Today, Jennifer Klein, Assistant to the President and Director of the Gender Policy Council, and Julie Chavez Rodriguez, Senior Advisor to the President and Director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, chaired a meeting with state legislative leaders from states that have banned abortion. During the meeting, participants discussed efforts to protect access to reproductive health care in these states where reproductive rights are under attack.
Since the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade on June 24, 2022, Republican elected officials across the country have moved to enforce abortion bans – including in states with archaic pre-Roe laws, such as Wisconsin (1849) and Arizona (1864). More than a dozen states currently have abortion bans in effect, including more than a dozen near-total bans from the moment of fertilization, and a dozen with no exceptions for rape or incest. Many of these state laws have extreme punishments for health care providers, such as Alabama’s law, which could imprison doctors for 99 years or life for performing an abortion. Texas’s law threatens physicians with life in prison and fines no less than $100,000 for performing abortions, putting the lives and health of women at risk. Already, news reports from across the country show the devastating impact these bans are inflicting on doctor-patient relationships, access to care, and women’s health more broadly.
State legislative leaders across the country are on the frontlines of defending access to reproductive health care. In the meeting, participants discussed anticipated attacks on reproductive health care access in upcoming legislative sessions, as well as affirmative policies they are exploring to support the populations living under these draconian bans. White House Senior Officials thanked the leaders for their efforts and ongoing partnership with the White House to protect access to reproductive health care, and reiterated the President’s commitment to ensuring access to reproductive health care nationwide, including by prioritizing a bill to codify Roe into law in the next Congress.
State legislative leaders included:
- South Carolina Senate Minority Leader Brad Hutto
- Ohio House Minority Leader Allison Russo
- Missouri House Minority Floor Leader Crystal Quade
- Texas State Representative Donna Howard
- Arizona State Representative Raquel Teran
- Alabama State Representative Merika Coleman
- Georgia State Senator Nan Orrock
- Louisiana State Representative Mandie Landry
- Mississippi State Representative Zakiya Summers
- Tennessee State Senator London Lamar
- West Virginia State Delegate Danielle Walker
- Wisconsin State Representative Lisa Subeck