Twenty-One States Announce Historic Governor-Led Reproductive Freedom Alliance

SACRAMENTO – Today, California Governor Gavin Newsom, Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs, Colorado Governor Jared Polis, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, Delaware Governor John Carney, 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, announced the launch of a multi-state Reproductive Freedom Alliance (Alliance).

The Alliance is a non-partisan coalition of 21 Governors committed to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom in their states, the largest such coalition ever convened. The Alliance will work together to strengthen reproductive freedom in the face of an unprecedented assault on abortion access and other forms of reproductive health care by states hostile to abortion rights and judges who are advancing their ideological agenda. All Governors who support reproductive freedom are welcome to join the Alliance.

Major funding for the Alliance is provided by the California Wellness Foundation with additional support from the Rosenberg Foundation.

Joint Statement from the Governors

“As governors representing more than 170 million people across every region of the country, we are standing with all people who believe in reproductive freedom and health care. We are standing with them to say, ‘enough.’

“In the last year alone, over 36 million women have lost access to critical health care with the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Medication abortion – one of the safest forms of health care for decades now – may be stripped from our clinics and hospitals nationwide. Doctors face criminal prosecution for providing care. Extremists are trying to restrict access to contraception – and we know they won’t stop there.

“In the face of this unprecedented assault by states hostile to abortion rights and their enablers in the courts, we are pledging to work together to strengthen abortion firewalls across America. This fight isn’t over.“

Quotes from the Governors:

California Governor Gavin Newsom

“California has long been a leader in reproductive rights, but we can’t do it alone. We have gathered a coalition of bi-partisan governors to commit to reproductive freedom, and a coalition this size – 21 and counting – has never been done before. This Alliance is a moral obligation to what is right and will stand as a firewall to fight for and protect providers, patients, and all who are affected by these attacks on fundamental rights.”

Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs

“Arizonans elected me because I made a promise that I will defend reproductive rights, and I intend to keep that promise. I will use my authority to veto any bill that further restricts safe and legal abortion access without hesitation. To reinforce my commitment to reproductive freedom, I am proud to join this coalition of Governors who understand that whether someone wants to start a family is not a decision for the government to make.”

Colorado Governor Jared Polis

“While some politicians want to restrict the ability of individuals to access reproductive health services and some states are criminalizing doctors and women like Texas, Colorado stands for freedom and empowering women and their doctors to make medical decisions without government interference or fear of retaliation. Colorado values freedom for all to make their own choices on how to live their lives.”

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont

“Connecticut has a long history of protecting reproductive rights and the freedom to choose one’s own medical care, and as long as I am governor I will do everything in my power to prevent the government from restricting those rights. The recent activist decision by the Supreme Court to remove a woman’s constitutional right to reproductive healthcare has resulted in confusion across the country and a patchwork of radical laws in certain states that are blocking basic healthcare rights and putting the careers of medical professionals in jeopardy simply for providing essential care to their patients. Now, in this new era, we must actively work to ensure that politicians do not interfere in the decisions made between a patient and their doctor.”

Delaware Governor John Carney

“Women’s health care decisions are deeply personal and private, and should be protected under the law – as they are here in Delaware. We look forward to working with other states to keep these decisions in the hands of the women who have to make them.”

Hawai’i Governor Josh Green, M.D.

“As a physician, husband and father as well as Governor of Hawai‘i, I know reproductive rights are a critical and central healthcare matter for all families. A woman’s right to choose and therefore control her own reproductive rights, was codified in Hawaiʻi law. Hawai‘i was, in fact, the first state to allow safe, legal abortion care, effective as of March 11, 1970. That was three years before Roe v. Wade legalized this aspect of healthcare policy across the U.S.”

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker

“Here in Illinois, we know that abortion is healthcare and believe that a medical decision should be made between a patient and their doctor—not by extremist politicians. As Illinois remains a beacon for reproductive healthcare in a region increasingly plagued by inhumane restrictions, I’m proud to join my fellow Governors to help fulfill the promise I made when Roe v. Wade was overturned: we will not go backwards.”

Maine Governor Janet Mills

“The Supreme Court’s wrongheaded decision to overturn Roe v. Wade has left more than half the people in America without access to safe abortion, and it has unleashed unprecedented wave of new threats to reproductive health care. While we have strong abortion laws in Maine, this moment requires that states come together to stand for and safeguard reproductive freedom wherever and whenever possible. I’m proud to join the Reproductive Freedom Alliance, and, so long as I am Governor of Maine, I will work to protect and strengthen reproductive rights in our state.”

Maryland Governor Wes Moore

“I fully supported four bills heading to the floor of our state legislature that will protect abortion access, privacy, and out-of-state patients—including a bill to create a constitutional amendment that will enshrine reproductive rights in the Maryland Constitution. I am proud to stand with other governors in the fight to protect and expand reproductive freedom. While some states have decided to move toward restricting women’s rights, I can assure you that here in Maryland, we will protect them.”

Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey

“In this moment when abortion access is under threat across the country, Governors have a unique responsibility and opportunity to expand reproductive freedom in our states. I’m proud to stand with my colleagues to send a clear message that we are not just playing defense, but moving ambitiously forward to improve access to abortion and reproductive health care.”

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer

“Michiganders and Americans across the nation believe that everyone should be able to make their own decisions about their own body. Access to abortion and other reproductive health care saves lives, and it’s why we will fight like hell to protect fundamental rights wherever they are under attack. Every American should be able to start a family if and when they are ready. I am proud to join this alliance and look forward to getting things done with my fellow governors.”

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz

“As states turn back the clock on reproductive rights, reproductive freedom remains a fundamental right for every person in Minnesota. Now more than ever, we must protect our neighbors and stand with states across the country to defend reproductive rights, ensure people have the freedom to make decisions about their own bodies, and expand access to safe and affordable reproductive health care. I look forward to working with this group of governors to protect and expand this fundamental right across the country.”

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy

With the Freedom of Reproductive Choice Act that I signed last year, and related reforms and investments to make reproductive health care more affordable and accessible, New Jersey has continued to protect and expand a woman’s fundamental right to reproductive choice. Amidst a continual assault from a radical minority intent on ignoring facts, public sentiment, and decades of judicial precedent, we will work to expand and preserve reproductive freedom for women everywhere across our country and for the dedicated health care professionals who deliver this care.”

New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham

“I am proud to join with 19 fellow governors to protect the rights of every person to a full array of reproductive health services, including abortion. Those rights are fundamental, no matter which state you live in. This group will continue to work to guarantee reproductive freedom in each of our states and to restore that right to every woman in America.”

New York Governor Kathy Hochul

“New Yorkers have a clear message for anyone who dares to threaten their reproductive rights: not here, not now, not ever. After the Dobbs decision stripped away abortion rights, New York has stood up as a safe harbor for abortion care and women’s rights. We launched a $35 million Abortion Provider Support Fund, passed laws to protect and support abortion care, and moved to add an Equal Rights Amendment to the State Constitution. I’m proud to stand with my fellow governors in the fight to strengthen reproductive freedoms — because every American deserves to have their fundamental rights respected.”

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper

“With reproductive rights under attack across the country, it’s up to governors to safeguard women’s rights and their access to health care. North Carolina is a critical access point for women seeking reproductive health care, and the freedom to choose is a fundamental right we’re working hard to protect.”

Oregon Governor Tina Kotek

“Oregonians have fought incredibly hard to have among the strongest protections for reproductive rights in the country. But we know that overturning Roe v. Wade was the first step to ban abortion in every single state. We cannot afford to stand by and watch our fundamental right to reproductive health care be stripped away, not in Oregon, and not in the twenty states that have courageously joined the Reproductive Freedom Alliance. To the well over 150 million people we collectively represent who rely on these services: we have your back.”

Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro

“If you believe in real freedom, and the promises it guarantees, then you believe in a woman’s right to choose. I am proud to join my fellow governors in our collective commitment to ensure reproductive health care remains accessible in our respective states, and to fight back at every level against this unprecedented attack on our fundamental freedoms. One of my first meetings in office was with Planned Parenthood, to discuss how we can work together to protect Pennsylvanians — and their doctors — from extremist politicians attempting to turn back the hands of time. Let me be clear: as long as I am serving the good people of Pennsylvania, abortion will remain safe, legal, and accessible in the Commonwealth.”

Rhode Island Governor Daniel McKee

“Here in Rhode Island, we will always support a woman’s right to choose. In addition to our state previously codifying Roe into state law, the budget I’ve submitted to our General Assembly this year includes expanded protections and access to abortion related services for state employees and those on Medicaid. In a time when a vocal minority is trying to take away rights, Governors and state legislatures are the frontlines of defense. I’m proud to stand with this group of Governors to protect and expand reproductive health care for all.”

Washington Governor Jay Inslee

“This is an issue of freedom. Patients must have the freedom to make personal reproductive care decisions for themselves, without interference by activist politicians. Washington is taking strong action to protect these freedoms for every patient and provider in our state, and we are all in on the fight to protect a person’s right to an abortion across the country.”

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers

“Every Wisconsinite should have the right to make their own reproductive healthcare decisions without interference from politicians. That’s a right I’ll never stop fighting for as long as I’m governor—not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s the will of the people. Reproductive healthcare is healthcare, and I’m proud to join my fellow governors in continuing the fight to restore Roe and reproductive rights for every person in Wisconsin and across the country.”

Statements from Funding Partners:

CA Wellness Foundation

“At Cal Wellness, we look forward to continuing our investment in protecting and promoting reproductive justice by joining with other funding partners and the California Governor’s Office to advance the work of the Reproductive Freedom Alliance,” said Judy Belk, president and CEO of The California Wellness Foundation.

Rosenberg Foundation

“Defending reproductive freedom is a racial justice issue,” said Tim Silard, president of Rosenberg Foundation. “The foundation is committed to reimagining policies and systems to win fundamental rights, protections, and opportunities for Black, brown, and immigrant communities. We are proud to join with Governor Newsom and our colleagues in philanthropy in the fight to protect reproductive rights and access in California and across the country.”

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NOTE: This press release was updated to include the State of Arizona, which joined the Alliance on Thursday, February 23, 2023.