Lindsay Whitehurst, Holly Ramer and Kimberly Crusey – Associated Press
The intention of the Supreme Court is obvious abolish the national right to abortion, set out in a draft report that leaked this week, expand the battlefield of the country’s strongest cultural war, moving it to states where access to abortion has long been secured.
Democrats in the blue states are preparing for a wave of legal attacks and other maneuvers that seek to undermine access, and some are even taking steps to enshrine the right to abortion in their constitution, making it much more difficult to impose a ban in the future.
Republican states are expected to ban or restrict abortion, but tactics may also include aggressive efforts to go beyond their borders to sue abortion providers and find other ways to punish those who help a woman have an abortion.
States with shared political control, including Pennsylvania and Virginia, already have the potential to repeal established abortion rights. California and Colorado are pushing to protect access to abortion in their constitutions, which is a stronger move than passing the law. Connecticut and Washington The state has already taken steps to protect suppliers from possible lawsuits as they expect women who want to have an abortion to cross state borders.
“We will not allow the tentacles of Texas to infiltrate Washington state,” said Democratic Gov. Jay Insley, who has vowed to make Washington a haven for those seeking an abortion.
Oregon lawmakers have included $ 15 million in their state budgets to help pay people for a trip to the state to have an abortion, and California has a similar bill.
Rhetoric on both sides points to a growing struggle for access, p proponents of abortion, who hope to reduce the number of states where the procedure remains legal if Roe is canceled. It is expected that about half of the U.S. states will quickly ban or severely restrict abortions if this happens.
A new law in Idahocurrently blocked by the state Supreme Court, would allow family members of all participants to sue abortion providers, an example of the following tactics.
“The next chapter of the conflict will really be about what’s going on with interstate conflicts,” said Mary Ziegler, a law historian at the University of Florida Law School.
Many states with one-party government control have already chosen their side. Several states with divided policies are in a state of conquest.
In Pennsylvania, abortion is prohibited by state law during the first 24 weeks of pregnancy. The survival of the law is threatened in this year’s struggle for the governor’s post.
Gov. Tom Wolfe, a Democrat who vetoed recent legislation restricting abortion, is not running because of time constraints. The race for his replacement is between the same-minded Democrat, Attorney General Josh Shapiro, and a major field of nine Republicans who say they will sign restrictions imposed by the legislature, which is likely to remain under the control of the Republican Party.
One Republican candidate, Sen. Doug Mastrian, supports a six-week pregnancy ban without exception for raping, incest or saving a mother’s life.
“For us, there is one and only one way to ensure that women have a legal right to continue making decisions over their own bodies in Pennsylvania, and that will win this governor race,” Shapiro said during a press conference this week.
In North Carolina, Gov. Roy Cooper and other state Democrats outlined the November election as an election in which they must prevent the Republican Party from regaining a majority in the legislature, an inadmissible veto. With each seat in the November election, Republicans should get five seats to regain that control.
“Republicans in our state are on the verge of getting super-majorities in Raleigh that have no veto power. If they succeed, you can add North Carolina to the list of states that will ban abortions, “said Cooper, who has vetoed efforts to curb abortion since 2019.
Campaigns for two seats in the state Supreme Court are expected to be even more intense because the court may consider challenging any new abortion restrictions. Democrats currently hold four of the seven seats, including two on this year’s ballot.
Republican Chairman Michael Watley said in a release that the balance of the General Assembly and the Supreme Court “has never been more important” to ensure that a “pro-life majority” will rule in the future after Rowe.
The potential to undermine access to abortion also appears in Virginia, where Democrats lost full power over the state last November when Republicans overthrew the House of Delegates and won the presidency. Democrats control the state senate with only one vote and have one member of the caucus who opposes abortion and has expressed his openness to new restrictions.
Gov. Glen Yangkin calls himself “decent to life,” though he said he supports exceptions in cases of rape, incest or saving a woman’s life. This week, he said speculating on what would be the final decision of the Supreme Court would be premature or how he and lawmakers could act.
In Minnesota, where control of the legislatures is divided between parties, two amendments against abortion to the Health and Human Services Bill were virtually unaffected by procedural votes in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives. Democratic Gov. Tim Waltz promised his supporters this week that “no abortion ban will ever become law” as long as he is governor; all Republican candidates fighting to challenge his re-election bid support the ban.
Michigan and Wisconsin, states with Democratic governors and Republican-controlled legislatures, have a ban on abortion before Rowe in state law. The governor of Michigan has already filed a lawsuit, and the Attorney General of Wisconsin, Democrat Josh Cowle, has said he is also awaiting trial.
“The ban was not just inactive,” he said. “It’s been unconstitutional for 50 years.”
Some deeply democratic states are going fast to try to strengthen the right to abortion. California Gov. Gavin Newsom and leading Democratic leaders in the legislature have pledged to ask voters to “write down the right to vote” in the state constitution, steps also in work in Vermont and Colorado.
California already has some of the most extensive abortion protections in the country. But lawmakers say the amendment will make it much more difficult to repeal these safeguards if political winds change and future lawmakers try to impose restrictions.
Democrats also believe it will protect the state from any adverse state court decisions or federal abortion bans if Republicans gain control of Congress.
“The unbelievable can happen,” said Sen. Nancy Skinner, a Democrat from Berkeley. “Unless we make it clear what we are defending … someday some court may interpret confidentiality as not including my right to abortion. And this is what we are trying to protect ourselves from. “
Democrats and Colorado attorneys say they will push for voting in 2024 to enshrine access to abortion in the constitution and repeal an amendment to the 1980s Constitution that prohibits state funding for abortion.
Democratic House leader Dane Esgar said an amendment was needed, “because the state’s legislatures can change, and depending on who has the majority, they can formalize their ideology. It’s fundamental for Colorado women, no matter who rules. ”
Whitehurst reported from Salt Lake City, Ramer from Concord, New Hampshire, and Crucy from Nashville, Tennessee. Associated Press reporters across the country contributed to the report.
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