Dem 51
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GOP 49
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Democratic Governors Pledge to Protect Abortion

Two Democratic governors, J.B. Pritzker (D-IL) and Roy Cooper (D-NC), are on the hot seat. Their states have become regional hubs for providing abortions to out-of-state women who can't get them at home. In an interview yesterday, Pritzker said: "People come to Illinois to exercise what are their fundamental rights, and they're being denied in other states, every state around us, and then another ring of states around them." Pritzker made it abundantly clear that not only will he protect the right to an abortion for women who live in Illinois, but also for women who live in other states who come to Illinois to get an abortion they can't get back home. And this is not just idle talk to a reporter. In January, he signed a bill providing legal protection to out-of-state residents who come to his state for an abortion. This means if another governor tries to get information about out-of-state women who came to Illinois for an abortion, Pritzker can say: "Illinois state law forbids me from telling you, so buzz off."

North Carolina has become a regional hub for providing abortions to women in the South, especially South Carolina, Kentucky, and Tennessee, but also other states. Cooper knows this and yesterday again said he "wouldn't back down" when it comes to reproductive freedom. Then he added: "Get politicians out of the exam room with women and their doctors." The North Carolina state legislature is working on a law to greatly curtail the practice, but Cooper has said he will veto it. The legislature is a tad shy of the two-thirds majority needed to override his certain veto.

There are two other states that have liberal abortion laws but are close to states that don't: Colorado and Kansas. Both have Democratic governors. Although they weren't in the news yesterday, they undoubtedly feel the same way as Pritzker and Cooper. Florida also has a pretty liberal abortion law, but that is tied up in the courts now and the president of the Florida state Senate doesn't want to consider any new laws on the subject until the Florida Supreme Court has ruled on the matter. (V)

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