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Mid-terms may determine access to abortion in these states

In Wisconsin,capsized last Friday Roev. The Supreme Court's decision, Wade, took place almost instantly. Effect: As soon as the judge gave his opinion, healthcare providers across the state immediately stopped providing abortion.

This is one of the states in Wisconsin that has already enacted a law banning abortion that remained beforeRoe established the right to abortion in 1973. Because it is one. It dates back to 1849, the year after Wisconsin became a state. The law is not used in modern times, and Wisconsin's Attorney General Josh Kaul has promised not to enforce it, but the Supreme Court's ruling suddenly chooses local prosecutors to act under the law. It meant that I could do it. Therefore, providers treat abortion as virtually illegal until something happens to clarify the situation.

State Democratic leaders are now struggling to find something.

On Tuesday, Cowl filed a proceeding to challenge the feasibility of the 173-year-old law, and Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers Democrats said, "From every angle," to protect the right to abortion. I'm here, "he told TIME. situation. But politics is challenging. Republicans control the Wisconsin Senate and the Legislature, limiting Democrats' ability to pass laws that protect the right to abortion. This year, both Cowl and Evers are aiming for reelection, confronting Republican opponents who have promised to uphold the 1849 law. These Wisconsin races are now receiving national attention as midterm elections are approaching and the state is watching to ban abortion.

It's not just Wisconsin. About half of the states are expected toban or severely limit abortion within a few months, with 20 states and D. C. Are working to protect access to abortion, but a few groups are at stake. Nine states are currently contesting the legality ofabortion. In at least six of Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Arizona, North Carolina, and Kansas, the results of the 2022 midterm elections may determine thefuture of abortion rights in the near future. there is.

In most of these nine states, abortion has become atop campaign topicDemocrats have taken advantage of this issue to activatebases andHope to keep a moderate suburban swing voter. , Holds the key to their success in recent elections, while Republicans are taking a mixed approach. Republican candidates in some states have doubled their support for abortion bans with limited or exception, while others have been silent on controversial topics in the week since the June 24 ruling. Instead, it focuses on broader criticism of the economy or the Democratic Party.

These state-level competitions for state governors, prosecutors, judges, legislatures, and ballot initiatives of the Supreme Court continue to develop the full effect of the Supreme Court's decisions. However, it is a major field nationwide.

Governor and Attorney General Race

Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania provide the perfect case study. In all three states, the Republicans dominate the legislature and the Democrats dominate the governor's mansion. All three current Democratic governors have vetoed anti-abortion bills passed by Republican lawmakers in the past and are now a major obstacle to anti-abortion bills.

Wisconsin Governor Evers is trying various tactics to prevent the state's abortion ban. He convened a special legislative session earlier this month to abolish the 1849 law. When Republicans postponed without action, Evers promised to pardon doctors charged under the law and announced that he would not appoint a state prosecutor who agreed to enforce the law. Says he is still considering further presidential action.

"We will do everything we can," Evers tells TIME. "There are several states around us that can help us provide the services we need, but that's not the answer. It's a stop gap."

Evers also said of the Attorney General of Wisconsin. Supports Cowl's recentproceedings. Roev. The Wadeproceeding faces a difficult court battle as conservatives are likely to be brought to the state Supreme Court, which has a 4 to 3 majority. Cowl is confident that his argument will win. "We are right to the law," he told TIME, adding that the consequences of the court battle were serious.

"A sexual assault nurse examiner has already contacted our office with questions about whether the law applies in the case of emergency contraception, rape or incest, etc." "Cowl says. "We have this 19th century law that people are trying to apply to 21st century medicine, and, of course, the wording of the statute obscures important questions."

Read more:Maternal mortality in the United States could be even worse without the Roe v. Wade case

Republican opposition to both Cowl State Justice Secretaries have stated that they have enforced the 1849 law and criticized him for filing a lawsuit. "The Attorney General's job is to uphold the law, not to overturn it. Former Stunt Adam Jarchow said in astatementFond du Lac, Wisconsin. Eric Tony called the movementcalleda "political stunt."

The Wisconsin Governor's race reflects a similar standoff. All potential Republican opponents of Evers have stated that they will enforce the 1849 law. AP

A Republican in Wisconsin said he could renew the 1849 ban next year. Evers says that if he wins the reelection, he will refuse such efforts.

A recent Marquette University Law Schoolpollhas shown that Evers will lead each Republican challenger, but the race is expected to be tough. A Marquette poll conducted a week before the Supreme Court's decision on Roefound that Republican voters were more enthusiastic about voting than Democrats. However, veteran Democratic pollster Celinda Lake said the abortion could suddenly create "rising concerns" that could motivate Democratic voters anew. The issue of abortion "was already a very clear distinction in many races," she says. "If anything, the difference will be more pronounced, and I think it can have a big impact on Senate races, Governor races, and AG races."

Continued Read:Democrats want to do more with Viden about abortion, but he faces tricky legal challenges

Like Wisconsin, there are old abortion bans in Michigan that make abortion a felony except for rape and incest. This is from 1931. A lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood has been temporarily blocked in state court. Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer has also filed a proceeding against the 91-year-old law for violating due process and equal protection provisions of the State Constitution. She recentlyrepeated a call to the State Supreme Court to review her case and to decide whether the Michigan Constitution protects the right to abortion.

Whitmer and Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel are also looking to be reelected, and Republican opponents, like Wisconsin, saysupports the 1931 ban

State-level The race in Pennsylvania, where abortion is currently legal until the 24th week of pregnancy, is similarly uproar. Pennsylvania already has many abortion restrictions, and Democratic Governor Tom Wolfe rejected several anti-abortion bills during his tenure.

Wolf cannot be run again due to a time limit. His successor, Democratic candidate, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, said he would also refuse to limit abortion. However, his Republican opponent Doug Mastriano said he would support a total ban on abortion withwithout exception, including the life of a pregnant person.

If Mastriano wins in Pennsylvania, the Republican-controlled legislature is almost certain to change the state's abortion law. This will be a major change for one of the most populous states in the country. And if Michigan and Wisconsin finally ban abortion, it will leave little access to the procedure in Upper Midwest and Rust Belt.

New focus on the legislature

In some states, such as Arizona and Georgia, abortion is already restricted by the middle of November. It may be. However, the composition of the state legislature may determine future changes to the state's abortion law.

Arizona's 15-week abortion ban is expected to come into effect in September. The state also has a 1901 law on books that criminalize all abortions unless the life of a pregnant person is at stake. State Republican Justice Secretary Mark Benovichannouncedon Wednesday, requesting the court to revoke the old injunction that blocked the 1901 law, thereby permitting enforcement. Both positions could change the party's hand this year, as Benovich is ready for reelection and state Republican Governor Doug Duchy has a limited term.

But Arizona is also where the Democrats want to make a profit in the Republican-dominated state legislature. "The decision ofRoegives us the opportunity to further the attack," said Jessica Post, chairman of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC), which supports Democratic candidates in the state legislature. I am saying.

DLCC hopes to win seats in Arizona, Pennsylvania, Senate, and Georgia Capitol this year.It will play to turn over the Republican majority in the Senate of New Hampshire, Michigan, and Minnesota. DLCC has also seen increased support for abortion, Post says. After the Supreme Court draft leaked in May, the group raised $ 650,000 in the first 48 hours. In the first 48 hours after the court's decision last Friday, it was raised to almost four times the previous month at that time.

Democrats turn to "non-radical" mainstream Americans

Democratic strategists expect the party to be in the suburbs It has said. Voting by the Supreme Court's decision. The suburbs of Maricopa County and Philadelphia around Phoenix are particularly mature for the Democratic Party, and are co-founders of Forward Majority, a Democratic group that was launched after Trump was elected to focus on state parliamentary elections. One David Cohen said.

"This court has a fundamental view of the future, and in my experience with swing voters, they aren't radical. That's all," Cohen says. "This view will be uniformly rejected by mainstream Americans."

North Carolina has a large suburb around Raleigh, and the legislature decides the future of abortion policy. Another state that can help you. Abortion is legal for up to 20 weeks, and Democratic Governor Roy Cooper is not scheduled to be reelected this year. However, Republican lawmakers are aiming for aveto-free majority. This will allow you to pass the new abortion restrictions. That goal is not out of reach. The Republican Party currently holds 28 of the 50 state legislative seats, two less than the veto majority. It also occupies 69 of the 120 seats in the House of Representatives.

In 2023, Virginia's legislative elections will be key to access to abortion. Democrats spent millions of dollars last year trying to defeat Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin, emphasizing his opposition to abortion, but voters still elected him. .. Currently, Yongkin has demanded an abortion banfor at least 15 weeks in the state, and said he will accept stricter restrictions. "Virginia will be a big focus for us in 2023. We have to regain the House of Representatives and maintain a majority of Democrats in the Legislature," Post says.

The stakes are considerable. Virginia accepts many out-of-state patients from the South, where abortion is rapidly banned. Losing an oasis of abortion rights will force many to travel much longer distances to find promises.

Read more:What to do after an abortion donor in an anti-abortion country

According to theBoltwatching, the majority of the factions could change hands this fall in the Supreme Court of North Carolina, Ohio, Illinois, and Michigan. I have. , Track down ballot races. In North Carolina, where the Democratic Party currently has a majority of four to three, shifts can have a significant impact on access to abortion. The democratic majority is likely to break the state's abortion restrictions, and the Republican majority is likely to support future bans. In Ohio, where Republicans are now the majority, Democrats want to change that balance.

Democrats also need to defend in Michigan and Illinois. In Michigan and Illinois, there is a risk of losing the majority of the existing Supreme Court of State. The DLCC plans to have the State Supreme Court consider reorganizing the constituency and throw support behind a race that may determine the state's legislature.

Voting Initiative

The last major way midterm elections can affect access to abortion is through voting initiatives. Most notable is Kansas, where voters will amend the State Constitution on August 2 to decide whether to saynot support the right to abortion. The proposed amendmentexplicitly empowers Republican-controlled state legislatures to pass new abortion restrictions or bans. This overturns the previous ruling of the State's majority Democratic Supreme Court in 2019, stating that the Kansas Constitution protects physical autonomy.

Currently, Kansas is legal for abortion until the 22nd week of pregnancy, and the state is now an important outpost for abortion access in the Midwest. Democratic Governor Laura Kelly is undoubtedly a challenging battle, but is aiming for reelection, with Republicans occupying a majority in both houses of parliament. Therefore, without the protection of the State Constitution, Kansas could have more restrictions on abortion.

Michigan Democrats also want to take steps to codify the right to abortion on the November ballot. Proponents are still collecting signatures for qualification measures, which could be another way for abortion advocates to try to protect state procedures.

Many of these abortion laws in fierce battle states will not be resolved until at least November, but access conditions may continue to change even before that. With more states banning abortions in the coming weeks, the Supreme Court's ruling has launched a number of court battles over laws already in force. This year's elections in the remaining states, where the law is unclear and partisan rule is on the ballot, are now very important, as many countries have restricted access to abortion and other forms of assisted reproductive technology.

Abigail Abrams (abigail .abrams@time.com)