Where Things Stand: Blue States Prepare To Deal With Red States’ Various Horror Shows

This is your TPM evening briefing.
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - 2022/03/08: Protesters gathered on International Women's Day to demand abortion rights on Union Square. Rally was organized by RiseUp4AbortionRights.org. Many protesters were wearing green b... NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - 2022/03/08: Protesters gathered on International Women's Day to demand abortion rights on Union Square. Rally was organized by RiseUp4AbortionRights.org. Many protesters were wearing green bandanas in support of women of Colombia where recently abortions were legalized, green is the colour adopted by the pro-choice movement in Colombia. Protesters were speaking of erosion of abortion rights in America and were worrying of upcoming ruling by the Supreme Court on case Dobbs vs. Jackson Women's Health expected in the late spring. (Photo by Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images) MORE LESS

All signs continue to point to SCOTUS issuing a ruling this summer that could dismantle Roe, tossing the decision of whether or not individuals can obtain abortions into the salivating hands of Republican state elected officials.

SCOTUS’ repeated punts on Texas’ unprecedentedly dangerous abortion law signaled just how antagonist the current court is toward the 1973 precedent. And the copy-cat bills emerging out of GOP-led states in the weeks and months since have signaled what’s to come as the nation heads into a new dystopian reality — one in which your right to an abortion will largely depend on the state in which you live, and the states your state neighbors.

As Kate Riga reported last week, Idaho became the first state to pass a six-week abortion ban that largely mirrors the most concerning aspects of the bounty-hunting, Wild West components of the Texas law, and Missouri Republicans are working on crafting something similar, but — potentially — with a special twist. Missouri state Rep. Mary Elizabeth Coleman (R) recently proposed an amendment to her state’s legislation that would allow those greedy enough to sue anyone who helps a woman get an abortion successfully file suit even if the procedure was done in a different state.

That effort — Republican elected officials seeking to control what their constituents do even outside of their home state — is a maddening and concerning trend that researchers warn could spread, both when it comes to abortion access and on other, more recent right-wing fixations, such as trans rights.

But a few blue states are doing some early prep work to help meet the coming swell of medical needs from disenfranchised individuals outside their states.

For example, the Oregonian reported this week on a new bill making its way through the state legislature that advocates hope will help meet the impending increased demand for abortion care in the state, including for Idahoans who will have to cross state lines to get the procedure. Oregon’s House Bill 5202 is designed to allocate about $15 million to the Oregon Reproductive Equity Fund, which will help patients not only pay for the likely out-of-network health care costs for the procedure, but also aid in travel and lodging expenses, the newspaper reported.

Similarly, California released a proposal in December that would increase state funding for abortion providers in California. The proposed legislation would also simplify access to abortion services in the state, help pay providers and help fund abortion services for low-income women who travel to California for the procedure.

And just today, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed Senate Bill 245 into law, which will lower costs associated with getting an abortion in the Golden State in general, The Sacramento Bee reported.

But the blue state solidarity extends beyond abortion access. Red states like Texas, Arkansas and Indiana have been pushing anti-trans laws that would limit the rights of transgender youths for some time. In Texas and Arkansas specifically, it is already essentially illegal for trans youth to receive most types of gender affirming medical care, with Texas most recently characterizing the procedures as a form of child abuse.

Democratic state lawmakers in California announced last week that they will propose legislation that would cement the state’s standing as a safe haven for parents of trans youth who reside in other states and who now face criminal prosecution for allowing their child to receive gender-affirming medical care.

While the Missouri amendment and others of its ilk may still pose a challenge to blue states’ efforts to support those who have been demonized by their red state neighbors, the prep work is heartening heading into an era in which the now-uber-conservative SCOTUS may well dismantle a litany of the high court’s once-believed-to-be-precedent federal protections against discrimination.

The Best Of TPM Today

Here’s what you should read this evening:

Catch up on Kate Riga’s coverage here: Senators Question Jackson Again After Day Of QAnon-Tainted Attacks

Hehe: Manafort Removed From Miami Plane Bound For Dubai

The latest must-read from Josh Kovensky: Kremlin’s Ukraine Stooges Bemoan Slow Campaign

Tucker Carlson Argues Black SCOTUS Noms Should Think Like Rappers, And I Can’t Make This Headline Sound Less Awful

Shot: Trump Officially Ditches Mo Brooks For Not Big-Lying Hard Enough

Chaser: Freshly-Dumped Mo Insists He’s Still Loyal To Big Lie, Even If Trump Can’t See It ☹️

Sen. Leahy Slams Graham After GOP Senator Shouts Unhinged Tirade At Jackson

Sigh: SCOTUS Delivers For Republicans In Wisconsin

The latest from Matt Shuham: Authorities Pump Brakes On Far-Right Former Legislator’s ‘Rescue’ Of Ukrainian Kids

Yesterday’s Most Read Story

GOP Senator Beats Quick Retreat After Saying Interracial Marriage Should Be Left To States — Summer Concepcion

What We Are Reading

First on CNN: Low-income Americans now can sign up for Obamacare plans with $0 premiums on federal exchange — Tami Luhby

Is Weed Legal in My State? Marijuana Legalization Explained — Dan Avery

Former U.S. Education Secretary wants government to forgive all student loan debt — Khristopher J. Brooks

Latest Edblog
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: