Cecile Richards and Mike Allen. Photo: Lawrence Jackson for Axios

Former Planned Parenthood head and Supermajority founder Cecile Richards told Axios' Mike Allen Friday that the wave of anti-abortion bills introduced in state legislatures this year is unlike anything she's ever seen in her lifetime of activism, and that she believes they will be politically damaging to Republicans.

"The 'heartbeat' bills are not only unconstitutional, they're absolutely inflaming women throughout the country, it's a huge issue. And with the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh [to the Supreme Court], the right to safe and legal abortion in this country is not just theoretically at risk — it is absolutely at risk."

Driving the news: The Alabama Senate was on the verge of passing the nation's strictest abortion bill on Thursday before the chamber erupted in a yelling match, forcing lawmakers to table the vote. Earlier this week, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) signed into law a bill that prohibits abortions as soon a doctor can detect the first fetal heartbeat, which can come as soon as 6 weeks into pregnancy.

  • The Georgia "heartbeat" bill follows similar action taken by state governments in Ohio, Mississippi, Kentucky and Iowa.

The big picture: Richards said that if the current trend lines continue, she believes women will comprise 53%–54% of the voters that turn out for the 2020 election. She added that it's important that so many women are running for president and bringing issues like child care and teacher pay to the forefront of the policy debate, but that she wants all candidates to be asked about women's issues.

Go deeper: A surge of restrictive state abortion bans take aim at Roe v. Wade

Go deeper

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 a.m. ET: 12,739,269 — Total deaths: 565,704 — Total recoveries — 7,021,460Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 a.m. ET: 3,247,782 — Total deaths: 134,815 — Total recoveries: 995,576 — Total tested: 39,553,395Map.
  3. Politics: Trump wears face mask in public for first time.
  4. Public health: Fauci hasn't briefed Trump on the coronavirus pandemic in at least two months — We're losing the war on the coronavirus.
  5. States: Louisiana governor issues face mask mandate.
  6. World: India reimposes lockdowns as coronavirus cases soar.

Biden's doctrine: Erase Trump, re-embrace the world

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto, and Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Foreign policy will look drastically different if Joe Biden defeats President Trump in November, advisers tell Axios — starting with a Day One announcement that the U.S. is re-entering the Paris Climate Agreement and new global coordination of the coronavirus response.

The big picture: If Trump's presidency started the "America First" era of withdrawal from global alliances, Biden's team says his presidency would be the opposite: a re-engagement with the world and an effort to rebuild those alliances — fast.

Robert Mueller speaks out on Roger Stone commutation

Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testifies before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill on Wednesday July 24, 2019. Photo: The Washington Post / Contributor

Former special counsel Robert Mueller responded to claims from President Trump and his allies that Roger Stone was a "victim" in the Justice Department's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, writing in a Washington Post op-ed published Saturday: "He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so."

Why it matters: The rare public comments by Mueller come on the heels of President Trump's move to commute the sentence of his longtime associate, who was sentenced in February to 40 months in prison for crimes stemming from the Russia investigation. The controversial decision brought an abrupt end to the possibility of Stone spending time behind bars.