Voters will determine the future of abortion laws in these five states, which account for more than half the US territory for elections.
In 2016, all told, five states would become battlegrounds in the Supreme Court battle over abortion rights. They are California, Washington, Hawaii, New Mexico and Michigan. (California and Hawaii are on the opposite coast, but that’s as far east as you can get in the US. The state with the least abortion policies in the country, New Mexico, is on the Great Plains).
While all five are heavily Democratic, in each there’s a pro-life Democrat and a pro-choice Democrat who have a history of running for office together. This is the Republican party’s last stand.
California has three votes on the court this fall, one more than Republicans have in the past. The Democrats’ two best hope is to hold on to their seats. Either way, it’s a safe Republican seat.
Meanwhile, in Washington, the pro-life democrats have been running against abortion rights in Congress for years. The two parties were split last November on repealing the Affordable Care Act, which has made health care more affordable for many Californians. Prochoice Democrats in Washington voted no.
In Hawaii, Republicans picked a pro-life Democrat in one of the most pro-life state legislatures in the country for governor. But the Democratic party is also in a tight race for US Senate.
In New Mexico, the pro-choice Democrat is pro-abortion rights, but the pro-choice voters have a new candidate to fight for their rights.
Michigan is the only state where Trump won by 20 percentage points. Republicans are fighting to keep it blue.
Abortion activists expect to see many battles to come on the court. There is a Republican senator in Washington state, where the state is moving forward with the ban on late-term abortions.
We’ve been following the fight for years, and I’ve been in the ring, I’ve seen it – we need to change this system and we need to make sure that our voices are heard in the courtrooms.
The five states are among the most important states for abortion rights. In California, the only state to ban abortion on demand nationwide, more than 2,300 clinics perform abortions every day.