On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States overturned Roe vs Wade, the landmark case that guaranteed access to abortion. Since then, politicians on both sides of the spectrum have used the Roe decision as a campaign tactic for the approaching midterm elections. President Joe Biden, for example, said that if two more Democrats join the Senate, he would codify Roe into law. Many have referred to November as "Roevember" in an effort to highlight how this election will determine how states treat abortion.
Dear women: 96% of Republicans voted against your legal right to have access to contraceptives and want to pass a national abortion ban. The midterms are in 23 days. pic.twitter.com/toBoCJIgr8— Andrew Wortman 🏳️🌈🇺🇸 (@AmoneyResists) October 17, 2022
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham has already proposed a national 15-week ban on abortion. With the House of Representatives likely to switch over to a GOP majority, and the Senate still a toss-up, Graham's proposal shows us that abortion is indeed on the ballot. As covered by Politico, Michigan, a notorious swing state, is facing an abortion referendum in November. Although voters appear to favor abortion, the reality is that the state's 1931 abortion law, which does not allow for exceptions in cases of rape or incest, could remain in place. Michigan is just one of the multiple states facing the possibility of antiquated laws in 2022, as many states including Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Tennessee have already adopted anti-abortion legislation.
One of the silver linings is that the debate around abortion will likely increased voter engagement. As reported by KFF, "In states with abortion bans in place following the Supreme Court’s decision, half (51%) of voters say their state’s abortion laws are making them more motivated to vote this year." Democrats have been at the forefront of framing abortion as a key voting issue, although the economy has remained the primary topic of concern amongst voters. However, Democrats may have peaked too early before the midterm elections, with Republicans gaining an edge due to economic worries.
Great op-ed by my friend Tony Perkins regarding the Protecting Pain-Capable Unborn Children from Late-Term Abortions Act, which would set a national minimum standard on abortion.— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) September 28, 2022
As usual, Tony hits a home run. A must-read.
This is not a normal midterm election; voters must remember that this election will have far-reaching consequences for abortion rights. California, Michigan, Vermont, Montana, and Kentucky have state-wide ballot measures about abortion on the ticket. Nationally, if Republicans win control of Congress, access to abortion could be at an even greater risk. Regardless of the results, the 2022 midterms will change the fabric of political representation as the entire House is up for re-election, as well as 35 Senate seats and 36 gubernatorial spots.
It is important to note that while abortion is a leading issue for some voters, it is just one of many. With many secretaries of state up for election, other issues at stake, like voting rights, may have implications on abortion access in the future.
Regardless of what issue stands out the most to you, voting is important. Check your registration at: iwillvote.com.