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The new politics of abortion

2022-08-09

In a surprise to many, last week Kansas overwhelmingly voted down an anti-abortion ballot initiative. If abortion rights can win in a deep-red state, what does that mean for the midterms this fall? Join Vox policy editor Libby Nelson (@libbyanelson), Vox senior policy reporter Rachel Cohen (@rmc031), and Vox politics reporter Nicole Narea (@nicolenarea) for a conversation about the new state of abortion politics.

References:

Abortion was on the ballot in Kansas. Access won. 

Why the Kansas abortion amendment is so confusing 

The challenge of turning pro-choice Americans into pro-choice voters 

The states pushing abortion ballot measures in 2022 post-Roe

Senate Democrats slowly consider their options after Roe  

Hosts:

Libby Nelson (@libbyanelson)

Rachel Cohen (@rmc031)

Nicole Narea (@nicolenarea)

Credits:

Sofi LaLonde, producer and engineer

Libby Nelson, editorial adviser

Amber Hall, deputy editorial director of talk podcasts

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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Hello and welcome to another episode with I'm living, often policy editor at box than today and drained by rachel Cohen senor policy reporter. I and politics are border in a corner hello. This we're, going to talk about a place near and dear to my heart, kansas candidates, where I spent the first eighteen years of my life, it's the home of the best barbecue in that country. and most important for our purposes, it is also the first state since the fall. Moreover, this way to hold an election were voters waiting on abortion. What didn't, then surprise me and surprised: a lot of people, the abortion rate side, one that election pretty decisively only four
one percent of voters favorite a constitutional amendment that would essentially allow the states legislature to ban abortion if it shows in fifty nine percent of voters had now That's a very high number inputs, long been a really read state and its people wondering what it means for elections, this fall and beyond sir rachel was this kansas amendment in the vote over it actually about kansas, just for contacts the state that has a lot of abortion restrictions over the last decade. They have passed many they have mandatory waiting periods they have mandatory. Your sounds. You can't do it over telemedicine, there's limits on Holly. In a pregnancy, you can get an abortion and one of them that they pass into doesn't fifteen was a ban on a very calm second trimester abortion procedure called violation, extraction or deity, and so that specific and was challenged and court, it went all the way up to the states, supreme court and into them
Nineteen states, a broom court issued what was too in a most people, falling still a fairly surprisingly rolling The justices determine that within cans this constitution, the way that they protect personal autonomy. That includes protection of ones. it's the end of pregnancy. So basically, what that meant? while abortion restrictions are not inherently banned in kansas, as of twenty nineteen, they have to be considered narrowly tailored and the gnp banned from twenty fifteen wasn't so that was struck down and there is another one struck down the doubt- with sort of excessive health regulations on abortion clinics, but is this still remains, even after that a very highly regulated state for abortion, but this amendment essentially was was put on the ballot by anti abortion activism republican legislators to basically overturn that too.
Nineteen sedate supreme court decision to say we have no state protection to an abortion that the court ruled three years ago. So basically, what they did was they were saying. If we don't overturn this amendment, then every restriction in the state is now presumed call on constitutional, legal experts and think that was true, but that was based, The line that the anti choice advocacy groups ran with them. There is really confusing it was worded really confusingly and it was placed on this august primary ballot, basically because they knew there were be expected, lowered her then, if it were in the general action. So that was why there was a vote happening a basically. What was at stake is that without Roby wade, this constitutional protection clarified by the states supreme court in twenty nineteen was kansas, is sort of last barrier against a total or near total ban of abortion would
of kansas is republicans controlled, neighbouring states like texas. oklahoma and misery have have done we're talking about here is essentially a constitutional amendment to reverse the states, a framework decision that was the valet during a primary. These are two override states, a framework decision that is very confusing. Yes, confusing. It's unusual in the other ballot. Measures that are happening are not like that kind of context. Specifically, so didn't work out. The way they were expecting was their low turn out. It was definitely higher turn out. Then. Anyone expected, I mean, I will say lake leading up to this. Everyone it was gonna, be very close and it really was the very close at all the approach side. One decisively in this measure yeah, and also that turnout was so high that it suggests that even some republicans voted against adopting this constitutional amendment, which I think you know has kind of, casts doubt on this conventional wisdom. That
abortion is an issue on which americans are sort of divided on party lines like this is an issue that can reach across the aisle on, or at least Democrats can and media is sort of spelling disaster for a republican strategy here, and so I think that is so important to know in terms of power interpreting results. Yeah I mean when you look at those numbers. I I think I can. I agree with with both eu that nobody knew what was going to happen. We're hand. I think I went into the the day, certainly prepared fur for anything. I did not see such a large margin of victory. Coming in in sixty forty, his leg. That's that's! Not that's not a small when especially such a sort of objectively confusing The word amendment that it deadly implies. There was a lot of effective education, and mobilization happened for people leading up to that. You haven't. That said, I think, like on the confusing wording part I think I've seen some antiabortion
advocate saying in the wake of the decision that the confusing wording was actually to their disadvantage and they believe that there's sort of this other similar ballot measure in kentucky that sort of a simple one liner that might be sort of easier for voters to interpret and and they think that just the way that the amendment was worded in Kansas made it so that the pro choice, movement could kind of say, like fear, monger about the potential implications of it. And of course, I think, like you know, republicans classifying it as fear mongering is maybe a misnomer here, because you know the in all likelihood republicans would have enacted a total abortion ban. That would have had terrible outcomes for women's reproductive health, but yeah. I think that's how I've seen em interpreting it and in the wake of the boat. So what you know, how did the pro abortion rate side pull this off? What kind of mobilizing in organizing and messaging had to go into a decision like this? So I think that the leaders of the pro choice that was organised in Kansas, the main group organizing
under the banner of kansas for constitutional freedom. I think they deserve so much credit fur really colors, having a very organised and disciplined strategy- basically Kansas voters- have have said in multiple pause, leading up to the amendment that they do not support a full ban on abortion. Most voters in the state one exceptions for rape, insects and restore their mother's life, and even amongst republicans, that was true and twenty nine percent state or independence, I think, kansas plays a really important role right now in the mid west, and only four kansas women, but also like people in the south, and all the neighboring states right now are increasingly going to Kansas for abortion care that they can't get in their own states. So have a big line that the anti abortion advocates like to say is oh you know we're getting an explosion of late term, painful abortions from all over the country,
We need to pass this amendment because we need to stop firmer abortions, and we need to ensure there can be regulation in kansas and when I emailed the, calling for an interview to sort of set up the time with their spokesperson. They sent me a list of like messaging points if they send all reporters covering this issue in these messaging that they wanted us to of us in the media, and this is what they put in their adds to this sort of emphasised abortion already heavily regulated in Kansas. They were not emphasising like we are looking to get rid of regulations. There sort of saying like this is the status quo. We have regulation the other side's gonna, try to tell you that dont, but we do where a heavily regulated state. They emphasised portion is already banned after twenty two weeks they emphasise there's been no late term abortions in the state at all zero, since two thousand and eighteen, and they also took a lot of effort to sort out emphasised,
seventy percent of abortions in twenty twenty one were before nine weeks in the state over ninety percent were before twelve weeks in six, He presented a state turned out to support the status quo. I don't we have strong evidence that, like sixty percent of kids voters would turn out to overturn a law requiring parental consent, that doesn't mean that advocates shouldn't work for love? But I think it's important to recognise that campaigners were a advertising sort of We live in a restrictive state right now. That is the kind of climate that we live in our opponents, one a ban at completely, and that is a radical difference and the last thing I'll say is like the campaigners really leaned on frames about autonomy and freedom from government control. They didn't. In avoid the word abortion, which I think is useful to note, like they weren't, hiding that this was about abortion, but they really did kind of emphasise more.
What you might call like, libertarian messaging frames- and this is something we've covered at fox- like there's polling from different progressive polling groups that have kind of showed that, like within the pro choice coalition, like a third of people, identify as pro choice John, actually support abortion, but they really opposed government control. And government meddling, and so I think it's is very helpful to recognise that the Kansas advocates emphasised The government wants to come between a woman and her doktor. They want impede on your freedom you already live in a very heavily restrictive state, and I think those messages were very effective. So I think that the great sideways in two white organizers or looking at beyond kansas when it comes to abortion being on the ballot, this fault, but first we have to take a break, we'll be right back. This package to sponsor by burrow furniture can completely change our experience and around that's what you are
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durkheim slush question. and we're back, my name is living often and I'm here, with rachel cohen in the corner. I mean you know one thing: I think it is interesting about abortion. Politics in Kansas is that at least for people from the red and it really does have kind of a symbolic role. Kansas pray. Ro was more, I'm had fewer restrictions on abortion than some other midwestern stage are sort of seeing a situation like might be set up now, which is not to say that the press, your was totally unregulated at all, but that there were options available there that may be weren't in oklahoma or missouri or texas. It had, liberal abortion laws in a well into the eighties and early ninetys, and it was also a real flashpoint for pro life act starting in that the early ninetys and what I think one of the reasons for that is that you had this collision of a very conservative political culture with it
somewhat historically unusual degree of access and, as you were saying, rachel actually one thing that happened since then is is that access has been tightened really significantly like very it's no longer the case that cancer is a place where you can find a late whom abortion always if, if that something that need given. All of that, I think a lot of people just sort of sea, Kansas, think. Oh, this is a red state and if it can win, this really read state which it like very undoubtedly, is and people. I didn't think oh of abortion can win this really red, say it. It can win everywhere, but obviously every state is different. Everybody could probably talk about their home state and what makes it different and unique and special and not like any other state. What are we
king. You know when we're looking at other places that are going to be voting directly on abortion later this year. Where else, as this question going to come up, so I think there's like a bunch of ballot initiatives here that we should be watching, but I think you know, as you said, perhaps Kansas might not be predictive of the outcomes they're just because it is such a unique political environment like and then we have to remember you know, can it has a democratic governor, but at the same time you know when they voted against adopting this constitutional amendment. You know they on the same day nominated chris co, back whose, like an ultra conservative, trouble, I, whose described himself ass a hundred percent pro life. Gina re enter political office as state turned general on. So there's just like a lot of contradictions in kansas politics and I'm not sure if, like
it might be predictive of the outcome elsewhere, slake one of the places where anti abortion advocates are looking to is kentucky, and it's a similar initiative. That's on the ballot there. It would amend the state constitution, basically to clarify that there is no prescribed right to an abortion as construed to the state constitution, but kentucky is kind of it's a different place. You know it. It's redder voted for trump by a bigger margin and, as I mentioned earlier, the proposed language of kentucky's constitutional amendment is also kind of simpler, so advocates of the measure think that they might be able to avoid some of the messaging problems that their counterparts had in Kansas. So that's one place where we're seeing abortion restriction is looking to Montana is another place where they are considering a ballot measure that would provide personhood protections to infants born alive after attempted abortions. But it's not as clear as to whether that'll pass since the majority of montana voters say that it should be.
legal and all or most cases, but you know there is also the protest. Movement is trying to sort of harness that the power of some of these ballot initiatives. This fall, and these are all happening in november. So you have remarked in California. They both already protect abortion rights under state law, but they want to go even further by codified abortion rights in their state constitutions and tying them kind of directly to these states, constitutional rights to privacy and equal protection under the laws both of those are probably likely to pass, given that more than two thirds vermont voters support legalizing abortion. In our midst cases and roughly four out of five cuban, your voters opposed the overturning a row. There's one other state to watch which is michigan. They haven't officially put a steep constitutional amendment to protect abortion rights on the ballot in november, yet but their expected to since abortion rights advocates gathered a record number of signatures. Supporting such a measure
and I think it's even more important in michigan because, like the ballot measures in vermont in california, won't really immediately change anything about the status quo in terms of abortion. Access in those like already very pro, abortion states, but Michigan actually has a pre row. Abortion ban on the books that was first enacted in nineteen thirty one, and it has no exceptions for rape or incest. The governor gretchen Whittemore, whose democratic asked the michigan supreme court in April to strike that down and affirm that the state constitution. who's, the right to access and abortion, that court battle is still playing out and the bands and blocks by other courts for now. But if this state constitutional amendment actually gets in the ballot end, it passes, it would basically move out to be an is expected to pass if it does get on the ballot since pulling it shown that fifty percent of Michigan voters oppose the supreme court's decision to overturn row, so that's kind of the landscape of what we're looking at. In terms of that
measures. I think Michigan is really interesting because on the one hand there pushing for an affirmative- clarification of abortion rights in the constitution like which is different from what happened in Kansas, where they're saying like go and and fight this thing that's trying to cheat. Just a condition in Michigan they're, saying blessed spasm of that sort of codified and clarifies but There is an element which I, which, as I understand, I've, a good sir, definitely thinking about with just trying to say like use. some of the same logic in Kansas english? If we don't pass this? If we don't do this affirmative thing, there we're gonna like go back to Nineteen thirty one status code of them's going to radically change cause we're going to end up in a situation where, were you know, we have no exceptions, and so it's this sort of tug and pull over like standing up, but also trying to like convince people.
It's like what is going to bring more radical change than not, and I think in Michigan they like they are. I mean and, as you said earlier, about kansas like they're, not wrong, it could lead to sort of more disruptive radical change if they don't pass it. But it's sort of it's not like necessarily consistent with how I think some of the conversation, especially on the federal level is putting out and reading pulling on abortion is so it gets so complex It makes some of this a little unknown, like national poles, leading up to Roby way like majority of americans did not want the supreme court to overturn roe wade. Majorities of americans oppose that. Returning over. We wait and in those same poles majority of american say they would probably support of fifteen weak ban on abortion and that's five weeks so then even the most conservative ban, the republicans in the house ever passed a few years ago, and what
I've been thinking about a lot. I know old talk more about congress leader, but like on the state level. There is like a very, very real and already happening likelihood of law makers. Doing total bans on abortion like now, we just saw this in indiana on friday, but like that is not a popular concept with. voters, and so, if you listen said the furthest right law makers in congress right now, they're saying, if you elect us in november, if we ve come free, take control where's, the we're gonna vote and fifteen fifteen ban ban they're they're, not even really talking about voting on a total ban, they're talking about voting on a fifteen weak ban which is kind of complicated, because we know We don't want to roll back reproductive rights that puts advocates on sort of complicated tricky. rain, because voters are also like. Maybe I'm ok without I don't know, and love is a mean that voters can't change their views. Are sort of
learn more and adjust, but it's just it makes it tricky when I think we're often talking- and I see this alot with the post kansas discourse of like- if we're only talking for him to stand up for reproductive rights, do you oppose reproductive rights were missing a lot of nuance that I think voters have, and that is harder to talk about, but like definitely think factor in us going on yeah. I was I was thinking about this because we know from research that there's a pretty strong status quo by us in any kind of referendum. People just don't want things to change that. I was having these like galaxy brain thoughts of like who can even save what status quo is innovation, though, because the status quo with up ended so dramatically, and then I will take one actually read the research and it was like this literally just mean people my voting now on a moray constitution like it, ain't really doesn't get that much more complex. It's not just abortion
right. It's not like. Oh, like let's vote yes or no to changing lake. Can you say yes or no, and this thing it is easier to get people to vote no than it is to get them to vote? Yes, and I do wonder what that means for kentucky for michigan and behind, but at the same time you know a lot of perfect sites, as we see in political science are very small What we saw in Kansas is not like a small effect. Science like ten percent still is a pretty large margin of error for things to go awry. I wonder like how much of what we know about abortion pulling is informed of blake publicopinion point conducted prior to the Supreme court's decision because I feel like
It suddenly became very real for a lot of people in red states and elsewhere. People often reference this q pulling that was done, making ten fourteen and that pulling showed that Kansas was like basically evenly divided on the subject of abortion, but I do think that, like things have changed in the last few weeks and months- and you know when confronted with the actual prospect of enacting a fifteen weak abortion ban, people are gonna start delving into the specifics of what that actually means for reproductive health, and you know, I think a topic pregnancies is not a subject that you really talked about before about yoke. Suddenly, that's something that republicans are saying: no, we do support abortions, and can with ectopic pregnancy? So you know, as as we delve into specifics, I think you know. Maybe voters will change their mind. I do. I definitely agree that, like things are changing, I was actually really interested, at least in, like the immediate aftermath of what posters for finding and
I did a story about three weeks after the decision, and so one of the appalling firms that actually works of directly with plan parent is interesting as the two biggest shifts in stuyvesant, they had observed and they had been pulling like in february a brawl may windows decision came out, and then they did another one post stops and they found like a there's, just been like sort of very remarkable drops and support for the supreme court like bigger than one would have expected, including amongst independence, although republicans haven't changed that it sort of interesting because it makes you Ok, if you're trying to organise in a state like kentucky or arizona- and you are trying to capitalize on public opinion- People are really changing their views of the supreme court, it looks like, but also if you need to mobilise republicans and republican, solve height,
the supreme court. Do you attacked the supreme court in your ads, but it also they did find that sort of the other biggest change since Dobbs was that more respondents found that, since the ruling they think it's likely and concerning the women would have to seek unsafe abortions and the victims of rape and insist would be forced to give birth. There are basically like presented here, though, the array of, possible bad things that could happen because of dobbs. What do you think is most concerning and then it was like? What do you think is most likely to happen of these concerning outcomes, and so there was like a legitimate increase since the court supreme court decision of people who, who think that the health risk to women for getting unsafe motions and victims of rape and insist are higher, and so I think those are kind of important things for candidates and advocates to be like that
king about, even though they dont totally track on two, I think some of the messaging that reproductive rights has focused on over the last few years. Yet it makes me wonder we are three months today actually, as were according thus from election day. So obviously there is still time for a lot of stuff to happen by Are we starting to see advertising messaging in these states with these measures already, or is that kind of something to keep an eye out for down the road over the next six weeks or so yeah? We definitely are seeing some competitive races. You know democratic candidates particularly trying to pivot to abortion and make out a central issue in their campaigns, and you know obviously there's limits to what the house and set it can do on abortion. Given the kind of margins that democratic
likely to have if, if they have control of us chambers at all, but it is a big issue and in state races wall you know in in georgia. I think it's a particular interest in case the senate. Races really close there, but you know stacy abrams is run for governor, I'm she's. The democratic nominee and she's really had put the issue from the centre and and she's now trailing the incumbent brunt camp by less than five points in the real, clear politics pulling our bridge and you know over two thirds of georgia. Voters opposed overturning roe, including nearly half of republicans, so that could be an issue that really tips. The scales there and kemp has advanced a lot of abortion restrictions in georgia. That, I think, could make him that that record
kind of haunt him in the selection. I'm also really. I mean this is partially selfish cause. I I live in texas, but I'm interested in the texas governor's race, which no one was expecting to be close, but it's now the closest it's been since the nineteen nineties, you know obviously a deep red state but republican governor greg Abbott. You seeking a third term saw his poll numbers drop recently since Dobbs came down. His leads now just six percentage points as of june and his opponent, twenty twenty presidential candidate, Democrat beto o'rourke, is now also outpacing him in fundraising and that rise totally coincided in the aftermath of the Supreme court's ruling and Abbott's also been a proponent of texas', trigger law banning almost all abortions and that's set to go into effect in august. So you know, I think it's just interesting, seeing the aftermath of this playing out in races
but you know we're projected to be competitive, but also embraces that nobody expected to be competitive rates of their sort of the places where abortion is is literally on the ballot and then there's this idea, that kind of nationwide and every election, the small abortion is as metaphorically on the ballot and have certainly seen tweets. and comments from democratic strategists than others over the last week, since the kansas results that suggests like they very much want this election too, to be as much about abortion is possible, but What are we looking at sort of when we're looking at the nation as a whole? Three months from now in terms of the role that that we expect abortion to be playing? Is this going to be an abortion election? Even if you don't live in a state with one of those amendments? the ballad. It is interesting like rubber whenever he said the the midterm xvi focused on laurie openings. I mean even back here, I'd very well, thank you was, I mean. Obviously people do this every site gore, they just take their issues like this will be the main
here is that there were so many takes on that and then critic greece theory was definitely sort. The big thing people thought it was gonna, be at the beginning of this year. I certainly thought I'd be writing about that. The connected the mid terms, more than I that I have been- I mean I guess we'll see if things change back to school, I do think that abortion and reproductive rights is gonna, be a big issue in all these seeds and like something that I feel like sort of it doesn't have to be a problem, but I feel it. People are gonna fighting averted, psych. Okay, if you ask voters what are their top issues saying inflation, they're, saying the economy! Reproductive rights is not in enriching, the top few issues that voters are saying are most important to them, but it is an issue that right now has a lot of salience and I think we're seeing after Kansas, like is still probable.
The initial that, despite not sort of being these generic issue, poles voters might not say as the most important thing to them. That's gonna turn other route. It still might be the thing that gets them to go to vote just because that's how some of these dynamics play with each other, and I think I've seen it people being like a wise and better talking about abortion? More, you know in pennsylvania, but like they are talking about it and so that it just becomes this thing like how much how much she centre it would like. What's the right cocktail of of attention to these? issues yeah, and I'm also wondering, like you know how much we can really glean from the kansas results in terms of how this might shift campaign strategy
it's like you know, I think, there's some caveats. That Democrats ought to consider in terms of you know, trying to extrapolate there and that it includes just the fact that the kansas vote was very straightforward on the abortion issue and clearly mobilized voters, but like that was in a ballot measure that had like immediate legal consequences and an it was more real and specific people, but, like you know, in a general election, those just a lot more issues at stake, and it also just particular political personalities, and that comes with its own baggage on, and you know they have a set of policy positions among which abortion might not be the most important devoted so yeah. I'm not sure that, like extrapolating from from the kansas vote and really going all in on abortion is really the Democrats favor. Obviously I don't think we can read those results as anything but positive for them heading into the midterms. You know like Biden's, abysmal approval ratings aside, the the poll numbers are are reflecting that you know for the first time since
november. Five thirty eight point average showed the Democrats are leading on the generic ballot as of monday and and that's trending upwards, so that jobs decision has been a kind of major inflection point for democrats here, and I think the challenges is keeping up that enthusiasm through november That point also, like, however, saying you know in november a lot of these voters in kansas, ur gonna, go vote, fur republicans who say they want to ban abortion outright. You know it's like, maybe not maybe there a meter but like it is differ one year when you're voting on a lot of issues at once, who you were you landed? That's hard right: it's it's almost the foot.
of all of these southern states, that, over and over elected governors and state legislatures who didn't want to expand eradicated, suddenly voting for a valid initiatives that that expanded mitigate and a little bit like what? What do you think I ve been hunting on all this time, but you know at the same time. Obviously people do have issue hierarchies and just because they tell us pollster, they prefer something or vote for something, as in this case, when its put up as a referendum on its own does mean that its how they're going to vote when there are looking at sort of up at an election were holistically, so I've gotta, take a break. right back with more of what's going on in congress. In the Biden administration on abortion, I'm alex heath and I'm co hosting land of the giants. This season matter the company, formerly known as facebook so far told the story of mark Zuckerberg journey to reaching billions of users from the creation of the new speed to the acquisition of instagram.
Such massive scale. That comes at a price coming up asserts will examine how the company has had to grapple with the uncomfortable side of its power from how to reckon with former president donald trump I think, mark in the end, the thousands and, if you can start saying that heads of government come second to deploy force to restore poured that that sex are really quite a virus impressive to the harms its own technology, amplifies borderline, harmful sensational, tonto. Fundamentally. Does better under user data? Will soccer births high stakes pivot to building the matter, verse work, and if it does, what does that mean for all of us following land of the giants, wherever you listened to hear new episodes, everyone's. I am you live it up on the editor in chief of the verge and also the host of decoder. It's a business into.
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go and subscribe to decode it in your pocket player of choice, since decoder hosted by me, no appetite arrogant we're back so white. You know what our democrats doing in the senate and on the national level on abortion, either a sort of politically or policy wise, so their strategy is involved, but I can say that three weeks out from the decision, which is almost two months out from wind, we got the leaked opinion of the draft from early may in political and also, I think everyone is following this issue closely thought this was held bring court was gonna role roll, I thought it was extremely likely that the supreme court was can overturn row. Despite all of these early signals, democrats in congress- and The bush administration did not have a clear plan ready to go following the decision. and actually congress went straight. They had reached scheduled those like took even longer to sort of get a plan in place. Why we
are seeing now there has been sort of more movement in July, but given that they don't have enough votes to overcome no a bust. Her one of the central debates in congress in the senate, particular in particular, has been like. Is it worth taking votes on bills that camp pass in order to get people on record? That may be would be used in a mid term ad or or sort of against them like. Should we should we get republicans? You know, let's say to vote for a bill that would ban abortions even in cases of rape and says, and helped the woman's life, even though that camp passed like should we hold a vote anyway, and there are sort of a lot of resistance to it. Somebody, As you know, the american people already know. If we don't need more votes, they already know were lawmakers standard, they would say like. Maybe it will look bad if we keep holding votes on what we can actually achieve. They sort of went back and forth for a couple of weeks
on this and then. Finally, after like a month or five weeks, the house held held this big vote on contraception and I think blood we were kind, rise. How many republicans in congress voted against a woman's right to have birth control now and then there was another vote on gay marriage and that did a little better than the birth control, one which is kind of interesting in its own right. But, like the house, said okay, we are actually going to put these people on record and hold form of votes. The Senate has not yet followed suit. There's, like more discussion, There they should, I would say, right now, the major senate strategy they ve been holding hearings, they ve been holding like listening. Such in and trying to sort of raise awareness with these other congress tactics, but there main message to them We ve all right now is saying electors more senators and november like help us keep our magic and give us two more animal
overturn the filibuster and none will pass the women's health protection act, which is a very progressive bill that helps quantify the kind of isro and goes beyond row in certain ways. By like striking down a lot of the restrictions that the right has passed on the state level over the last decade, so that's kind of like where the plan is an if you say to them, as I have tried like what happens, if we don't elect- more senators like they dont have been at that not there like not up to that very possible possibility, which I think is a problem person It is worth noting that, at the very least, democrats are now favoured to keep control. This. And that's changed in the last few weeks and has its competitive. But it's not like nothing is assured they're. So yeah, there's like just a big gaping hole in the democrat strata, You right now we're not really getting much guidance from the white house on this either because Biden has repeatedly said. The best thing you can do in this moment is vote, which I think a lot of people have found lacking in terms of the the president's response on that.
So you know it's kind of a movement without a leader. At this point I mean- maybe you could say like they, wouldn't advertise their plan b. Now, because that could hurt if plan a and so maybe they do have something up their sleeve. I just don't actually think that they do right now. I don't think there's like a secret plan b waiting which worries me, but if they did and they weren't like talking about it, I would I could be more sympathetic. If you, if you have a copy of the way, I figure a plan b, innovation recently to rachel- you don't is it's a democrat advantage,
It becomes that election about a fifteen week. Abortion ban, it seems like there are some risks there in terms of what their agenda might actually be. If republicans were to take back both houses of congress, I definitely think they should hope it doesn't turn on like fifteen week bands and keeps on like broader themes, about protecting women's rights and reproductive rights and fighting government control. I think that the more that they wade into the specifics of the weak bands like the harder. It is too to message around that yeah that kind of allowed republicans to control the conversation on this, because, like the day after Dobbs people were talking about what are republicans gonna do if they get in power and they were like floating the we ve been you know, in the absence of lake democrats having a plan, republicans have been able to sort of shift the goalposts here so yeah. They haven't gotten out in front of the issue. You know we're looking three months ahead, we're looking at the next election, we're looking to that
potential. Alternate you no secret plans or plan b that we're not hearing about why it is actually happening right now and the policy level nationally white spots actually been died in what might be done in the coming weeks. So there is obviously limits, what Democrats can do on a national level. You know in many ways the supreme court decision punted the question to the states, but Biden did sign a couple of executive orders that are designed to protect abortion access. The latest one which he issued last week, tries to help people travel out of state to receive abortions, ensure healthcare providers comply with federal law, so they aren't delayed in getting care on, and it also advances some research and data collection on maternal health and job other related health conditions and outcomes. The other executive order, which was issued last month, tried to protect access to abortion, care and contraception.
and I'll, protect patient privacy and establish an inter agency task force to use every federal tool available, basically to protect access to reproductive care were still sort of waiting on what the results of that will be for a while. The white house was considering declaring abortion access that public health emergency on, and I was like personally to placate abortion advocates who were pressuring by to do everything in his power and thought he wasn't doing enough by that. Never happened. Partially because of opposition from some of his top aids, who worry that doing so would really active E. Any significant new findings are new powers and also potentially risk conservative judges striking down that public health emergency and curbing the presence, executive authority and process
So that's kind of what's happening on executive order level, but the by nutrition also recently filed its first lawsuit, challenging state. Christians on abortion since Dobbs came down idaho, over its trigger law, which is set to going into effect this month and would ban abortion, except when necessary, to save the life of a pregnant person, but not critically, to protect their health and also in cases of rape or incest that were previously
reported to the authorities. There is concern that that law could have a chilling effect on doctors, because it would basically allow law enforcement to arrest and charge doctors whenever they perform an abortion. And then the doctor would kind of have to retroactively. Prove at trial that one of the narrow exceptions to the ban applied so the by administration is basically arguing that that runs afoul of federal law that you know bar states from imposing restrictions that would prevent doctors from intervening when when praying people are experiencing medical emergencies. The last thing is the white house kind of criticized the new indiana abortion ban that passed in the last week, but it's not clear at this point by the bell pursue legal action, and you know that. That's something that I think abortion advocates would like to see, especially because you know, Biden hasn't really been comfortable getting out in front on this issue. He's you know. While he was in the senate, he didn't really take any actions to try to codify abortion rights and he's been
a lifelong catholic. So and even now he doesn't really want to use the word abortion when he's talking about and dogs. So he's like kind of take a no aggressively middle ground tacked on the subject here. There's definitely a way that people use codified road an roby wade etc like that language also definitely serves a euphemism for a lot of people who don't wanna talk about abortion as such in a year, and I think there is a certain generation have Democrat. That is still hasn't it to use that language, and I think that's what s interesting about kansas. Is that Abortion advocates were using that language and it still succeeded in a very red state. So maybe that should be a signal to Biden just sort of changed his tack there and that you know he can be more definitive on this issue because Democrats may have the upper hand this point. We now know that Democrats can be straightforward and what they want and could probably benefit
little fire in the daily in raw anger about the issue that I don't think we're we're getting from the violent restriction at this particular moment Is there anything happening in the senate or the congressional level right now that could actually move the ball forward anything else that we haven't mention that that's important now. I think that The main thing right now is this debate. The Democrats are having with themselves over like how much should we compromise. There is a fear about setting sort of like the ceiling to low or about stigmatizing other abortions like oh, if we vote to protect abortions, cases of rape or incest like. Are we not then standing up for all the other abortions that are completely legitimate to have and that's kind of a definitely a debate? That's been going on, and I think you know there is a bill that
in know bills around medication, abortion. There are sort of these more narrow, targeted bills and I think, there's right now a lack of consensus among senators of like. Should we try to push for those? There was a sort of bipartisan compromise over things that people didn't think there could be bipartisan compromise before, like gun bill, the infrastructure bill, reproductive health group say abortion is not like those other issues. If there is no chance of getting ten votes in the republic inside you know some people say heck, we should be. crying anyway. We should be showing voters that we're doing everything we can to try to clarify some sort of protection, not just in december, but now and there's the spill that was recently introduced. Senator Susan Collins, LISA rakowski, an undemocratic cain and democratic european cinema. That would be a sort of in this compromise measure of lower standards and there's a lot of
wait over like is this even worth entertaining our? Should we keep fighting and see what happens after the election? I think that's kind of. Does the state of worthing stand? Sonny. I think that's a good place to leave off for now. Thank you both for for being here and will see you all in three months will see what happens in three months on election day here, waiting with gratitude, we say, come back That's over us today. Thank you to rachel Cohen in a corner after draining the pin our producers, so few line amber hall. as the deputy editorial director for talk not cast an eye on you. As for today within the weeds. heard of the box media upon chestnut
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Transcript generated on 2022-08-10.