Friday, February 3, 2023

Abortion rights defenders in US are preparing for more battle

Buoyed by the results of last November’s midterm elections, abortion rights advocates in the United States say they are preparing for even bigger fights in state legislatures and upcoming key elections, including races for Congress and the presidency in 2024.

Democrats and leaders of various organizations say the anti-abortion-rights vote and recent victories for pro-abortion candidates provide them with a road map for winning future battles.

The US Supreme Court’s decision this summer to strike down the constitutional right to abortion has mobilized and brought together women of different races, ages and ideologies to form larger and more diverse coalitions.

He says the November election also changed the way people talk about abortion. Long seen as a polarizing issue, Democrats were advised to stay away from it, but it is now seen not only as a fundamental issue that must be addressed, but as one that will help them win.

“Based on the enthusiasm and what we saw in our exit polls and election results, we believe this is a recurring theme,” said Mini Timmaraju, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. The group pledged $150 million to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund and EMILY’s List for the 2022 election.

“We have come a long, long way, but we can do a lot more and we have to work towards that by 2024,” he said.

Before the November election, skeptics, including some in the Democratic Party, believed that the Supreme Court’s June decision in Roe v. Wade had faded as a motivator of voters because of concerns about inflation, crime or the unpopularity of President Joe Biden.

Yet in the first nationwide elections since the ruling, voters in five states protected abortion rights through their votes. Democrats did better than anticipated, retaining control of the Senate and winning races for governor and other key state offices, and among the biggest winners were Democratic candidates who made abortion rights protections a centerpiece of their campaigns.

VoteCast, a comprehensive poll of voters in the polls, found that 7 out of 10 voters said the High Court decision on abortion rights was an important factor in their voting decisions. Votecasts also showed that the decision was widely unpopular. Nearly 6 in 10 said they were angry or dissatisfied with it, and nearly 6 in 10 said they support a law that would guarantee legal abortion nationwide.

“The election showed how empowering this is for people, and I don’t think it’s going to end anytime soon,” said Jen Klein, director of the Biden administration’s Gender Policy Council on abortion rights.

An important finding for abortion rights advocates was that voters care about more than one issue and vote based on it. And for many women, reproductive rights are an economic issue, activists say.

House Democrats — who lost their majority but retained more seats than expected — giving the GOP a limited lead—mentioned abortion in 51% of TV and radio ads released by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) in their most competitive districts kept. Memorandum after election to the body. The economy, extremism and the January 6, 2021 storming of the United States Capitol were also mentioned in DCCC ads, though less frequently.

“There were a lot of skeptics, a lot of experts were saying ‘we’re going to lose.’ They said ‘abortion polarizes, don’t talk about it, it’s not going to mobilize women,’ recalled Amanda Brown Lirman, executive director of Supermajority, a progressive, multiracial organization that supported Donald Trump’s election in 2016. Organize women to vote.” They couldn’t have been more wrong. Now you have a voter who feels empowered.”

With more than a dozen states nearing abortion bans, abortion rights groups expect many of their next efforts will be in state legislatures, where Republicans continue to push for restrictions. He is also active in the race for a US Senate seat in Georgia between incumbent Democratic candidate Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschelle Walker, a football veteran.

Other upcoming trials include a spring election for the Wisconsin Supreme Court that could change the balance of the court in a state where abortion is banned, and the Kentucky gubernatorial race in November 2023.

Several Republicans are running to challenge Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear, who supports abortion rights, in a conservative-leaning state where voters in November voted against a Republican-backed measure aimed at denying any constitutional protections for abortion.

Then comes 2024, when the country will elect a president and which party controls Congress.

Meanwhile, opponents of abortion are also tracking what worked — and what didn’t — in the midterm elections and debate their strategy going forward.

Anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony and Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Pro-Life America, argued that the extent to which abortion rights opponents were defeated was more indicative of the direction the campaign was headed than the direction the campaign was headed. how the money was spent The country has moved on from this issue in the wake of the cancellation of Roe v. Roe. Get off

Democrats, especially vulnerable incumbents in the competitive race for the US House of Representatives, have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on ads that underscore their Republican opponents’ staunch opposition to abortion rights. Meanwhile, Republican campaigns and related groups spent a fraction on abortion-specific messaging, allowing attacks — sometimes misinterpreting GOP positions and records — to elicit little or no response.

“I hope the lessons have been learned — some lessons are hard — that this doesn’t happen again,” Dannenfelser said. “Our goal is for there to be a learning moment and to leave behind the ostrich’s strategy of sticking its head in the sand.”

The money paid to him was what Dannenfelser called an “unanswered lie”.

For example, a national Democratic House campaign group twice ran ads to help Representative Angie Craig of Minnesota, a Democrat who supports abortion rights, by claiming that her Republican challenger, Tyler Kistner, had abused those women. Supported a ban on abortion without exception for those who become pregnant. result of rape or incest. Despite Kistner’s claim that he supported such exceptions in June.

Kistner’s campaign aides protested in press interviews during the campaign, but neither Kistner nor Republican groups aired ads in response. Still, Kistner, who ran unsuccessfully against Craig in 2020, did not mention his position on abortion on his campaign website this year, unlike two years ago.

“When party committees and then their leaders say, ‘Whatever they say, don’t talk about abortion,’ the lie sticks,” Dannenfelser says.

With a divided Congress, the focus of Dannenfelser’s group turns to closely evaluating Republican candidates for president, he said. That means eliminating field candidates who don’t see any federal role for restricting abortion, he says.

“The only thing that is unacceptable is the idea that if they are elected they have no work to do,” he added.

Other Republicans say the lesson may be that the GOP should stop supporting draconian sanctions. They point to elections this summer in conservative Kansas, where voters overwhelmingly supported abortion rights.

“I think there’s a quiet conversation happening about whether the party, at the national level, should be paying attention to what happened, for example, in a state like Kansas,” said Jennifer Young, a Republican health care lobbyist.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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