The Reproductive Freedom Alliance, a nonpartisan coalition of governors committed to protecting and expanding access to reproductive health care in their states, held its inaugural governor-level convening today in Los Angeles. Attending governors shared progress and best practices in their states and reaffirmed their commitment to working together to build a firewall for reproductive freedom in the wake of Roe v Wade being overturned last summer. The governors also received a briefing from reproductive health care providers from around the country - both access states and states with restrictions - about new challenges and barriers to care millions of people are now facing in the year since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to abortion.
Countless providers have been forced to adapt their practices to comply with a shifting legal landscape, while those in states where reproductive freedom is protected are grappling with a surge of out-of-state patients and the emotional toll of helping people access basic health care far from their home.
Governor Kathy Hochul (NY):
"With the Statue of Liberty in our harbor, New York will always stand tall as a safe harbor for those who need abortion care. We've taken significant steps since the Dobbs decision to protect reproductive rights in New York -- from passing new laws protecting patients and doctors to investing more than $30 million in a new Abortion Provider Support Fund. Together with my fellow pro-choice governors, I'm committed to doing everything in my power to ensure women across America have improved access to safe, legal abortion care."
Governor Gavin Newsom (CA):
"California has long been a beacon of hope and leader in reproductive rights, but we can't do it alone. Attacks on reproductive health care are happening all across this country - not only forcing patients to go to extreme lengths to access basic health care, but are harming the health and well-being of babies and mothers too. I am proud to be part of this coalition of governors standing as a crucial firewall fighting back against these repeated and extreme attacks on people's fundamental rights and basic health care, and we'll continue to take action to protect people's reproductive freedom. We will not back down."
Governor Tim Walz (MN):
"As states across the country cut off women's access to care, Minnesota has and will continue to proudly defend reproductive freedom. By sharing best practices and working closely with providers, the Reproductive Freedom Alliance is working to ensure that all Americans have access to the health care they deserve, no matter where they live."
Governor Roy Cooper (NC):
"Protecting access to women's reproductive health care is a top priority, and today's conversation allowed us to exchange ideas and hear from providers who are on the front lines of this work. Your zip code shouldn't determine your rights, but because of this Supreme Court, that's where we are. The work of the Reproductive Freedom Alliance is more important than ever, and we will continue this collaboration as we seek to safeguard access to critical reproductive care."
Governor Tina Kotek (OR):
"For years, Oregon prepared for a possible U.S. Supreme Court decision to end the constitutional right to an abortion. We codified the right to access this care, funded support for patient needs, and expanded provider capacity. We made strides again this year to protect abortion patients and providers, expand access to gender-affirming care, and secure access to essential medication despite baseless lawsuits that put politics above science. Even Oregon is not immune from the attacks on health care rights we are seeing in states across the country. I will continue to do everything in my power to protect patients and providers, andkeep reproductive health care accessible for all Oregonians."
Since its launch earlier this year, key senior-level staff from governors' offices across the country have met frequently as part of the Reproductive Freedom Alliance to share best practices and respond quickly to the changing legal landscape.
WHAT COMES NEXT: Senior-level governors' staff will meet later this week in person following today's governor-level meeting to discuss proactive action to protect access to reproductive health care with the next governor-level meeting planned for later this year.
The Reproductive Freedom Alliance is a non-partisan coalition of Governors committed to protecting and expanding access to reproductive care. Members include: Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs, California Governor Gavin Newsom, Colorado Governor Jared Polis, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, Delaware Governor John Carney, Guam Governor Lou Leon Guerrero, Hawai'i Governor Josh Green, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker, Maine Governor Janet Mills, Maryland Governor Wes Moore, Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, New York Governor Kathy Hochul, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, Oregon Governor Tina Kotek, Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro, Rhode Island Governor Daniel McKee, Washington Governor Jay Inslee, and Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers.
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