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Pennsylvania Governor’s Race Takes on Huge Stakes for Abortion Rights


Now that the Supreme Court has struck down Roe v. Wade, an important election this yr in America in the case of abortion can be the competition for governor of Pennsylvania.

Josh Shapiro, the state’s Democratic attorney general, is facing off against Doug Mastriano, a Republican state senator who has vowed to make abortion illegal. If Mr. Mastriano wins, the Republican-controlled Pennsylvania legislature is all but certain to maneuver to undo the state’s existing law allowing abortion.

“Roe v. Wade is rightly relegated to the ash heap of history,” Mr. Mastriano said on Friday. “Because the abortion debate returns to the states, Pennsylvania have to be prepared to steer the nation in being a voice for the voiceless.”

Mr. Shapiro denounced the ruling. “The stakes on this governor’s race couldn’t be more clear,” he said. “The contrast between me and my dangerous opponent couldn’t be greater.”

Nowhere else is a governor’s race so pivotal. In Wisconsin, where the Republican-led Legislature has battled with Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat who’s looking for re-election, a pre-Roe law forbidding abortion routinely went back into effect after Friday’s decision. Mr. Evers has pledged to fight for abortion rights, but he faces a wall of opposition from Republican state legislators.

This week, Mr. Evers ordered Wisconsin’s lawmakers to the State Capitol in Madison for a special session meant to reverse an 1849 law outlawing abortion. Republicans ended the session on Wednesday without taking motion.

In Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, has backed a series of creative legal arguments to dam the state’s 1931 law outlawing abortion from taking effect. In May, a state judge ruled that the law wouldn’t immediately go into effect after an eventual Supreme Court ruling on Roe.

Ms. Whitmer has also supported an effort to position a referendum on the November ballot to enshrine abortion rights in Michigan’s Structure.

Three other states could have questions on abortion decided directly by voters in November.

Kansas and Kentucky have referendums asking voters to affirm that their state constitutions don’t guarantee a right to abortion. In Vermont, the ballot will contain an issue that will enshrine an individual’s right to regulate their very own reproductive decisions within the state’s Structure.

Gov. Laura Kelly of Kansas, a Democrat who supports abortion rights, faces a difficult re-election bid. Her likely Republican opponent, Derek Schmidt, the state’s attorney general, opposes abortion rights.

After Friday’s ruling, Republican governors praised the choice and sought to press the party’s advantage. In Virginia, Gov. Glenn Youngkin said Friday that he would seek a ban on abortion after 15 weeks — though such a move is unlikely to achieve success provided that Democrats control the State Senate.

“Virginians want fewer abortions, no more abortions,” Mr. Youngkin said. “We are able to construct a bipartisan consensus on protecting the lifetime of unborn children.”

Virginia’s next round of state legislature elections won’t happen until 2023; Mr. Youngkin, who took office in January, is prohibited from looking for a second consecutive term.

Gov. Phil Bryant of Mississippi, a Republican whose state capital was the origin of Friday’s Supreme Court case, said state lawmakers would exercise a “moral duty to guard life in any respect stages.”

“The professional-life movement also understands that our fight is just starting,” Mr. Bryant said. “In the approaching days, our efforts to claim the complete dignity of each human life will change into more vital.”

Democratic governors forged the Supreme Court’s decision as a catastrophic move — and step one toward a broader rollback of ladies’s rights.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker of Illinois said he had pressed President Biden during his recent visit to Chicago to be more forceful in defending abortion rights. He said Illinois, which is surrounded by states where abortion is illegitimate or is prone to be outlawed soon, had “a special obligation” to make abortion accessible not simply to its residents but in addition to visitors.

“We’re an island within the Midwest, within the country, throughout us are anti-choice legislatures and state laws and governors,” Mr. Pritzker said in an interview on Friday. “The one thing that can allow us to reverse the terrible direction things are going is electing pro-choice Democratic governors, pro-choice Democratic legislators.”

Democratic candidates for governor in states with Republican-controlled legislatures like Georgia, Arizona and Texas said they might fight for abortion rights if elected — though in practice there may be little they might do toward that goal given Republican opposition.

“I’ll work with the legislature to reverse the draconian law that can now rule our state,” said Stacey Abrams, the Democrat running for governor of Georgia.

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