GOP Abortion Rift Again On Display As Indiana House Votes To Keep Rape Exception
The Republican-dominated House voted 61-39 to defeat an amendment to its abortion bill that would have removed exceptions for rape or incest. This follows a similar outcome last week in the state senate. Meanwhile in Florida, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has launched a fight against a Democratic prosecutor who has said he will refuse to prosecute abortion crimes.
Indiana Lawmakers Vote To Keep Exceptions From Abortion Ban
A deeply divided Indiana House voted Thursday to keep exceptions in cases of rape or incest in a bill that would ban nearly all abortions in the state. The Republican-dominated House voted 61-39 to defeat an amendment that would have removed those exceptions, with a majority of GOP members wanting their removal. (Rodgers and Davies, 8/4)
Banning Abortions In Clinics Would Reduce Access To Care, Advocates Say
An amendment adopted by a House committee earlier this week would terminate the licensure of abortion clinics, meaning the procedure could only be performed at hospitals and ambulatory outpatient surgical centers owned by hospitals. Currently, 98% of abortions in Indiana take place in abortion clinics. (Herron, 8/5)
Abortion news from Louisiana, Missouri, and Florida —
Louisiana Abortion Providers File Appeal, Hope To Block Ban
Abortion-rights advocates hope Louisiana’s near-total ban of the procedure will soon be blocked again, after plaintiffs in an ongoing legal challenge filed an appeal with the state Supreme Court Thursday. Access to abortion in Louisiana has been back-and-forth for weeks, with the state’s three clinics relying on court rulings and temporary restraining orders to continue operations. (Cline, 8/4)
Missouri Dems Turn To Illinois, Kansas For Abortion Help
A top Democratic state lawmaker from Republican-led Missouri on Wednesday wrote to the Democratic Illinois and Kansas governors asking for help paying for abortions for out-of-state Medicaid patients. Missouri House Democratic Minority Leader Crystal Quade called on Illinois and Kansas to apply for Medicaid waivers to cover abortions for out-of-state patients. (Ballentine, 8/4)
The Washington Post:
DeSantis Suspends Elected Democratic Prosecutor Who Signed Pledge On Abortion Cases
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) suspended the Tampa Bay area’s top state prosecutor Thursday after he vowed not to prosecute potential crimes related to abortion restrictions or gender-affirming care for minors. Legal experts described the decision to suspend Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren (D) as alarming because it appears to be punishing an elected official exercising prosecutorial discretion on issues the governor disagrees with. (Rozsa, 8/4)
A GOP Talking Point Suggests Birth Control Is Not At Risk. Evidence Suggests Otherwise.
Republicans who oppose abortion have new talking points — birth control will remain easily available in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision overturning the federal right to abortion, and when Democrats say otherwise, they are just trying to scare voters. Variations on this claim were made by a series of Republicans on the House floor July 21 during debate on a bill that would add a right to contraception to federal law. Democrats advanced the bill as a way to ensure the availability of birth control before some abortion opponents have a chance to see whether the Supreme Court will overturn that right, too. (Rovner, 8/5)
From Massachusetts and California —
The Boston Globe:
With Baker By Her Side, Kamala Harris Makes Case That Abortion Is Not A Partisan Issue
Harris hailed Massachusetts as a “model” for the nation on the issue as Governor Charlie Baker, a pro-abortion rights Republican who later echoed her talking points, sat to her left. “Governor, I appreciate the role, the national leadership that you have provided on this issue,” Harris said to Baker as a phalanx of Democratic lawmakers and other officials flanked her at the IBEW Local 103 headquarters in Dorchester. (Kopan, 8/4)
Los Angeles Times:
Official Proposes Law To Bolster Reproductive Rights In L.A.
Los Angeles City Atty. Mike Feuer is proposing a new law to strengthen reproductive rights and to position the city as a haven for those seeking abortion services. Feuer said the draft legislation would prohibit any pregnancy center from misrepresenting the services it performs. The proposed law would also provide women and others legal recourse if they are misled. (Petri, 8/4)
In California, Abortion Could Become A Constitutional Right. So Could Birth Control.
Californians will decide in November whether to lock the right to abortion into the state constitution. If they vote “yes” on Proposition 1, they will also lock in a right that has gotten less attention: the right to birth control. Should the measure succeed, California would become one of the first states — if not the first — to create explicit constitutional rights to both abortion and contraception. (Bluth, 8/5)
And more on the Kansas abortion vote —
Will Abortion Be On More State Ballots After Kansas Vote?
In Ohio, the Democratic nominee for governor, Nan Whaley, has called for putting an abortion rights measure on the ballot as early as next year, and efforts have started in Colorado and South Dakota for 2024. In Iowa, GOP lawmakers have taken the first step toward putting an anti-abortion measure on the ballot in 2024. (Hanna and Hollingsworth, 8/4)
Could Oklahoma See Abortion Rights Question Following Kansas Vote?
After abortion rights supporters secured a major electoral victory in Kansas on Tuesday, some Oklahomans are wondering if that success could be duplicated closer to home. Abortion rights advocates said the Kansas vote to preserve a constitutional right to abortion will likely spur serious conversations about whether Oklahomans should pursue a state question on the issue. (Forman, 8/4)
Kansas City Star:
How This Kansas Doctor Became Vocal Abortion Rights Advocate
Most physicians never speak publicly about abortion outside of putting their name on a list of supporters — both for and against. Sabrina Markese never thought she’d have to make her private, pro-choice stance known because, well, Roe v. Wade was there. But now it isn’t. (Gutierrez, 8/4)
KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: Kansas Makes A Statement
Voters in Kansas told the rest of the country this week that they don’t want their state to ban abortion. In a nearly 60%-40% split, voters turned back an effort by anti-abortion activists to amend the state constitution to remove its right to abortion, which would have allowed the legislature to ban the procedure. (8/4)