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National Journal: “Abortion Access Could Depend Entirely on Where a Woman Lives”

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A new article from the National Journal is highlighting how Democratic governors are standing in defense of the right to choose as Roe v. Wade is threatened like never before.

With Democratic governors fighting to protect reproductive rights as the Supreme Court plans to rule on a direct challenge to Roe this summer, “abortion battles will inevitably move from the courtroom to the ballot box,” in governors’ races in 2022. That means electing and reelecting Democratic governors could be the one thing determining whether or not an abortion is safe, legal, and accessible in some states.

Already, Democratic governors in states like Michigan, Wisconsin, and Nevada are the critical bulwarks standing up to extreme and dangerous attempts by Republican state legislatures to restrict abortion or effectively ban it outright.

In Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer recently “filed a lawsuit asking the Michigan Supreme Court to recognize the right to an abortion under the state constitution and overturn a 176-year-old abortion ban that could be enforced if Roe is overturned.”

“While abortion access is threatened like never before, Democratic governors are taking action to keep reproductive health care affordable and accessible,” said DGA Senior Communications Advisor Christina Amestoy. “The right to choose is on the line in 2022 — and electing Democratic governors is the best way to protect it.”

Read more on how Democratic governors are “the last line of defense” against the attacks on choice in the National Journal and see key excerpts below:

National Journal: A ‘ticking time bomb’: Lingering questions on abortion access hover over gubernatorial races

This summer, the Supreme Court will rule on a landmark abortion case that could upend decades of legally protected access. Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization centers on a Mississippi law banning nearly all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy and strikes at the central framework of Roe v. Wade. Mississippi has asked the Supreme Court not only to uphold its ban but to dismantle the constitutional right to an abortion, returning the question to the states.

Soon, abortion access could depend entirely on where a woman lives.

If Roe is overturned, it could allow as many as 26 states to ban abortion soon after, according to the Guttmacher Institute, an abortion advocacy and research group. In anticipation of a favorable ruling, a number of GOP-led states have passed severe restrictions that could survive should the Court strike down the Roe precedent.

The abortion battles will inevitably move from the courtroom to the ballot box as questions over access color gubernatorial races across the map. Democratic governors up for reelection in states with Republican legislatures—such as Michigan, Nevada, and Wisconsin—could pitch themselves as the last line of defense against restrictive laws in their state. In open-seat races, like Arizona and Pennsylvania, electing a Democratic governor or maintaining a Democratic-held seat could similarly provide a stopgap to restrictive legislation. Even in states where the right to an abortion is not immediately at risk, like Kansas and New Mexico, the toppling of Roe could still make access to abortion access a salient issue in governor races.

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