Julie C. Rodríguez
Posted: January 25, 2024
When Americans go to the polls on Election Day this November, they will go knowing that the fate of every American woman’s freedom to make her own health care decisions is on the line. They will also know that the horrific alternative – the chaos, confusion, and uncertainty women whose rights have been ripped away are experiencing right now – falls squarely at the feet of Donald J. Trump.
When candidates run on defending reproductive freedom, they win elections.
After the Dobbs decision, President Biden warned of the harrowing reality that would follow for American women, saying “with Roe gone, let’s be very clear: The health and life of women in this nation are now at risk.”
Unfortunately, he was right.
Since Trump’s Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade – a fact he frequently brags about – draconian and dangerous bans have been proposed, passed, and enacted by MAGA Republicans across the country, leading to the unimaginable horror for women having to beg for the health care they need. Let’s look at the facts:
- More than 1 in 3 women of reproductive age in America now live under an abortion ban.
- A majority of state bans enacted after Dobbs have no exceptions for rape or incest.
- Doctors can be charged with a felony for providing needed reproductive health care and in some states physicians could face life in prison.
- Women are being turned away from emergency rooms, risking their lives.
Donald Trump has no plans to stop his all-out assault on women’s reproductive rights. Beyond boasting in ads about his role in overturning Roe and calling for “punishment” for women who get abortions, Donald Trump and the other GOP contenders are determined to ban and criminalize abortion nationally. In fact, Trump’s close advisors have published plans detailing exactly how they intend to unilaterally restrict access to abortion care – through executive action and without the help of Congress – if they regain power.
It stands in stark contrast with President Biden and Vice President Harris, who believe that the right to choose is fundamental, that medical decisions should be between a woman and her doctor, and have taken aggressive executive action to protect access to reproductive health care and safeguard patient privacy amid ongoing Republican attacks. They are the only candidates in the race for the presidency who will veto a national abortion ban to become law and are fighting to restore the protections of Roe – the only way to guarantee access to care for people in every state.
Faced with this choice, voters have shown again and again whose side they are on. November 2024 will be no different.
Americans Are on Our Side on Protecting Reproductive Rights
Donald Trump and MAGA Republicans’ attacks on reproductive freedom are wildly out of step with the voters that decide this election:
- An overwhelming majority of U.S. adults say they oppose the decision to overturn
- By a 2 to 1 margin, Americans prefer the Democratic Party’s approach to abortion policy than the Republican approach.
- Support for abortion access is reaching record levels across party lines – including among independents.
- 9 out of 10 Americans support abortion access in the event of rape or incest, or when a woman’s health is at risk.
- 80% of voters oppose a national abortion ban, including 65% of Republicans and 83% of independents.
President Biden and Vice President Harris’ message, that the right to choose is fundamental and that medical decisions should be between a woman and her doctor, is exactly where the majority of Americans are on the issue:
- A comprehensive review of abortion polling found that, across pollsters and decades, the belief that “the choice [to have an abortion] should be left up to the woman and her doctor” has remained stable since the 1970s, with a majority of all Americans in favor of that position.
- 3 in 5 Americans support Congress passing legislation that would enshrine the protections of Roe into federal law.
And reproductive rights are a top issue for key parts of the Biden-Harris winning coalition:
- In 2022, abortion was a major issue for the majority of Democratic voters.
- During the midterms, young voters ranked abortion as their number one issue.
- 80% of female voters ages 18-49, 78% of Black voters, and 70% of Latino voters, oppose the overturning of Roe.
- 85% of independent women say abortion will be either the most important or one of the most important issues in determining their vote.
When Abortion Rights Are on the Ballot, Democrats Win
The issue of protecting reproductive freedoms isn’t just wildly popular with voters – it’s translating into electoral success. When candidates run on defending reproductive freedom, they win elections.
Since Dobbs, abortion has been directly on the ballot seven times – with ballot measures in Kansas, Michigan, Kentucky, California, Vermont, and Montana in 2022, and a referendum vote on a constitutional amendment in Ohio in 2023. All seven times, voters in Red and Blue states alike resoundingly voted to protect their rights.
Protecting reproductive rights has driven major legislative victories even when it’s not directly on the ballot. During the 2022 midterms:
- Outside analysis found that reproductive rights played a “significant role in motivating key voting blocs that likely contributed to the Democratic party’s stronger-than-expected performance.”
- In Michigan, polls showed that abortion was the number one issue for voters in the gubernatorial election. Reproductive rights propelled Gov. Whitmer to re-election, and led Democrats to flip both chambers of the state legislature, establishing a Democratic trifecta in the state for the first time in 40 years.
- In Pennsylvania, where exit polling found that abortion was the top issue for voters, Democrats won the gubernatorial, U.S. Senate, all three swing U.S. House seats, and even took control of the state House for the first time in more than a decade.
And in elections in 2023 and early this year, protecting reproductive rights has remained a top issue, driving wins across the country:
- Democrats overperformed in special elections in 2023 – flipping state senate seats and holding congressional seats in Virginia, overwhelmingly winning Wisconsin’s highly-contested state Supreme Court race, and rejecting tricky ballot initiatives in Ohio. In common across all these races was a central focus on protecting abortion rights and fighting against MAGA abortion bans.
- During the 2023 November elections, voters in every corner of the country rejected Republicans’ extreme anti-abortion agenda. In Virginia, Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin made the election a direct referendum on his belief that Republicans could “lead” on abortion and Democrats still triumphed, retaining the Senate and even flipping the House.
- And just last week, Democrats flipped Florida’s 35th State House District, which Ron DeSantis won by 13 points in 2022, running on a message of fighting for reproductive rights.
Abortion will be a key issue in every single presidential battleground this year
Headed into the 2024 general election, abortion rights remain salient and top of mind for our voters. Recent polling shows that:
- Three in four voters say abortion will be an important issue for them in the 2024 election.
- 58% of battleground voters say the Republican Party’s position on abortion is too extreme.
- 73% of independents say they are less likely to support candidates who support restricting abortion access.
And looking toward November, abortion will once again be on the ballot:
In Arizona: Because of Donald Trump, a ban with no exceptions for rape or incest is currently in effect, and the State Supreme Court will be deciding whether or not an 160-year-old total ban will go into effect at Republicans’ request. Signatures are being collected right now to put a reproductive rights amendment on the ballot.
In Georgia: A near-total ban has been in effect since Donald Trump paved the way for the Supreme Court to overturn Roe.
In Florida: Because of Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis, the Florida State Supreme Court is deciding whether or not to implement an abortion ban with no exceptions for rape or incest – and Ron DeSantis’ near-total ban could go into effect shortly after. In the meantime, reproductive rights organizers have taken the next step in meeting the signature collection threshold to get a reproductive freedom amendment on the ballot.
In Michigan: Donald Trump poses a direct threat to Michganders’ reproductive freedoms. Despite voters decisively protecting their right to reproductive health care in the midterms, Trump’s national ban would supersede any state-level protections.
In Nevada: Signatures are being collected right now to put a reproductive rights amendment on the ballot so voters can protect their freedoms from the threat of Donald Trump’s nationwide ban.
In North Carolina: Because of Donald Trump, North Carolinians live under a restrictive abortion ban.
In Pennsylvania: Abortion remains legal, but access would be ripped away by a national abortion ban like Donald Trump is proposing.
In Wisconsin: Voters have already experienced the legal uncertainty and chaos caused by Donald Trump. Now, despite the fact that abortion care is being provided in the state, Donald Trump’s plans to ban abortion access nationwide directly threaten Wisconsin voters’ rights.
With all this in mind, the Biden-Harris Campaign will be spending the next ten months highlighting the impact that Donald Trump’s abortion bans in the states are having on women and providers and reminding voters exactly what is at stake for reproductive freedom in 2024.
In President Biden’s own words: “I don’t think … the Republicans who for decades have pushed their extreme agenda have a clue about the power of American women. But they’re about to find out.”
Julie C. Rodríguez, Biden-Harris 2024 Campaign Manager.
- Denver Hosts Work Authorization Clinics for Newcomers - February 22, 2024
- Health and Humility - February 22, 2024
- Empowered Youth Town Hall To Be Held at West High School - February 22, 2024