June 24, 2022 Roe v. Wade news

By Adrienne Vogt, Aditi Sangal, Elise Hammond, Meg Wagner and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 8:19 a.m. ET, June 25, 2022
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7:01 p.m. ET, June 24, 2022

California governor signs new bill protecting abortion rights

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

California Gov. Gavin Newsom answers questions at a news conference in Los Angeles, on June 9.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom answers questions at a news conference in Los Angeles, on June 9. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel/File)

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday signed a new law strengthening abortion rights in the state, following the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade.

As he signed the bill, Newsom described feeling "pissed, resolved and angry.”  

“Never would this happen if men were the ones having babies – ever – and you know that, and I know that. Every damn person knows that. And that's the elephant in the room,” Newsom said. “Because women are treated as second-class citizens in this country. Women are treated as less than. Women are not as free as men. That's pretty damn sick.”

California’s new law, passed by the state legislature on Thursday, will create a protective shield against any potential civil action originating outside the state for anyone performing, assisting, or receiving an abortion in the state. AB 1666 will protect not just California residents but anyone visiting the state seeking reproductive health care.

The new law is just one of more than a dozen bills making their way through the legislature, aiming to strengthen and protect abortion access. Other proposed bills would seek to focus on root causes of reproductive health inequities, enhance privacy protections, and allow qualified nurse practitioners to provide first-trimester abortions.

Anger over the court’s opinion was not limited to Newsom.

“This decision is unique. It is historical. It is unprecedented in a horribly tragic way,” California Attorney General Rob Bonta said. “This decision is an attack on privacy, on freedom, on self-determination on equality. This decision is an attack on women. It's an attack on women's equality. It's an attack on pregnant people.”

Bonta and Newsom were joined by other lawmakers determined to strengthen the state’s laws and ensure women in other states with more restrictive laws know they can come to California to seek health care.

“California is a safe haven for those who seek abortion care. Abortion remains fully legal in California. Today’s decision does not impact our state’s laws. You have the right to an abortion here,” Bonta said. “In California, we refuse to turn back the clock and let radical ideologies exert control over your body.”

“This is a dark day for our little girls and all our children who will now come of age in a nation with fewer rights, fewer freedoms and fewer protections than the generations before them,” said Bonta, his voice quivering. “That is not progress.”

California has also introduced an amendment adding reproductive health care as a fundamental right to the state’s constitution, which will go before voters in November.

The amendment reads: “The state shall not deny or interfere with an individual’s reproductive freedom in their most intimate decisions, which includes their fundamental right to choose to have an abortion and their fundamental right to choose or refuse contraceptives. This section is intended to further the constitutional right to privacy guaranteed by Section 1, and the constitutional right to not be denied equal protection guaranteed by Section 7. Nothing herein narrows or limits the right to privacy or equal protection.”

“I hope if nothing else, this decision wakes people up,” the California governor said.

“This is not just about choice, it is not just about reproductive freedom,” Newsom insisted, mentioning marriage equality, interracial marriage, and transgender rights. “They're coming after you next,” he warned.

5:33 p.m. ET, June 24, 2022

Kentucky attorney general says abortions in the state are illegal

From CNN’s Artemis Moshtaghian

Performing abortions in Kentucky is now considered a felony after the state’s Human Life Protection Act, which prohibits the willful “termination of the life of an unborn human being,” went into effect Friday, Attorney General Daniel Cameron said.

“Today is a day that many have hoped for — the issue of abortion has been returned to the people and to the states, where it belongs,” Cameron said in a statement. “This moment deserves to be celebrated, but it also calls for renewed commitment. Renewed commitment to life-affirming care for the unborn, for mothers, and for Kentucky families.”

The ACLU of Kentucky said it is prepared to file a lawsuit in state court arguing against SCOTUS’s opinion citing that “the Kentucky Constitution allows for the legal right to access abortion.”

They issued a statement Friday saying that their clients have stopped providing care while their legal team assesses the court’s opinion in how it relates to laws in Kentucky. 

“We will aggressively litigate this claim on behalf of our Louisville-based client, EMW Women’s Surgical Center, seeking relief from the courts that will allow all providers to resume providing abortions as soon as possible,” the statement said.

5:29 p.m. ET, June 24, 2022

In the face of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision, tell us how you're doing

With the Supreme Court deciding there is no longer a federal constitutional right to an abortion, the baby formula shortage and effects of the pandemic on careers and home life, women are carrying the weight of the world.

At the same time, online hatred is running rampant and some fear the impact an Elon Musk-run Twitter and his push for free, less-moderated speech could have on women, especially women of color. Life can be mentally exhausting, especially in 2022.

What struggles are you facing and what do you want the world to know? Women are always juggling, but this moment seems uniquely hard with new challenges piling up. How are you handling 2022? What do you hope for? Share your thoughts with us and we may follow up for a CNN story.

5:51 p.m. ET, June 24, 2022

Democratic lawmaker describes the fear surrounding abortion in the era before Roe v. Wade

Rep. Barbara Lee speaks during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington DC, on February 23.
Rep. Barbara Lee speaks during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington DC, on February 23. (Al Drago/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

Many Americans don't remember what it was like before 1973, when the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade — but California Rep. Barbara Lee does.

She said she remembers the fear of getting an abortion at that time: Terrified she might die, and terrified because she knew the abortion she was getting in Mexico was illegal.

"I had an abortion. It was illegal. I had to leave California, go back to El Paso, Texas, go across the border to Mexico, go to a back alley," she told CNN on Friday, following the Supreme Court's decision to overturn the nearly 50-year-old precedent of the constitutional right to an abortion.

"Coming back across the border, I didn't know if I was going to get stopped. I didn't know, getting into California, if I was going to get stopped and arrested — Back in the days now where abortions and abortion providers are going to be criminalized. That is horrific," Lee said.

"We cannot let this happen," she added. "We cannot go back."

She said one of her main concerns is that the restriction on abortion rights will disproportionately impact people of color and people living in rural and low-income areas. These people don't have the money or resources to be able to travel for services like she did or pay for child care, she said.

"The ballot box — we have got to elect state and local officials who trust women and who know that a personal decision about their own reproductive decisions is personal, it's private, just like it was with me," Lee said.


5:08 p.m. ET, June 24, 2022

Up to 100 abortion procedure or consultation appointments canceled at Arkansas Planned Parenthood

From CNN’s Nick Valencia

Dr. Janet Cathey, physician provider at the Little Rock Planned Parenthood office, told CNN that they had to cancel between "60 and 100" appointments for people who had abortion procedures scheduled or were in the process of scheduling.

The total includes about "30 patients today, another 20 tomorrow and then there were patients next week," Cathey said.

Cathey told CNN that in Arkansas, patients seeking abortion procedures must wait 72 hours before being able to receive medications for termination, which is why those appointments that were canceled for "some who were doing first-day consultation, and some were following up to get their medications."

"There were patients who said they were in their car and on their way and asked us, 'It will be OK, won't it?' and we had to tell them, 'No, we have to follow the law,'" Cathey told CNN. "Most patients were desperate or panicked."
"Most were a little bit panicked. Most of them were upset in some way," Cathey said when asked to describe the reactions of those who were notified.

Cathey said all patients were given contact information to the Planned Parenthood office in Overland Park, Kansas, office to get help with their abortion procedures there. She said that the Little Rock office "made arrangements for some to be transferred there." 

Little Rock is roughly seven hours from Overland Park, but for those patients in southern Arkansas, the travel time is closer to 10 hours, Cathey said. 

Speaking about the impact on Arkansas by today's SCOTUS ruling, Cathey said it's not just local residents who will be impacted. 

"We were seeing people from Louisiana and Texas who came to see us too. Some called from Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma. They're going to be impacted as well," she added.

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge earlier on Friday signed a certification that prohibits abortions in the state.

4:58 p.m. ET, June 24, 2022

Media giants, including Disney, reaffirm financial support for those seeking abortions

From CNN’s Brian Fung and Clare Duffy

Media giants have become the latest corporate titans to reaffirm financial support for abortion-seekers following Friday's Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade.

The entertainment goliath Disney assured employees Friday they would be able to afford a similar level of health care outside of their home area if they needed to travel to access health services, including family planning and pregnancy-related services, a Disney spokesperson told CNN.

Meanwhile, the cable and media giant Comcast said Friday that travel for abortion services is covered under a company-wide employee benefit. Under the policy, Comcast may pay each employee up to $4,000 per trip if the employee needs to travel to access a covered health care service. The coverage is capped at three trips and $10,000 per year, whichever comes first, but the benefit resets each year, meaning that employees who require follow-up health visits out-of-state could benefit substantially from the policy over multiple years, Comcast told CNN. The benefit applies to all Comcast and NBCUniversal employees, the company said, and the amount paid typically depends on the type of expense incurred.

And Warner Bros. Discovery — which owns CNN — said in a statement that it "immediately" expanded its benefits program on Friday following the court's ruling to cover abortion-related travel expenses. 

"Warner Bros. Discovery is committed to offering our employees across the country access to consistent and comprehensive healthcare services," a company spokesperson told CNN. "In light of the Supreme Court's recent decision, we immediately expanded our healthcare benefits options to cover transportation expenses for employees and their covered family members who need to travel to access abortion and reproductive care."

4:42 p.m. ET, June 24, 2022

"It's about all of us": Michigan governor fighting to block restrictive abortion law from going into effect

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said she is trying to stop a nearly-century-old law that restricts abortions from going into effect, now that the US Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade.

If the proposed law does go into effect, it would make Michigan one of the most restrictive states on abortion access.

The 1931 law that's still included in Michigan's penal code states: "Any person who shall wilfully (sic) administer to any pregnant woman any medicine, drug, substance or thing whatever, or shall employ any instrument or other means whatever, with intent thereby to procure the miscarriage of any such woman" ... is guilty of a felony.

It has an exception to "preserve the life" of the woman, but it does not exclude for rape or incest. The law also threatens abortion providers with prison time, according to the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan.

In response, Whitmer filed a lawsuit to try to block it from going into effect, before Roe was overturned. Now, she said she is hoping the court takes action soon.

"I filed this lawsuit a couple of months ago. People thought that it was too early, or maybe it wasn't going to be necessary, obviously, it was both timely and absolutely necessary," Whitmer told CNN on Friday.

The lawsuit argues that under the Michigan constitution, "women have due process and equal protection right to privacy and bodily autonomy and I'm hoping that our judges move swiftly to recognize that right here," she said.

Whitmer said restricting abortion rights in Michigan would not just hurt those who live in the state, but would also restrict care for women who come from neighboring states like Indiana and Ohio — both states whose legislatures are poised to ban abortion.

"The thought that I, as a 50-year-old woman who's always had these rights for most of my life, is now watching my daughters get the rights scaled back — be considered not full American citizens with the right to bodily autonomy and make their own health care decisions is devastating. That's why this fight is not just about the individual it's about all of us," she said.

CNN's Veronica Stracqualursi contributed to this report.

4:51 p.m. ET, June 24, 2022

Oklahoma attorney general certifies banning abortion in the state

From CNN's Raja Razek

Oklahoma Attorney General John O'Connor, left, speaks as Governor Kevin Stitt looks on during a press conference at the Capitol in Oklahoma City, on Friday.
Oklahoma Attorney General John O'Connor, left, speaks as Governor Kevin Stitt looks on during a press conference at the Capitol in Oklahoma City, on Friday. (Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman/AP)

Oklahoma Attorney General John O'Connor has certified banning abortion in the state, according to Gov. Kevin Stitt, after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on Friday.

"John O'Connor wasted no time. His swift action to certify section 861 banned abortion in our state immediately," Stitt said. "It is my hope that the rest of America will follow Oklahoma's lead." 

O'Connor said during a Friday news conference with the governor that "the people of Oklahoma have decided through their elected leaders, and the governor signed legislation making abortion illegal in the state of Oklahoma from the moment of conception, except in the instance of saving the life of the mother."

"And remember that in the Oklahoma law, there is no punishment for the mother. There is no criminal punishment. There is no civil exposure for the mother. It is for the people who aid or abet or solicit abortion," he added.  

"As of this morning, abortions performed in Oklahoma or solicited in Oklahoma are illegal," O'Connor said.  

"Oklahoma's law is very clear now. And so, law enforcement is now activated with respect to any efforts to aid, abet or solicit abortions," he added. 

Some background: Stitt signed a bill last month that would make performing abortions illegal in the state, only allowing exceptions to save the life of the pregnant person. The measure makes performing an abortion or attempting to perform one a felony punishable by a maximum fine of $100,000 or a maximum of 10 years in state prison, or both.

second bill signed into law last week set a timeline for provisions to go into effect, and it was dependent on how the Supreme Court ruled.

4:22 p.m. ET, June 24, 2022

Coalition of 83 prosecutors vow not to prosecute abortions

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

A coalition of 83 prosecutors collectively representing 87 million people from 28 states and territories have publicly vowed not to prosecute those seeking and performing abortions in the wake of the Supreme Court’s opinion clearing the way for bans and legal action.

“Not all of us agree on a personal or moral level on the issue of abortion. But we stand together in our firm belief that prosecutors have a responsibility to refrain from using limited criminal legal system resources to criminalize personal medical decisions,” according to a joint statement sent by Los Angeles County District Attorney George Cascón. “As such, we decline to use our offices’ resources to criminalize reproductive health decisions and commit to exercise our well-settled discretion and refrain from prosecuting those who seek, provide, or support abortions.”

The joint statement asserts that criminalizing abortion will not end the practice, but will inhibit safe procedures and inhibit those needing medical, social, and law enforcement help from seeking it.

“Prosecutors, police, and our medical partners cannot do our jobs when many victims and witnesses of crime or other emergencies are unwilling to work with us for fear that their private medical decisions will be criminalized,” the release states.

“We are horrified that some states have failed to carve out exceptions for victims of sexual violence and incest in their abortion restrictions; this is unconscionable,” the statement said. “And, even where such exceptions do exist, abortion bans still threaten the autonomy, dignity, and safety of survivors, forcing them to choose between reporting their abuse or being connected to their abuser for life.”

The prosecutors are comprised from states that plan to protect reproductive rights like California and Illinois, but also include those from 11 states that plan to implement stricter restrictions like Texas, Louisiana, and Alabama.

“This is a sad day in America,” said Gascón, who is one of the 83 elected prosecutors who signed the pledge. “The Supreme Court has told half the population that it has no right to bodily autonomy. One Justice said out loud that we should reconsider even more rights, including the right of everyone to love and marry who they choose. I grieve for all those women who have lost so much today, and for all those people who live in fear that they will lose more tomorrow.”

The represented states and territories include Georgia, California, Missouri, Virginia, New York, Maryland, Alabama, Colorado, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Mississippi, Texas, Vermont, Oregon, Illinois, Tennessee, Massachusetts, Maine, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Hawaii, Indiana, Illinois, Washington, Mississippi, New Mexico, Kansas, Florida, Louisiana, North Carolina, the District of Columbia, and the Northern Mariana Islands.