In the states…
Virginia Democrats are trying to raise the alarm over Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s budget plan. In the budget, Youngkin allocates money to the Department of Corrections in anticipation of women and doctors being jailed over his proposed abortion ban. Delegate Charniele Herring says the budget line is proof that “the plan is to create a new crime.” Sen. L. Louise Lucas is bringing the exact kind of energy I’m looking for from politicians right now: “This governor is purely delusional if he thinks for one friggin’ minute that we’re going to allow him to put women and doctors in jail for violating his 15-week abortion ban. I will fight day and night to make sure it crashes and burns.”
At a press conference today, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said he will ask lawmakers to add rape and incest exception to the state’s abortion ban. Edwards also claimed that the state’s transition to its total abortion ban has been “relatively smooth,” which is…just incredible. Since its abortion ban, Louisiana has been thrown into complete medical and legal chaos, with the Department of Health refusing to answer questions from doctors—who say the law has created an “atmosphere of terror”—and women being denied abortions despite their pregnancies being doomed. (Including the particularly horrific story of a woman whose fetus was missing part of its head and skull and still had to travel to New York for care.)
North Carolina Republicans are continuing their efforts to further limit abortion in the state. Senate Leader Phil Berger says abortion is one of the state GOP’s priorities, and that they’d be a “failure” if they didn’t try to limit abortion in the next legislative session.
Maine Gov. Janet Mills says she might propose an amendment to enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution: “All the polls show that the people of Maine are overwhelmingly in support of reproductive health care, including the right to abortion.”
Get this: Republicans in Pennsylvania want to propose an amendment that would declare abortion rights are not protected in the state constitution. One unnamed Republican lawmaker who isn’t on board with the idea told a local reporter, “The folk I run with remember Election Day and think running the [abortion] constitutional amendment would be a really stupid idea.”
North Carolina public radio station WHQR reports on why abortion rights weren’t enough for Democrats to win the state;
A federal judge has blocked part of a California gun bill that Democrats modeled after the Texas law that allows private citizens to sue abortion providers;
and Texas Public Radio has an interview with Dr. Alan Braid, who deliberately violated the state’s ban by providing an abortion and then writing about it for The Washington Post.
In the nation…
There have been a lot of postmortems on the role that abortion played in the midterms—but this comprehensive POLITICO piece is worth reading for some behind-the-scenes looks at what it was like to be a pro-choice candidate. Josh Shapiro, Governor-elect of Pennsylvania, for example, said voters mentioned abortion everywhere he campaigned: “[I]ncluding from people who are lifelong Republicans who would say to me, ‘I’ve never voted for a Democrat, but I’ll be damned if I’m gonna let that guy take away my right to make decisions over my own body, or my daughter’s right.’”
Erin Grant of the Abortion Care Network wrote about the crisis of independent clinic closures in Ms. magazine:
“We have a long fight ahead to reimagine and build a country where abortion is not just legal but available, affordable, supported and destigmatized. To get there, we must stand up for the care providers—independent clinics and the workers who face not only legislative but personal attacks.”
To support independent abortion clinics, check out Keep Our Clinics.
Speaking of how important it is to support clinics, this short news documentary looks at the lengths women have to go to in order to obtain abortions, and spoke to providers in places like Indiana and Arizona. Definitely worth a watch.
In better-ish news, the Vatican has defrocked the head of Priests for Life, Frank Pavone, for “blasphemous communications on social media.” Pavone is a Trump-supporting anti-abortion extremist, which is all you need to know.
Just a reminder that young people are not happy with abortion bans. A survey showed that nearly 40% of those planning on enrolling in college in the next year said a state’s abortion laws will impact their decision on whether or not to go to a particular school, and that 43% considered leaving their school over their state’s abortion ban. The founder of a college consulting group, Kathleen Moore, says that questions about a state’s abortion policies are “dominating the conversation” students have with her over their decision. She mentions one student she advised who turned down a competitive athletic scholarship because the school was in anti-abortion state South Carolina.
Some young people are even thinking about whether or not they should stay in the country. A South Dakota college student who leads her school’s reproductive rights group told CNBC that every time a fellow student asks her for help to get an abortion, she becomes “a little more convinced” that she should leave the country. And a 21-year Georgia student says, “You could feel everyone’s panic the day Roe was overturned. It made me question everything, like, Do I want to continue to build my life in Georgia? Do I even want to stay in the U.S.?”
I’ve already told you about Las Libres, the Mexico-based abortion rights group helping to get abortion medication into the U.S. They’re fantastic, and I loved this profile of a 64 year-old California activist who has been working with the group: “Whether legal or not, women have to have control of their bodies.”
Speaking of inspiring women, Rep. Ayanna Pressley is looking to lead the Democratic Women’s Caucus, citing her experience working on abortion policy as part of why she wants the role. Republicans “don't see us,” Pressley said. “They don't see women.” (Fun fact: I was lucky enough to work with Rep. Pressley when she contributed an essay to my anthology Believe Me; she’s incredible.)
More people than ever want to be abortion doulas, NPR reports;
The Guardian on Republican efforts to make it harder to pass pro-choice ballot measures;
Republicans want to force women into pregnancy but then refuse to support the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA);
And an op-ed from an adolescent medicine physician and fellow with Physicians for Reproductive Health explains why over-the-counter status for birth control pills is more important than ever.
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