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What’s next for the abortion rights movement after Issue 1
Advocates plan to take a three-pronged approach that includes ballot referendums, proactive legislation, and litigation.
THE FIGHT GOES ON • Since the Supreme Court overturned the federal right to abortion care in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case last year, seven states have held ballot measures related to reproductive rights.
Each time voters came down on the side of abortion rights, most recently last week in Ohio when residents rejected State Issue 1—a Republican-backed effort to require a supermajority to amend the state’s constitution ahead of a vote this November to enshrine abortion rights.
“The turnout to reject [Issue 1] tells us two things: People recognized this election is about their democratic freedoms and abortion is still a driving issue for voters,” Ryan Stitzlein, vice president of political and governmental relations at NARAL Pro-Choice America, said in a statement to Supercreator Daily. “The bottom line is that you can’t win 57 percent of the vote without a diverse mix of voters across the political spectrum. This shows the momentum is on our side.”
Abortion rights groups hope to ride this momentum to even more victories at the state level.
In addition to the next Ohio ballot measure in November, Sam Lau, senior director for advocacy communications at Planned Parenthood Action Fund, said in an interview with Supercreator Daily that PPFA is also strategizing for other possible initiatives that could be on the ballot next year in states like Arizona, Florida, Missouri, Maryland, and New York.
“Every state is different,” Lau added. “In some states, yes, there will be ballot referendums. And other, I think you’re going to see reproductive rights advocates continue to push for proactive legislation at the state level. And in other places, there will be litigation to fight back against bans and other restrictions on abortion access.”
DOBBS DAMAGE • Despite the success of the ballot measures in Ohio last week—and Kansas, Michigan, California, Vermont, Kentucky, and Montana last year—abortion rights advocates say the outlook in the aftermath of the Dobbs decision is still bleak for too many people who can get pregnant. that there are still too many people who can get pregnant.
Abortion bans have eliminated all or some abortions in 21 states. And one in three women—in addition to nonbinary and trans people—now live in a state where they don’t have access to abortion. Not to mention, the anti-abortion movement has extended its attacks to medication abortion and birth control. And the leading candidates for the Republican presidential nomination all promote abortion bans of varying degrees.
Meanwhile, the current composition of Congress and its rules, including a 60-vote threshold in the Senate to pass most bills—leaves little hope for legislative intervention anytime soon.
This is the paradox many of the experts and lawmakers your Supercreator Daily author spoke to for this story or any of the others reported in the newsletter since Roe v. Wade was overturned are navigating.
They say it’s important to recognize meaningful wins like the defeat of Issue 1 while acknowledging the human suffering that people who have to travel out of state for care or get so sick that they’re about to die before they can be treated are experiencing.
“This is not an overnight or even one-cycle fight,” Lau said. “This a many-years, decades-long fight almost certainly to regain and really build back stronger the right to abortion and sexual and reproductive health care.”
The fight is also not just limited to abortion either.
“Yes, this is about reproductive rights,” Lau added. “This is also about voting rights. This is about LGBTQ+ rights. It's about gun safety—these are all interconnected. These are all about fighting to protect control over our lives, over our bodies, or our futures.”
THE POLITICAL POV • In the years following back-to-back victories by former President Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, Ohio has trended redder during the Trump era.
But the Biden campaign sees abortion as a salient enough issue that it has started to explore expanding the electoral map into states like Ohio and North Carolina for 2024 to seize voter enthusiasm on the issue.
A Democratic strategist with experience advising congressional and presidential candidates told Supercreator that President Biden has to expand his map to offset support that could be as high as 20 percent from Black men next year.
“They have to invest in the turnout for Black and brown folk, not just wait until the end of the campaign and send Jay-Z in for a free concert hoping that’s enough,” the strategist said.
These investments are especially necessary since communities of color are most impacted by abortion restrictions.
When Congress returns from August recess next month to resume consideration of the government funding bills, Democrats will continue resisting the anti-abortion riders that House Republicans have attached to virtually every piece of legislation that comes to the floor.
“We, of course, are continuing to try to support efforts to protect and enhance sexual and reproductive health care, both domestically and globally,” Lau said. “There are continued efforts to get rid of the Hyde Amendment and the Helms Amendment, and all abortion restrictions that are currently in federal law while also investing more in sexual and reproductive health care because that is needed now more than ever.”
👋🏾 HI, HEY, HELLO! Good Monday morning. It’s August 14, 2023. Thank you for reading Supercreator Daily, your guide to the politicians, power brokers, and policies shaping the American creator experience. Shout out to the Atlanta Beyhive for following your senator’s request and winning the mute challenge. Get in touch: email@example.com.
IN THE KNOW
MAUI DEATH TOLL RISES • 96 people have died and more that 1,000 are still missing after a devastating wildfire destroyed Lahaina—a historic town in Maui, Hawaii—Claire Rush, Audrey McAvoy, and Christopher Weber of the AP reported. Authorities expect the death toll to continue to rise as search-and-recovery efforts continue.
The wildfires have caused more than $1.3 billion in residential damage and will cost an estimated $5.52 billion to rebuild. Rep. Jill Tokuda (D-HI) said over the weekend that Congress has to make sure FEMA has the funds to be able to respond to disasters nationwide, which are increasing in frequency and intensity.
President Biden received updates on Sunday morning and evening from FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell. He told reporters during a bike ride in Delaware that the White House is looking at whether he will visit the scene in the upcoming days. Vice President Harris said on Friday that she would like to visit but doesn’t want to distract from the resources that need to go to the victims of the tragedy.
IL ASSAULT WEAPONS BAN UPHELD • The Illinois Supreme Court ruled the state’s assault weapons ban constitutional, a decision that overturned a lower court order, Jessica D'Onofrio, Diane Pathieu, and Craig Wall reported for ABC7 Chicago. The ban, which Democratic Gov. J. B. Pritzker signed earlier this year, still faces legal challenges in federal court.
“We need more common-sense gun safety laws to keep Americans safe, not fewer,” Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) said in a statement on X. “I won’t stop working until we pass a nationwide ban to get weapons of war off our streets for good.”
Vice President Harris called on Congress to restore the federal assault weapons ban in Chicago during a moderated conversation at the Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund’s national conference last Friday.
“It is reasonable to say that a weapon of war, a weapon that was literally designed to kill a lot of human beings quickly, has no place on the streets of a civil society,” she said. “We don’t have a moment to spare, nor do we have a life to spare on this issue.”
HOUSE DEMS CALL FOR THOMAS INVESTIGATION • A group of House Democrats—led by New Yorker Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez—asked Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas for violating the Ethics of Government Act of 1978.
The request comes after new revelations last week that Thomas received secret gifts from a network of ultrawealthy industry power brokers and executives.
The Senate Judiciary Committee passed a Supreme Court ethics code last month but it’s unlikely to pass the full Senate or be considered by the Republican–controlled House.
Reps. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and Jamie Raskin (D-MD)—the top Democrats on the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees—and Judiciary members Reps. Ted Lieu (D-CA) and Hank Johnson (D-GA) joined in the letter to Garland. Read the full letter.
And wait there’s more:
Garland appointed a special counsel in the ongoing criminal investigation into Hunter Biden, the son of President Biden. The move satisfied no one on either side of the aisle and means the current president now has more special counsel investigations than his thrice-indicted predecessor. Wild times we’re living in.
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All times Eastern
10:30 a.m. President Biden will leave Rehoboth Beach, Delaware to return to the White House, arriving at 11:25 a.m.
1 p.m. President Biden and Vice President Harris will have lunch.
Biden’s week ahead:
Tuesday: The president will travel to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to speak about the Inflation Reduction Act and Bidenomics.
Wednesday: President Biden will speak on the anniversary of the IRA.
Thursday: The president will travel to Camp David.
Friday: President Biden will greet and welcome President Yoon Suk Yeol of South Korea and Prime Minister Kishida Fumio of Japan to a trilateral summit at Camp David. The president will hold a trilateral meeting and host a joint press conference with the two leaders. Following the summit, Biden will travel from Camp David to Lake Tahoe, Nevada, where he will remain until the following Thursday.
The House is out.
The Senate is out.
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