Abortion rights: how a governor’s veto can protect women’s freedoms

The Guardian – By Joan E Greve in Washington – 5/16/2022

If the US supreme court follows through with its initial decision to overturn Roe v Wade next month, 26 states are certain or likely to ban abortion. For those who want to protect abortion rights, a governor’s veto pen is about to become all the more powerful.

The probable end of Roe has raised the stakes in gubernatorial races across the country, particularly in states with Republican-led legislatures that would probably move to ban abortion unless a Democratic governor steps in.

Democratic gubernatorial candidates are now stressing the urgency of the moment to voters, portraying themselves as the last line of defense against an abortion ban in their states.

“The leaked draft opinion overturning Roe v Wade makes one thing clear – the future of reproductive rights will be defined at the state level,” said Christina Amestoy, senior communications advisor for the Democratic Governors Association. “Who sits in the governor’s office will determine a woman’s ability to access abortion.”

“The reproductive freedoms of millions of Americans are on the line,” Amestoy said. “Electing Democratic governors is our best and perhaps only hope of protecting them.”

“Republicans are campaigning on extreme, fringe agendas, like banning abortion, rather than on delivering for families,” Amestoy said. “It’s a stark contrast Democratic governors and candidates can draw while they work to address the concerns voters care most about.”

Drawing that contrast is even more important for Democratic gubernatorial candidates with federal abortion legislation stalled in Congress. Last Wednesday, Senate Republicans and Democrat Joe Manchin again blocked a bill that would have codified Roe and secured abortion rights at the national level. If the supreme court does indeed overturn Roe next month without other federal protections in place, individual states’ policies will soon dictate if and how Americans can access abortion.

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Posted by Teri Perticone


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