- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 7, 2022

Democratic governors in North Carolina and Colorado signed orders Wednesday that prohibit their states from extraditing women who face civil or criminal penalties under an abortion ban in another state.

The orders by Colorado Gov. Jared Polis and North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper are the latest steps by blue and purple states to shore up abortion access and put up a firewall between their systems and states that try to track down women who leave their states in search of the procedure.

Mr. Polis’ order, for example, says the governor will exercise the “full extent of [his] discretion to decline requests for the arrest, surrender, or extradition” for persons facing charges related to abortion in another state.

Mr. Cooper’s order also said state agencies cannot require a pregnant state employee to travel to a state “where there are not protections for the health of the pregnant person.”

Governors in Rhode Island and Maine also have signed orders saying they will not participate in investigations initiated out of state, though said they are preemptive and haven’t received any requests so far.

The flurry of activity is in response to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the broad right to abortion enshrined in the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.

The ruling triggered a series of abortion restrictions in some states, while Democratic leaders moved to shore up access and portray their states as safe havens for the procedure.

Planned Parenthood South Atlantic said one-third of the patients on their schedule in clinics in North Carolina were from out of state this week, according to Mr. Cooper’s office.

“North Carolina is already seeing an influx of patients coming to the state for safe care,” a news release said.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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