SCOTUS Overturns Roe v. Wade — Here’s How Democratic Governors Are Defending Abortion In Their States
Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, women’s reproductive rights are now dependent on who their governor is — and Democratic governors across the country have stepped up to defend abortion.
Here’s how Democratic governors are protecting the right to choose:
- Maine Gov. Janet Mills has protected and expanded access to reproductive health care, including proposing and signing a bill allowing trained and qualified advanced practice clinicians, like nurse practitioners, to provide medication and in-clinic abortion care. She also signed a bill requiring public and private insurance companies that cover prenatal care to cover abortion care.
- Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer filed a lawsuit to protect reproductive rights by directly challenging Michigan’s abortion ban from 1931, which could become law now that Roe v. Wade has been overturned. She’s also vetoed more than $16 million in anti-abortion funding proposed by Michigan Republicans.
- New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham last year signed Senate Bill 10 into law, repealing a 1969 state statute that criminalized abortion.
- New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a package of bills into law protecting access to abortion in a move to make the state a “safe harbor” for the procedure. The legislation protects those who travel from out-of-state, prohibiting courts from cooperating with out-of-state proceedings related to abortions that took place in New York and allowing people to make claims against anyone who sues them for aiding or abetting or obtaining an abortion.
- Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed what advocates called the nation’s most progressive reproductive health policy into law. The Reproductive Health Equity Act requires health insurers to provide birth control and abortion without charging a co-pay. It also dedicates state funds to provide reproductive health care to noncitizens excluded from Medicaid.
- Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly opposed the Republican-controlled Kansas legislature’s amendment ending the constitutional right to abortion under the state. She’s condemned all legislation interfering with individual freedoms or threatening the recent progress in making Kansas a good place to do business.
- California Gov. Gavin Newsom has proposed a Reproductive Health Package to expand access to reproductive health care services and welcome companies from anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQ+ states. Gov. Newsom has also indicated his support for SCA 10, a measure that would place a constitutional amendment enshrining the right to abortion on the November ballot.
- Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed the Reproductive Health Equity Act — a law that affirms that pregnant people in Colorado have the right to continue a pregnancy and give birth or have an abortion and blocks public entities from denying or restricting that right.
- Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont signed legislation that will protect medical providers and patients in Connecticut seeking abortion care. The law also protects those who may be traveling from a state that has outlawed abortion. It also expanded the type of practitioners eligible to perform abortion care to make reproductive health care more accessible.
- Delaware Gov. John Carney has made strides in expanding access to reproductive healthcare by increasing the types of medical professionals who can prescribe medications to end a pregnancy. Advanced practice nurses and physician assistants can now prescribe the medication so that in areas of Delaware where there are few physicians, women can still access abortion care.
- Hawaii Gov. David Ige has signed a pledge to protect reproductive rights in Hawaii.
- Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker signed legislation establishing access to abortion as a “fundamental right” in Illinois and requiring insurance to cover abortion, contraception, and related medical care.
- Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has been a strong advocate for reproductive rights and has promised to veto any legislation restricting abortion access that reaches his desk.
- North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper used his veto power to block multiple abortion restriction bills passed by Republicans.
- New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill codifying the right to abortion into state law. Additionally, Gov. Murphy has called on the Legislature to pass two additional measures — one would legally protect providers and patients who come to New Jersey for abortion care from states that outlaw abortion, while the other would create a reproductive health access fund to provide training grants for abortion providers, finance security for abortion centers, and provide services to those who can’t afford them.
- Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak signed a law ensuring that survivors of sexual assault can access emergency contraception in Nevada emergency rooms. He also signed the Trust Nevada Women Act, which removed outdated abortion restrictions.
- Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf reaffirmed his commitment to reproductive rights by clarifying that abortion will remain legal in Pennsylvania, vowing to veto any bill that restricts abortion access.
- Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee expressed his full support for the Equality in Abortion Coverage Act, a proposed bill that seeks to end discriminatory practices in abortion coverage by providing abortion coverage in Medicaid and repealing the abortion coverage exclusion for state employee insurance plans.
- Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said Washington state would provide sanctuary for people outside the state seeking abortions. He also said he would explore ways to codify abortion rights in the state’s Constitution. In March, Inslee signed a bill prohibiting legal action against people seeking an abortion and those who aid them.
- Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers is leading the charge to remove a centuries-old abortion ban and permanently enshrine the right to choose into law. An unwavering defender of reproductive rights since taking office, Gov. Evers has vetoed several bills that would’ve restricted access to reproductive health care access.
“Democratic governors remain committed to protecting women’s access to reproductive health care,” said DGA Communications Director David Turner. “With the lack of protection from federal courts, Democratic governors will be the last line of defense and use every tool in their power to protect and expand the right to choose.”