Midterm Elections could impact future of abortion access - TAI News
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Emily Singer

he results of the midterm elections will determine where in the United States abortion is legal and how draconian abortion bans may be.

The fate of abortion rights is now in the hands of voters after the Supreme Court on Friday overturned decades of settled precedent in its ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that abortion is not a right under the U.S. Constitution.

Now that state legislatures are able to pass bills that restrict abortion, the outcome of elections for governors, attorneys general, and state lawmakers will determine whether abortion remains legal and how draconian bans will be.

Thirteen GOP-controlled states already have on the books “trigger” laws, bans on abortion designed to take effect once the constitutional right to abortion was denied by the Supreme Court.

However, in other states, Democratic governors and other officials have served as a firewall against abortion bans, firewalls that will crumble if Republicans win key elections in those states in November. Nearly every GOP candidate for the positions have said they support bans on abortion, some even in cases in which the life of the pregnant person is at risk.

Democratic groups are promising to continue the fight for abortion rights even after the court has struck down Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that affirmed a constitutional right to abortion.

“Make no mistake: abortion is on the ballot this November, and we, the pro-choice majority in this country, will hold them accountable,” Laphonza Butler, president of EMILY’s List, which supports Democratic pro-choice female candidates for political office, said in a statement. “We will replace them in offices across the country, up and down the ballot with Democratic pro-choice candidates who will fight for our rights and freedom, with women who will work to expand access to anyone who needs it.”

These are the states where abortion rights are at risk if Republicans win elections in November 2022.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania has vetoed three anti-abortion bills sent to him by the Republican-controlled Legislature, but Wolf is term-limited and cannot run for reelection in November.

Democrats have nominated current Attorney General Josh Shapiro to run for governor in November. Shapiro supports abortion rights and would veto any anti-abortion legislation.

“I will not let our daughters grow up in a world where they have fewer rights than their mothers and grandmothers had in Pennsylvania,” Shapiro tweeted after Friday’s decision. “The stakes in this post-Roe world are clear. Either we’re going to safeguard their right to choose, or it’ll be ripped away with no exceptions.”

Shapiro’s GOP opponent in the race, Doug Mastriano, opposes abortion in all cases, even when the life of the pregnant person is at risk.

According to the opposition research organization American Bridge 21st Century, Mastriano told a gathering of voters in York County, Pennsylvania, “I will move with decision, decisive decisiveness here to sign these bills, whether it’s my heartbeat bill or Stephanie Borowitz’s bill or Down Syndrome Protection Act … So on day one, I have a series of executive orders, and just for everyone’s comfort out there, executive orders are powers that a governor can wield. But you obviously want to back up the legislation. So the codified in the law. So after my eight years are up, the next governor can’t overturn them.”

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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The Pennsylvania Independent is a project of American Independent Media, a 501(c)(4) organization whose mission is to use journalism to educate the public, giving them the information they need about local and federal issues.