Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams is using the threat to abortion rights in her state as a reminder to voters of what is at stake in her campaign against Gov. Brian Kemp, saying that voters should “take into very real consideration the danger Brian Kemp poses to the life and welfare of women in this state” and warning that he “intends to adds incest and rape as prohibitions” in the state’s abortion ban—a warning a Kemp spokesperson said was a lie, but … we’ll see how that develops.
In Arizona, state attorney general candidate Kris Mayes said, “This will be the number one issue in my campaign,” pledging not to prosecute abortion providers or patients.
Democratic Senate candidates in battleground states also have a specific argument to make about how their elections matter to the future of abortion rights in this country: Any of them could be the decisive vote to end the filibuster and codify Roe, or the decisive vote preventing Republicans from doing the reverse. Rep. Tim Ryan, the Democratic nominee for Senate in Ohio, connected abortion to the economic focus of his campaign, saying, “We built a campaign around issues like freedom, economic freedom, good middle class jobs and wages, and making sure we rebuild the middle class. This is an issue of freedom as well.”
North Carolina Democratic Senate nominee Cheri Beasley said Friday, “I hope you all know that this doesn’t end this, that the threats don’t stop here.” Like many Democrats, she invoked the upcoming midterm elections, saying, “This November let us run, not walk, to the polls.” Not only is Beasley a key Senate candidate, though, she’s also a former chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court—a court with a narrow liberal majority that is on the ballot in November. Turning out pro-choice North Carolina voters matters to the U.S. Senate, but it also matters in the most direct and immediate sense to the fate of abortion law in the state.
Democrats need to lay out specific goals—enough Democrats in Congress to codify Roe, which means enough Democrats in the Senate to end the filibuster, Democrats in state-level positions that enable them to defend abortion rights and access—and let voters know why specific races matter to those goals. It’s not enough to say that Roe is on the ballot. Tell people what the plan is (because there’s a plan, right? Right?) and where and how and what to do about it. Drill down past platitudes to action. Hopelessness is a major danger right now, and being vague about how to change things just feeds hopelessness. Giving people something to do will combat that.
Too many Democrats are already failing the test the Supreme Court's abortion decision poses
Supreme Court races could be the key to protecting abortion rights in several states
Abortion now absolutely illegal in multiple states with no exceptions as Court decision roils U.S.