These are the next states that could convene special sessions to limit the right to abortion

Indiana and West Virginia lawmakers met this week to debate new bills that would limit the process, and other Republican leaders have publicly indicated they will meet in the coming weeks. Several Democratic-led legislatures have also reconvened — to pass new protections for abortion rights they now see under threat.

These states are potentially the next to host special sessions on abortion this summer.

Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson has already called a special session the week of Aug. 8 to discuss tax relief. Hutchinson told reporters earlier this month that abortion could be a potential topic for the session, according to local reports.

Arkansas prohibits providers from performing abortions “except to save the life of a pregnant woman in a medical emergency” and makes no exceptions for cases of rape or incest.

Ahead of the court ruling, Hutchinson told CNN in May that Arkansas’ near-total abortion ban he signed in March 2021 should be “re-examined” to provide exceptions for cases of rape or of incest.

Nebraska

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, a Republican, told CNN in May that he would call a special session of his state’s unicameral legislature to pass a comprehensive abortion ban if the Supreme Court overturns Roe, which she did in June.

Abortion is permitted in Nebraska up to 20 weeks after fertilization, with exceptions for saving the life of the mother or “irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function.”

On the day the Supreme Court issued its decision, Ricketts said in a statement that he “will work with our legislative leaders to determine what more we can do to protect our unborn babies.”
President Mike Hilgers said in statement that he anticipates the legislature “will be in special session this summer to pass legislation to protect unborn babies,” WOWT reported.

“I will work with Governor Ricketts on the timing of a special session. And, after fully considering the Supreme Court’s opinion, I will work closely with the Governor and my legislative colleagues on the scope of those protections.” , Hilgers said.

CNN has reached out to Ricketts and Hilgers for updates on a possible special session.

Caroline from the south

The state is likely to head into a special session as state lawmakers are currently working on legislation that would ban most abortions.

South Carolina currently bans abortion once a “fetal heartbeat” is detected, which can be as early as six weeks pregnant, with exceptions for the life of the mother, rape, or incest.

A House Select Committee held a public hearing earlier this month and drafted a “bill” of a bill that would ban abortion at all stages of pregnancy and eliminate the exception for cases of rape and incest. The bill would authorize “any legitimate health care procedure necessary to prevent the death or serious physical impairment of the mother,” committee chairman John McCravy said at a July 19 meeting.

The bill now heads to the House Judiciary Committee.

Lawmakers passed a resolution concluding their regular session that would allow the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House to summon them to a special session between July 1 and November 13 to consider abortion legislation.

Blue states rush to add protections

Illinois is one of the few blue states that plans to hold a special session to pass legislation to protect access to abortion.

The state, where Democrats hold the power of the state legislature and governorship, in 2019 signed into law a sweeping abortion access protection bill.

In a July 5 joint statement, Illinois Democratic leaders — Governor JB Pritzker, Senate Speaker Don Harmon and House Speaker Chris Welch — said they “plan to work closely together during the rest of the summer to assess all possibilities of what we can do and convene a special session in the coming months.”

“As we build on protections and access to abortion at the forefront of Illinois, it’s critical to bring lawmakers and advocates into the room to continue working together,” they said. . “In the coming weeks, as the repercussions of the decision to cancel Roe reverberate across the country, we expect to have a clear idea of ​​what our needs are and how Illinois can play a further role. more vital in the defense of reproductive freedom.”

Illinois would join New York and Wisconsin, which have already held special sessions related to abortion.

Ahead of the Supreme Court’s decision, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, a Democrat, called a special session on June 22 to repeal the state’s 19th-century abortion ban. Republican legislative leaders, however, began and immediately ended the special session without heeding the governor’s request.

After the Supreme Court issued its decision, New York Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul brought state lawmakers back to Albany to begin the process of enshrining abortion rights.

The Democratic-led Legislature passed a constitutional amendment on July 1 that, when passed, would enshrine the right to abortion in the state constitution. Lawmakers are expected to pass the amendment again in next year’s legislative session for it to be sent to voters.

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