Draft leak spurs governors to action in their states


(NewsNation) — The lead of the Supreme Court draft opinion on a Mississippi abortion case that seemed to indicate the justices were in favor of overturning the historic Roe v. Wade ruling has set state governors in motion to codify state health policies, especially where they involve abortion.

If Roe is overturned, it could dramatically change the nation’s health care landscape, leading to women traveling across state lines to find abortion in some cases.

Governors on both sides of the issue were quick to take their stands. Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin stated, “We want fewer abortions in Virginia, not more. In fact, we don’t believe that you should be able to get an abortion all the way up to and including birth.” On the other side, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said, “No matter what atrocious opinion the Supreme Court officially rolls out this summer in regards to Roe v. Wade, abortion is safe and legal in Illinois.”

The leaked Supreme Court draft opinion states that Roe was “egregiously wrong from the start” and that it’s time to return the issue of abortion to the voters and their elected officials.

Those officials are already taking steps to secure what they believe is right. Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers is leading a coalition of 17 governors calling on Congress to immediately protect access to abortion and reproductive rights.

Others, like Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, are taking action in the opposite direction. Stitt signed a bill that prohibits abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, similar to the bill passed in Texas.

Research by the Guttmacher Institute finds that 23 states have laws that aim to limit abortion access. That includes 13 states with “trigger laws” designed to go into effect almost immediately if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

Seventeen states, including Washington, D.C., have laws protecting the right to abortion. Some are without restriction, while some limit it to within the first 24 weeks or when it’s necessary to protect the life and health of the mother. The other 20 states have no immediate ban or protection in place.

Data shows that minority women are more likely than white women to seek abortions. Those living in conservative states would feel the greatest impact, especially if they don’t have the ability travel to a state where they can get abortion access.

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