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Pro-Choice ‘Sanctuary States’ Pledge to Be ‘Legal Shield’ For Anyone Seeking An Abortion

Pro-Choice ‘Sanctuary States’ Pledge to Be ‘Legal Shield’ For Anyone Seeking An Abortion

Only 38% of women of reproductive age live in states that have shown support for abortion rights, according to the research organization Guttmacher Institute. In contrast, 58% live in states that have demonstrated hostility towards abortion rights. Only 4% of women live in middle-ground states. Meanwhile, the most recent Gallup poll showed that 80% of Americans support abortions within the first trimester without restrictions, a number that also includes viewers of Fox News.

But none of those statistics matter now that the Senate has voted against protecting abortion rights at the federal level. Blue states nationwide are already working to fortify their resources to be safe havens for those traveling from other states seeking reproductive care.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – MAY 07: Abortion-rights demonstrators rally before marching through downtown on May 07, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. Demonstrations across the country continue as abortion-rights and anti-abortion advocates react to the leaked initial draft majority opinion indicating the U.S. Supreme Court would overturn two abortion-related cases, which would end federal protection of abortion rights. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The entire West Coast has already established itself as a so-called “Sanctuary Zone,” with California Governor Gavin Newsom setting the example with new legislation meant to support and fortify clinics and medical professionals who’ll face an influx of new patients as Red states plan to enact restrictive abortion laws once the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. Clinics in Oregon and Washington State were already seeing their patient numbers increase thanks to new restrictions in neighboring Idaho.

Other Blue states were also being proactive before Wednesday’s unbalanced Senate vote. Last month, New York State Senator Liz Krueger introduced a bill that would shield New York doctors who offer abortion services to out-of-state patients by prohibiting law enforcement from cooperating with out-of-state investigations on abortion provisions. Similarly, her colleague State Senator Alessandra Biaggi introduced a bill that would create an abortion access fund and allow taxpayers to contribute to it. In addition to transportation costs, the fund would cover childcare services, lodging, various medical expenses, and other logistical support.

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In Connecticut, Governor Ned Lamont signed a bill into law that will protect people who provide or receive abortion services in Connecticut and are then sued in another state. The first of its kind in the country, the law that takes effect on July 1st will also improve abortion access in Connecticut by expanding the type of practitioners eligible to perform certain abortion-related care.

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