while the Americans still processing in their minds the decision of the Supreme Court that annulled the constitutional right to abortion in the country, politicians from all over the spectrum stepped forward to explain how what is at stake on the political stage has changed and what is to come next.
Former Vice President Mike Pence, who has long been a leader in the evangelical Christian movement, said his side needs to focus on getting abortion bans through state legislatures.
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“We must not rest and we must not relent until the sanctity of life is restored to the core of American law in every state in the country”said.
President Joe Biden, in an address to the nation, noted that the only way Americans can protect abortion rights is by voting Democrat in the November midterm elections.
“We must elect more senators and representatives to re-codify a woman’s right to choose into federal law, elect more state leaders to protect this right at the local level,” she said.
In case it wasn’t immediately clear, the central front of the battle for abortion rights in the United States has moved from the courts to the ballot box.
And while there will continue to be plenty of legal fights as states pass new types of legislation to protect or limit abortion rights, these battles will depend on what happens in state legislatures, governors’ mansions, and Congress.
Many of those political offices are up for grabs this November.
What do the voters think?
It has been 50 years since the legality of abortion was determined by vote, so the electoral implications of returning this power to the states are difficult to predict.
When abortion rights were protected by Supreme Court precedent, public opinion polls generally indicated that conservatives were most motivated to vote on the issue and on the prospect that incumbents Republicans appointed and confirmed the justices who ultimately overturned Roe.
The Democrats, with status quo on their side, they were less inclined to make abortion a priority issue.
The latest polls suggest this may change now that Roe is gone.
According to a survey conducted by CBS News in May, the 40% of Democrats said they would be more likely to vote if Roe vs. Wade were overturned, compared to just 17% of Republicans. 71% of Democrats were more likely to vote for a politician who wanted to keep Roe, while 49% of Republicans said they felt that way about candidates who wanted to kill him.
Among independent voters, 45% would be more likely to support pro-choice candidates, compared to 23% who leaned anti-choice.
Success in midterm elections, when presidential candidates are not on the ballot, is largely determined by how effective parties are at getting their supporters to the polls. So the party that is not in power, whose supporters are eager to get it back, tends to do well in them.
If Democrats can use the abortion issue to mobilize their base, they could revive their hopes of electoral success in November despite a president struggling with low popularity and a difficult economic climate.
However, also there is a possibility that some members of the left will be disappointed by what they see as a lack of effort on the part of their party to codify the right to abortion before the decision of the Supreme Court.
“We elected a Democratic majority in the House and Senate,” Democratic strategist Sawyer Hackett tweeted in a typical expression of that sentiment. “We’ve won the popular vote in seven of the last eight elections. Hundreds of thousands of people have marched to protect Roe. How exactly are we supposed to vote harder?”
States to watch
The new state-level political battles over abortion will likely play out on a map familiar to anyone who has followed the recent presidential election.
Some states that are under Republican control – such as Texas, much of the South and wide swathes of the central and western US – will probably impose, or have already enacted, some kind of ban. Other Democratic-majority states, such as the Pacific Coast and the Northeast, have enacted or will soon enact abortion protections.
Later there are a handful of “pendulum” states, where the legality of abortion is on a knife edgeand in which what happens will probably depend on the party that manages to control the levers of power in November.
Control of state legislatures is at stake in states like Arizona, Michigan, Colorado, Nevada and Minnesota. This year, Democrats are trying to keep the governorships of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Kansas, while Republicans defend Arizona, Texas and Florida.
Governors will play a key role in the upcoming abortion battles, as they can sign — or veto — abortion legislation that comes to their table. In North Carolina, for example, Republicans are seeking a legislative majority large enough to override the Democratic governor’s promised veto of any measure that limits abortion rights in that state.
In Kansas, abortion itself is at stake, as voters will decide in November on a proposal to repeal abortion protections in the state Constitution.
In the meantime, control of Congress, which could pass laws protecting or banning abortion nationwide, is also at stake. Democrats have a slim majority in the House of Representatives and are tied at 50% in the Senate, holding control only thanks to Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote.
Even the slightest shift in the electoral winds in the months leading up to the November vote could have dramatic implications for abortion rights across the United States.
An abyss between two United States
If the short-term political implications are difficult to predict, the long-term trends are even more so.
Yet some politicians and journalists are already discussing how this decision — and the state political schisms that differing abortion rules will create — may exacerbate the geographic divisions already becoming apparent in the United States.
The conservative red and liberal blue map of the United States could soon be presented in even sharper relief.
“I’ve talked to a lot of people who have decided to leave Texas and not come back for political reasons.of all ages, from all backgrounds,” Christopher Hooks, a writer who works for the publication, said on Twitter. Texas Monthly. “That has increased in the last month. It’s really demoralizing.”
If the trend – spurred by the abortion decision – is demoralizing for Hooks, others celebrate it, like Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri, who sees it as helping his party get insurance in enough states to win the presidency by a majority in the Electoral College.
“I would predict the effect is going to be that more and more red states are going to be redder, purple states are going to be red, and blue states are going to be a lot more blue,” Hawley told reporters on Friday. “And I would look to Republicans, as a result of this, to expand their strength in the Electoral College. And that’s very good news.”
A nation sharply divided over the morality and legality of abortion, where citizens are divided by geography, culture, and political ideology, is a recipe for political acrimony, one of the kind the US has not seen since the days before the Civil War.
I, Ronald Payne, am a journalist and author who dedicated his life to telling the stories that need to be said. I have over 7 years of experience as a reporter and editor, covering everything from politics to business to crime.