Believing ‘Roe’ will be overturned, GOP lawmakers across the country are plotting draconian restrictions on birth control and abortion.
The Supreme Court appears ready to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision that guaranteed women the right to seek an abortion without excessive government restriction. Just one week after the draft opinion of conservative Justice Samuel Alito was leaked, Republican legislators across the country are starting to make clear just how excessive and restrictive they plan to be in a post-Roe world.
Despite the fact that access to abortion is broadly popular, Republicans are set to impose their own beliefs on the country, both at the state and federal level. Threats of full-on abortion bans, criminalization of legitimate healthcare, and restrictions of other birth control methods are all on the table. Below is a list of the many proposed restrictions on abortion and birth control that are being plotted across the country.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has floated the possibility of Republican lawmakers seeking a federal abortion ban.
Senator Marco Rubio of Florida introduced a bill that would ban companies from paying the travel costs for employees who need to cross state lines in order to get access to abortion care.
Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee has suggested contraceptives should only be available to married couples.
Blake Masters, a Republican candidate for Senator in Arizona, announced that he would only vote for Supreme Court justices who would overturn cases that protect the right to contraceptives. Masters wants access to contraceptives to be a state-level decision.
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, a Republican, has signaled support for a law that would ban abortions after just six weeks, according to the Montgomery Advertiser. The governor said she would have to consider any proposed exceptions for rape or incest, but suggested she would not support exceptions for sexual assault.
Several prominent Alaskan Republicans are seeking to hold a constitutional convention that would allow residents of the state to vote on an amendment to the state’s constitution to ban abortion, according to Alaska’s News Source. Republican State Representative Chris Kurka has also proposed legislation that would potentially make getting an abortion a felony.
Arkansas already has a “trigger law” on the books that would ban abortions in the state if Roe is overturned, but only if the state’s Attorney General enacts it. The state’s law would ban abortion in all cases except to save the life of the mother. Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, a Republican, said, “It will be my honor and a privilege of my lifetime” to ban abortion, according to Time.
Colorado has affirmed its support for abortion access and passed an abortion rights law, but Republicans are seeking to challenge it. Lori Saine, a Republican county commissioner, is seeking to pass a local ordiance that would ban abortion within Weld County, according to CPR News. Republican candidates for governor in Colorado have also proposed abortion restrictions.
Florida has already passed a 15-week abortion ban, and could seek harsher restrictions. Republican state Senator Ileana Garcia stated that she would like to do away with exceptions for victims of rape, incest, and human trafficking because, she says, “When the girl or the woman gets pregnant, and they can’t make her get an abortion, or she doesn’t want to get an abortion, or they can’t get her to a place to get an abortion, they don’t use her anymore, so they release her from the human trafficking ring.”
Idaho Republicans are seeking to push the state’s Supreme Court to end a stay on a restrictive abortion law that would ban abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, according to the Idaho Capital Sun. Republican state representative Brent Crane has also floated the possibility of banning access to Plan B, abortion pills, and intrauterine devices (IUDs).
Republican lawmakers in Indiana have called on the state’s Governor, Republican Eric Holcomb, to call a special session to enact new abortion restrictions if Roe is overturned.
Following the leaked draft of the Supreme Court’s Roe decision, the town of Willey, Iowa voted to ban abortion within its borders.
Republicans in Kansas are seeking to remove protections for abortion access from the state’s constitution. Lawmakers in the state have also proposed a bill that would ban abortion, punishing people who get the procedure with up to 20 years in prison. The bill makes no exception for rape or incest.
In perhaps the most extreme proposed legislation in the country, Republican lawmakers in Louisiana are seeking to pass a law that would define life as starting “at fertilization.” Doing so would criminalize forms of birth control including Plan B, would effectively outlaw in vitro fertilization, and would potentially penalize pregnant people for miscarriages. The law would allow for charging both a parent who seeks an abortion and a doctor who provides one with murder, according to the Daily Advertiser.
Mississippi already has strict abortion restrictions on its books, with a trigger law that outlaws most abortions with exceptions in the case of rape or threat to the life of the mother. The state may seek to go farther. Republican Governor Tate Reeves refused to rule out the possibility of banning contraceptives.
Republicans in Missouri are seeking a constitutional amendment that would ban abortion access within the state. They have also proposed a legislative ban on abortion that would provide exceptions only for medical emergency, not for rape or incest. Some Republicans in the state have proposed banning residents from traveling out of state to receive abortion care.
State law in Montana protects abortion access. In response, anti-abortion advocates in the state have started lobbying lawmakers to either introduce a constitutional amendment to ban abortion in Montana or replace the state’s entire Supreme Court in order to nullify a previous state law that protects the right to abortion care, according to the Kansas Reflector.
In response to the leaked Roe opinion, Republican lawmakers in Nebraska introduced a bill that would ban abortion after the first trimester and attempted to pass it without debate, but failed.
Republican lawmakers in North Carolina have declared their intentions to seek a statewide ban on abortion in 2023, using the issue as a wedge in upcoming statewide elections.
In Ohio, there are multiple efforts to restrict abortion. Republican Governor Mike DeWine said the state will seek to reinstate its “heartbeat” law, which bans abortions after a heartbeat is dedicated. This can occur as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. Ohio state Representative Jean Schmidt, a Republican, has proposed a strict abortion ban that would not offer exceptions in the case of rape or incest because, Schmidt says, the pregnancy is “an opportunity for that woman, no matter how young or old she is, to make a determination about what she’s going to do to help that life be a productive human being.”
Copying neighboring Texas, Oklahoma’s Repbulican Governor Kevin Stitt passed into law a six-week abortion ban that encourages citizens to report any person who receives an abortion.
On May 19, the state’s legislature passed a bill that went even further than initially proposed. It limits nearly all abortions by defining an unborn child as “a human fetus or embryo in any stage of gestation from fertilization until birth.”
While abortion is legal in Pennsylvania and the current governor, Democrat Tom Wolf, has affirmed that right, Republicans in the state plan to challenge it. All major Republican candidates running for governor and attorney general in the state have voiced support for an abortion ban in Pennsylvania, according to the New York Times.
If Roe v. Wade is overturned, South Carolina’s Republican governor, Henry McMaster, said he would call a special session to pass laws restricting abortion in the state, enacting a “heartbeat” law and providing no exception for rape or incest.
With abortion restrictions already on the books, Tennessee Republicans are seeking out ways to prevent other forms of birth control. Last week, Republican Governor Bill Lee signed into law new criminal penalties for distributing abortion pills through telehealth services and through the mail, including fines up to $50,000 for doctors who prescribe the drugs.
Texas already has some of the strictest abortion laws in the country and continues to seek new ways to crack down on the important form of healthcare. Republicans in the state have started to seek paths toward banning contraceptives like Plan B.
Though Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin downplayed his position on abortion during his candidacy for governor, he has voiced his support for new, restrictive abortion laws in the state. A ban on abortion after 20 weeks may have enough support within the state’s split legislature to pass. Additional bills that would add clerical hurdles to getting abortion, like written consent requirements, may also get voted on.
Lawmakers in West Virginia have signaled that they would allow an anti-abortion law from the 19th century, which makes the procedure a felony and carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison, to go back into effect if Roe is repealed. It’s not clear if the law is enforceable.
Republican candidate for Governor Rebecca Kleefisch has repeatedly said she would support a statewide ban on abortion with no exceptions in the case of rape or incest. Previously, she said women who have a child as a result of a rape should “turn lemons into lemonade.”
Republicans in Wyoming recently passed a trigger law that would go into effect after Roe is overturned. It would ban abortion in the state, with exceptions for rape and incest, five days after the Supreme Court decision is official.