Blue states want to create safe havens for abortion rights. Can they?

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Anticipating a country that no longer allows the constitutional right to abortion — and spurred by a draft Supreme Court opinion that telegraphs this seismic change — blue states are strengthening their reproductive rights laws. The decision is not only to protect the reproductive choice and care of women and girls who reside in their states, but also to offer itself as a “safe haven” for those who live in states where abortion should to be forbidden.

In Connecticut, the legislature passed a bill last month to protect providers and patients from lawsuits by states where abortion is illegal. In March, Oregon lawmakers approved $15 million for expanded abortion access — in part to help deal with an influx of patients from neighboring Idaho, which has a ban on abortion. six-week abortion. And in California, about a dozen reproductive rights bills are being passed by the legislature, while the governor and lawmakers promise to enshrine those rights in the state constitution.

“There is real recognition that abortion rights are under threat in much of the country, so progressive states are looking to see what they can do to ensure abortion remains available in their states, and not just for residents but for those who come to their country. states,” says Elizabeth Nash, who tracks state policy for the Guttmacher Institute, which studies and supports reproductive rights.

Why we wrote this

Both sides of the abortion debate say Roe’s end would be just “the beginning.” As California and others attempt to create safe havens for reproductive rights, states could face a legal war with each other.

Abortion access will be dramatically altered in the United States if the Supreme Court overturns the landmark 1973 abortion rights decision in Roe v. Wade. That appears to be where the court is heading, as indicated by a majority opinion draft that landed with explosive political and cultural force in a leak to Politico this week. With this, decades of clashes leading to the High Court will unfold within and between the states, which will shape their own policies.

In a post-Roe world, 26 states are certain or likely to ban abortion — in the South, Midtown and West, according to Guttmacher. These states have either pre-Roe laws on the books or in their constitutions, “trigger” laws that would go into effect once Roe is overturned or have already passed very restrictive laws – including removing exemptions for rape or incest and making abortion a crime. Women in these states have three options: to carry out unwanted pregnancies, to induce abortions themselves by drugs or dangerous means, or to travel to sanctuary states.

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