On June 24th, in a landmark decision, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade giving the greenlight to states across the country to outlaw abortion beginning at conception and opening up the possibility of other rights falling including the right to marriage equality, the right to privacy in the bedroom, and access to contraptions.
Since the Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision, people who are able to get pregnant have understandably been worried about their choices, their futures, and their healthcare options. But the decision worries members of the LGBTQ+ community as their rights may be next on the historically conservative Supreme Court’s chopping block.
Today, though, we want to focus on a few wins for those who support bodily autonomy and the liberty to choose their families and futures. With the recent Kansas constitutional vote to protect reproductive healthcare, people across the country are celebrating the first proof of what they all knew. Voters are against these draconian laws. But across the U.S., wins have been piling up for pro-choice voters. Here are a few of them.
LOCAL LEVEL ACTIONS
Efforts by Cities and Counties
City Councils and County Commissioners in states with strict abortion access bills have passed bills and resolutions with varying degrees of support for those involved in the decision to have an abortion. Some popular decisions include deprioritizing city/county resources to using resources to help abortion-seekers or abortion-providers within their populations.
Many more cities and counties are considering such resolutions as their citizens turn to local politics for the protections that fell at a national level.
STATE LEVEL ACTIONS
States Passing Abortion Protections In 2022
Kansas voters showed up against a proposed anti-choice amendment to the state constitution. 59% of the 920,000 voters that showed up voted for reproductive choice to remain in the hands of individuals.
CO’s legislature passed the Reproductive Health Equity Act declaring a fundamental right to abortion at any stage of pregnancy.
DE added abortion providers, in the form of physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and nurse midwives, and added legal protections for providers and patients to their existing abortion protections.
MD General Assembly expanded abortion access, ending a restriction requiring only physicians can provide them and requiring insurance plans to cover abortion care. When Governor Larry Hogan attempted to veto the bill, the legislature was able to override the veto.
MN Judge Thomas Gilligan struck down restrictions such as 24-hour waiting period and parental notification as unconstitutional.
In KY, Judge Mitch Perry issued an injunction that halted enforcement of Kentucky’s 2019 trigger law stating the law violates the state’s consitution.
MT Supreme Court issued an injunction against 3 separate abortion bans relying on a 1999 Montana Supreme Court decision that abortion falls under the privacy clause of the state’s constitution.
ND Judge Bruce Romanick issued a temporary injunction on a near-total abortion ban passed in 2007 that was originally blocked by Roe v. Wade.
Teton County District Judge Melissa Owens of WY issued a temporary restraining order stopping a trigger law from taking effect.
In July, Judge Douglas L. Rayes in Phoenix, AZ blocked enforcement of part of the “personhood” law that would grant legal rights to fertilized eggs or fetuses, saying it confilicted with the “definition of a person” in every legal sense.
Courts in an ongoing MI legal battle are keeping abortion clinics open while reproductive rights advocates canvas to get the Reproductive Freedom for All ballot initiative on the official ballot this fall.
3rd District Court Judge Andrew Stone issued an injunction preventing UT’s abortion trigger law from taking effect while a lawsuit of its constitutionality is being settled.
States Without Bans Protecting Their Neighbors
CA Governor Gavin Newsome signed a bill intended to protect patients or providers from being sued in states that have abortion bans.
CA, OR, and WA launched a joint commitment to defend access to abortion.
WA Governor Jay Inslee issued a directive preventing State Patrol from cooperating in investigations.
NJ Governor Phil Murphy signed a budget that expanded abortion services and funds security upgrades for clinics.
NJ Legislature passed two bills to protect the right to abortion for out-of-state seekers and preventing extradition by those states.
CO Governor Jared Polis signed an executive order preventing Coloradans from participating in out-of-state abortion-related investigations.
NY Governor Kathy Hochul signed measures to protect abortion access and announced $35 million to expand abortion services and clinic security.
NM Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham issued an executive order protecting access to abortions and preventing New Mexico providers from being punished by other states.
NC Attorney General Josh Stein declined to ask federal courts to get involved in lifting an injunction on previous abortion bans.
NC Governor Roy Cooper signed an executive order that shields patients from extradition and protects state agencies from cooperating in prosecutions for seekers and providers.
ME Governor Janet Mills signed an executive order barring Maine state agencies from cooperating with investigations in other states.
RI Governor Daniel McKee issued an executive order to protect abortion seekers from other states travelling to Rhode Island and prohibiting state agencies from cooperating with investigations.
MA Governor Charlie Baker signed an executive order preventing state agencies from assisting in abortion investigations in other states in June.
MA passed a law expanding emergency contraceptives and abortion access to include abortions after 24 weeks if the child won’t survive after birth and lowering the age to 16 without a parent or guardian.
CT General Assembly passed a law protecting its abortion providers from other states’ bans.
NV Governor Steve Sisolak signed an executive order protecting access for Nevada residents and seekers from other states.
NATIONAL LEVEL ACTIONS
- Safeguards access to abortion and contraception
- Protects privacy of patients
- Protects patient’s access to accurate information
- Promotes security of patients and providers
- Coordinates implementation of Federal Efforts
- Supports patients traveling for healthcare
- Ensures healthcare providers comply with non-discrimination laws
- Promotes research and data collection on maternal health outcomes
Department of Justice
Attorney General Merrick Garland announces lawsuit against Idaho’s near total ban on abortion. With more than 60% of Americans believing in the legal right to abortion, the AG plans to use every tool to ensure reproductive freedom.
Health and Human Services
HHS launched ReproductiveRights.gov to help U.S. citizens navigate the tricky reproductive health laws and protections. They also set aside grants for providers and used Title X funds to further support services. The Public Health Service Act recipients are prevented from discriminating against healthcare workers involved in abortion care if they want to continue receiving federal funds. Also, the HHS ensured patients and providers were protected under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act from facing consequences if the health of a pregnant person or a person experiencing a miscarriage receives abortion care.
Additional Sources Used In This Article
- Bloomberg Law: Same-Sex Marriage, Contraception at Risk After Roe Ruling by Erik Larson and Emma Kinery
- ABCNews: Abortion Ruling Prompts Variety of Reactions from States by Associated Press