Democratic governors in 20 states are launching a network intended to strengthen abortion access in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision nixing a woman’s constitutional right to end a pregnancy and instead shifting regulatory powers over the procedure to state governments.
Organizers, led by California Gov. Gavin Newsom, described the Reproductive Freedom Alliance as a way for governors and their staffs to share best practices and affirm abortion rights for the approximately 170 million Americans who live in the consortium’s footprint — and even ensuring services for the remainder of U.S. residents who live in states with more restrictive laws.
“We can all coalesce,” New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said in an interview ahead of a Tuesday announcement. She added that the court’s Dobbs decision that ended a national right to abortion “horrified” and put pressure on governors to act. “This is leveraging our strengths … to have more of a national voice.”
That includes, organizers said, sharing model statutory language and executive orders protecting abortion access, ways to protect abortion providers from prosecution, strategies to maximize federal financing for reproductive health care such as birth control, and support for manufacturers of abortion medication and contraceptives that face potential new restrictions from conservatives.