“The issue of abortion has been turned over to the states,” Gary Bauer, the longtime conservative activist, summarized in an AFR interview. “We need to make sure that we do all the things we have to do to ensure that as many states as possible have pro-life laws.”
Bauer’s observation of a state-by-state fight was seconded by none other than the far-left ACLU. “We must turn to the political process,” the ACLU’s executive director wrote this week, “and increase pressure on elected officials—especially at the state and local level.”
In recent days, AFN has interviewed several pro-life leaders to learn what is happening on the state level where a political and cultural fight is being waged.
Ohio: Pro-life AG raced to court
In Ohio, Elizabeth Whitmarsh of Ohio Right to Life says the issue there is a heartbeat law that was challenged in federal court. After last week’s Roe ruling, Ohio's pro-life attorney general Dave Yost filed a motion in court to stop the injunction against the heartbeat law.
“He acted immediately, within the hour,” Whitmarsh says of Yost. “And then, by the end of the day, the federal judge who had the injunction on that removed it. And the heartbeat law went into effect.”
In the Ohio legislature, pro-life legislators are “100 percent committed” to banning abortion in the state with legislation to make it happen, Whitmarsh tells AFN. She is confident Gov. Mike DeWine, a Republican, will sign that legislation.
Texas: Some clinics still open
Kimberly Schwartz of Texas Right to Life tells AFN abortion is illegal in the state but abortion clinics in Dallas and in Houston are still operating in defiance of state law.
How does she know? The pro-life group called the clinics personally to ask if they were still open. Three clinics said they were open so the pro-life group contacted law enforcement authorities to report them.
Wisconsin politicians defend abortion
Wisconsin pro-lifers are watching their abortion-supporting governor and attorney general, both Democrats, defy the Dobbs ruling and also ignore an 1800s state law banning abortion.
The state’s governor is Tony Evers, who is serving his first term, and the attorney general is Josh Kaul.
“They are not in favor of ensuring that the law is enforced and effective,” Gracie Skogman, of Wisconsin Right to Life, complains. “They are not in favor of defending innocent preborn lives here in Wisconsin, which is disappointing but not shocking.”
“I will never stop fighting,” Evers said in a post-ruling statement, “to ensure every Wisconsinite has the right to consult their family, their faith, and their doctor and make the reproductive healthcare decision that is right for them…”
Gov. Evers went on to claim abortion should be decided “without interference” from members of the Supreme Court who don’t understand the “circumstances” behind a person’s decision to get an abortion. The high court’s ruling, in reality, simply said Roe was a terribly flawed legal decision that wrongly found the right to abortion in the U.S. Constitution.
The justices didn’t argue “circumstances” in the legal opinion written by Antonin Scalia.
California will pay in-state expenses
According to an Associated Press story, blue-state governors such as California’s Gavin Newsom are pledging to make their boundaries an abortion “sanctuary” in coming weeks and months, much like they have welcomed illegal aliens during the Trump administration.
That pledge now includes using taxpayers’ money to fund abortions, too. California has created a $20 million “Abortion Practical Support Fund” to help women pay for everything from airfare to gas money to help terminate their pregnancy. But that fund only covers in-state travel, which is angering abortion groups since Newsom and other Democrats are bragging about their pledge to be a welcoming state.
"Including out-of-state travel is absolutely necessary,” the leader of an abortion group said, “to reduce the barriers and burdens to those who are coming from hostile states.”