Joe Biden is meeting with state legislators today to encourage them to pass more state laws promoting abortions up to birth.
In the wake of the Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade, pro-life lawmakers are focused on passing abortion bans to protect women and unborn children. But Biden wants blue states to pass laws legalizing the killing of innocent babies in abortions up to birth or enshrining abortions up to birth in state constitutions.
The White House is playing host to roughly 50 Democrat state lawmakers from 31 states this weeks state legislatures across the country prepare for their new legislative sessions in January. Biden also wants pro-abortion legislators to try to pass laws watering down or repealing abortion bans in red states.
Those expected to attend the meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday include Georgia House Minority Leader James Beverly, Florida House Minority Leader Fentrice Driskell and Idaho House Minority Leader Ilana Rubel, according to the White House.
The aim is to give state lawmakers a to-do list for the upcoming legislative session, though meeting those goals will be nearly impossible in states where Republicans are in control. The meetings come as Democrats are increasingly focused on making inroads in state governments in part through better alignment on top issues, a political tactic that helped the GOP secure leadership in 23 states.
“This is not going away anytime soon,” said Jen Klein of the Biden administration’s Gender Policy Council. “Tens of millions of Americans are living under bans of various sorts, many of them quite extreme, and even in states where abortion is legal, we’re all seeing the impact on providers and on systems being loaded by people who are coming across state lines.”
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The meetings follow sit-downs with roughly nine governors, attorneys general and Democratic state legislators from more than 30 states.
The administration, meanwhile, is implementing Biden’s executive orders signed in July and August that directed federal agencies to push back on abortion restrictions and protect women traveling out of their state to seek one, though some women’s rights advocates say it doesn’t go far enough.
And there are still other avenues left for the administration to explore, said Kathleen Sebelius, a former U.S. health and human services secretary.
HHS might look to wield its power around federal protections for health care providers, life-saving abortions, abortion pills and travel for women in abortion-restricted states, she said. During her tenure, for example, the agency did some policy maneuvering to expand rights for same-sex couples, including a requirement that any hospitals receiving federal funds allow their patients to select a same-sex partner as a visitor, years before gay marriage was legalized.
“It’s amazing how broad a lot of the agency’s authorities are and how much creative thinking can go on,” Sebelius said.
Following the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade some 14 states have banned abortions and are either protecting unborn babies from the moment of conception or have heartbeat laws protecting babies when their heartbeat can be detected at 6 weeks. Some states have done both.
But the battle to save babies from abortions is not over. Another 8 states are currently fighting in court to get their abortion ban or heartbeat law upheld. And a few more states could see abortion bans proposed in their state legislatures during the next legislative session, especially if elections in those states yield a pro-life governor or a pro-life legislature.
14 States Have Abortion Bans Enforced
Alabama: Alabama did not have a trigger law that immediately made abortions illegal. Instead, state officials had to secure enforcement of a 2019 pro-life law that protects babies from abortions. Following the decision, all three of Alabama’s abortion businesses stopped killing babies in abortions and a federal judge granted the state’s request to lift an injunction and allow the state to enforce the 2019 abortion ban signed into law by pro-life Governor Kay Ivey.
Arkansas: Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has certified that the trigger law for the Natural State is now in effect in accordance with Act 180 of 2019.
Georgia: The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the state’s heartbeat law can go into effect, saving babies with beating hearts from abortions.
Idaho: The Idaho Supreme Court allowed the state’s heartbeat law to be enforced that protects the lives of unborn babies when they have a detectable heartbeat at 6 weeks. The state’s highest court also rejected Planned Parenthood’s bid to block the state’s trigger law from going into effect on August 25th, which would protect babies starting at conception.
Kentucky: Babies will once continue to be protected from abortions in Kentucky following a state Supreme Court ruling reinstating the ban as the lawsuit from two abortion businesses against it proceeds.
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Louisiana: The Louisiana Supreme Court issued a ruling allowing the state’s abortion ban to continue saving babies from abortions while the lawsuit against it from abortion businesses continues.
Mississippi: Mississippi was one of 10 states to ban abortions following the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Thanks to a state judge who denied a request from Mississippi’s last remaining abortion business to stay open, the new ban protecting babies is in effect.
Missouri: Minutes after the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, Missouri became the first state to invoke a trigger law banning all abortions in the state, except in cases of medical emergency. Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt issued an opinion that would trigger parts of a state House bill that outlaws almost all abortions in the state.
Oklahoma: Before Roe was overturned, Oklahoma had the distinction of becoming the first in the nation to successfully ban abortions from conception when Governor Kevin Stitt signed its Texas-style abortion ban. But, with the Supreme Court reversing Roe, the state’s trigger ban has gone into effect — which successfully bans abortions without having to rely on a private enforcement mechanism.
South Dakota: The state become the 2nd after Roe fell to invoke its trigger ban protecting babies.
Tennessee: The Tennessee trigger law went into effect on August 25th to protect babies from abortions.
Texas: As the first state in the nation to successfully ban abortions thanks to its private right of action law, Texas has seen its abortions drop over 50% as a result. Then, a pre-Roe abortion law went into effect immediately following the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade that provided protection for babies starting at conception.Now, its trigger law has gone into effect for the strongest pro-life law possible.
West Virginia: West Virginia Gov Jim Justice has signed the abortion ban and it protects babies from conception.
Wisconsin: The state’s pre-Roe abortion ban is now in effect and all abortion businesses have reportedly stopped killing babies. But abortion activists are fighting to overturn the law in court.
8 States are Fighting in Court to Save Their Abortion Ban
The state of Arizona, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, South Carolina, North Dakota, Utah and Wyoming are all fighting in court to protect their abortion bans so babies can be saved.
Iowa appears likely to keep its abortion ban in place thanks to a change in the makeup of the state Supreme Court and reversing a decision falsely claiming the state constitution allows a right to abortion. South Carolina’s heartbeat bill will likely be upheld bu its conservative Supreme Court — and the same is expected in the rest of the states.
Michigan is the least likely of the bunch to see its pre-Roe abortion ban saved and its governor Gretchen Whitmer is aggressively fighting to kill it.
Ultimately, if all of these abortion bans are upheld, 22 states will protect babies from abortions.
Other States With the Potential to Protect Babies From Abortions
Several other states have the potential to pass abortion bans protecting babies.
Florida is one of the most likely and the state is currently fighting to get state courts to uphold its 15-week abortion ban. A state appeals court ruled it can be enforce while the lawsuit continues and, should the lawsuit be successful and the misuse of the privacy clause in the state constitution to confer a right to abortion overcome, then an abortion ban is the next step. Governor Ron DeSantis would sign it into law immediately as he signed the 15-week ban.
Nebraska is the second most likely state to ban abortions. Governor Pete Ricketts wants an abortion ban but the unicameral legislature is one vote short of having the two-thirds necessary to overcome a Democrat filibuster. Pro-life voters need to work hard to elect more pro-life members so the state can protect babies.
North Carolina, Virginia and Pennsylvania are three states that are longer shots to ban abortions. Virginia has a pro-life governor but needs more pro-life legislators to get a bill to Governor Youngkin’s desk. North Carolina has a pro-abortion governor but a pro-life supermajority that can pass an abortion ban over his veto.
Florida, Nebraska and North Carolina — the most likely three — could make it so half the country protects babies from abortions.
Alaska and Montana are also possibilities to ban abortions but both are dealing with state Supreme Court decisions that have misused the privacy clause of their state constitution to declare abortions are legal. If they can change the courts and overcome those decisions, they have a chance to protect babies.
The only other possible state to protect babies is Kansas — though the recent vote on its pro-life amendment may crush its hopes of protecting babies for a few years. It will need to elect a pro-life governor, change its Supreme Court, pass an abortion ban, and get a new decision overturning the ruling misusing the privacy clause to confer an abortion right. That’s a long-term project, and like Alaska and Montana, its akin to having to wait to overturn Roe.
31 State Maximum
If every one of the states in each of these three categories can ban abortions, then 31 total states — over three-fifths of America — would protect babies from abortions. It’s virtually impossible to see any of the other 20 states banning abortions any time in the near future because they are run by pro-abortion Democrats and have been for a long time.