pregnancy in Texas. The legal status of abortion is unclear in Alabama, Wisconsin and West Virginia, where pre-roe laws remain on the books. Proponents and opponents of abortion rights disagree on whether those laws are enforceable.

Bans in Idaho and Tennessee will take effect 30 days after the Supreme Court makes its final ruling in its decision, which has not yet happened.

Some red states rushed to implement their so-called trigger bans on Friday, with Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, a Republican, announcing that he had upheld the Supreme Court decision. roe within 20 minutes of the verdict.

“With the dobbs decision just made and a stroke of my pen – Missouri became the first state to effectively end abortion and has become the most Pro Life state in America,” said Schmitt on Twitter

Others, such as Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch and North Dakota Attorney General Drew Wrigley, both Republicans, are evaluating the court’s decision before implementing their trigger bans.

A spokesperson said Fitch’s office plans to “give the opinion and analysis considered by law the thoughtful attention they deserve,” but did not provide a timeline for certification. Wrigley’s office said he was “the” dobbs advice in every detail and will carefully consider its impact on North Dakota’s abortion laws,” a process law gives him 30 days to complete.

Bans in some red states may take time

Abortion bans in other red states are subject to judicial and legislative action.

In Indiana, Republican Governor Eric Holcomb asked lawmakers Friday to include abortion in a July 6 special session where lawmakers would address tax-related issues. Abortion remains legal in Indiana, though lawmakers have long been expected to act swiftly to ban the procedure if Supreme Court overturned roe

“The Supreme Court decision is clear and it is now up to states to address this important issue,” Holcomb said. “We’ll be doing that shortly in Indiana.”

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, a Republican, also announced a special session later in the year to further discuss abortion rights in the state — although abortion is already banned. Three other Republican governors – Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice and Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts – said they were in talks with legislative leaders about next steps.

Republican elected officials in states where abortion bans have been blocked by federal courts rushed to enact those laws. Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed an injunction to activate the state’s six-week abortion ban, South Carolina government Henry McMaster promised to file motions by the end of the day to similar law in his state, and the Alabama government. Kay Ivey said the state would intervene “immediately” to ask the court to lift a ban on the state’s near-total abortion ban.

Meanwhile, two blue cities in red states have begun to oppose — a strategy they hope other jurisdictions will follow.

St. Louis City Councilor Annie Rice, a Democrat, introduced a measure Friday that will allocate $1.5 million in federal rehabilitative funds to facilitate access to abortion, including $1 million to organizations that provide logistical support — including childcare, transportation and housing. – to people seeking abortions, and $500,000 to establish a reproductive equity fund to support health care providers who provide maternity care.

Mallory Schwarz, executive director of Pro-Choice Missouri, said she expects the bill to be voted on before the board of aldermen goes into recess in July.

“This legislation demonstrates the strength of our grassroots movement and the critical importance of state and local leadership,” Schwarz said. “The people closest to the problem are closest to the solution, and we hope you will see this as a model for what a national response could and should look like.”

And in Austin, Texas, councilors Chito Vela and Vanessa Fuentes called for a special meeting of the city council to accept a proposal to effectively decriminalize abortion in the state.

“We’re really the last line of defense right now,” said Vela. “The federal government has now stepped aside, the state government is aggressively attacking abortion rights, and now – even though we are the lowest level of government and in many ways the weakest level of government – ​​we are going to do everything we can to ensure that what in our power, we can protect abortion rights and protect women.”

An uncertain future in purple states

Friday’s decision underlined how the future of abortion policies in a handful of purple states depends on the outcome of the November election.

“This fall, roe is on the ballot. Personal liberties are on the agenda. The right to privacy, liberty, equality, they’re all on the ballot,” President Joe Biden said Friday.

In Michigan, for example, a state judge temporarily blocked the pre-roe ban to come into force. The future of abortion in the state depends on numerous factors, including whether Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer wins re-election and whether Democrats continue to control the state’s Supreme Court.

“We need to make it clear that under Michigan law, access to abortion is not only legal, but also constitutionally protected,” Whitmer said Friday.

Abortion is protected in Kansas, although voters will have the chance to undo constitutional protections for abortion during the August primaries. If passed, the Republican-controlled legislature could enact an abortion ban, which Democratic administration Laura Kelly would likely veto. Kelly is up for re-election in November.

In Virginia, Republican Administration Glenn Youngkin told the Washington Post on Friday that he would like lawmakers to pursue a 15-week abortion ban when the legislature meets again in January, although Senate Democrats are unlikely to bring such a measure to his desk. For now, in Virginia, abortions are allowed up to the third trimester.

“We have, at least in the [state] Senate, enough reproductive rights advocates to prevent abortion laws from even seeing the Senate floor,” said Breanna Diaz, policy and legislative counsel with the ACLU of Virginia. “We will do everything we can to make sure Virginia is a safe haven stays for abortion.”

Blue states turn into refuges

West Coast governors moved Friday to establish their states as sanctuaries for those seeking and carrying out the procedure. They gave a “multi-state allianceto protect patients and healthcare providers from the restrictive laws of other states, block extradition requests from other states, and prevent physicians from being penalized by insurers and professional licensing agencies.

California Governor Gavin Newsom, Oregon Governor Kate Brown and Washington Governor Jay Inslee — all Democrats — also pledged to expand access to drug abortion, remove “barriers to telehealth for reproductive health care,” and let the group of health care providers who are qualified to perform abortions.

In blue Massachusetts, where access to abortion is enshrined in state law, Republican government leader Charlie Baker signed an executive order Friday morning declaring that the Bay State will not cooperate with extradition requests from other states attempting to prosecute abortion patients or providers and state agencies. prohibit assisting in investigations of other states.

Democratic legislative leaders in Massachusetts are building money for the safety and infrastructure of abortion clinics in the state budget, potentially millions of dollars. Ongoing budget negotiations also include a proposal that would extend the protections Baker put in place on Friday and expand access to emergency contraception.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, a Democrat and the state’s leading candidate to replace Baker when he leaves office in January, has also vowed to block prosecutions from other states.

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker, a Democrat, announced that he would convene the legislature in a special session “in the coming weeks” to “take swift action to further entrench our commitment to reproductive health care rights and protections.” Abortion is legal in the state, and the state’s Supreme Court has established the right to abortion in the state’s constitution.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul, in partnership with the state’s health department, has announced a new awareness campaign to let people know that abortion is still legal in the Empire State, including a website with information about abortion rights, providers, support and payment options in New York. -York.

“As long as I’m governor, this state will protect you,” Hochul said.

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