The landmark Supreme Court decision reversing Roe v. Wade will be more than two years old by the time voters head to the polls for the 2024 election, but Democrats are pushing to make abortion a top-of-ballot issue for Americans.
Democratic Party leaders who gathered at the Lansdowne Resort in northern Virginia for their annual strategy retreat this week said abortion rights will be the most important issue for Democratic candidates as they seek to undo what one party leader called “MAGA abortion bans,” The Hill reported. Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA), the Democratic House whip, told reporters that the fight over abortion will be a priority issue for the party for years to come.
“This is the pivotal issue of 2024. It is the fight that will determine the trajectory of the next four years, and the next four decades,” Clark said.
“Wherever we travel across the country, whoever we talk to, abortion is top of mind for our constituents and for voters,” the Democratic whip added. “Millions of people are suffering under the brutality of MAGA abortion bans. And those in states that still have protected abortion access are scared of the GOP’s march to a national abortion ban.”
Clark’s comments echo the Biden campaign’s recent messaging on abortion as it seeks to tie former President Donald Trump to abortion bans passed in Republican-led states following the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling in June 2022. Trump, the Republican Party’s presidential frontrunner, has stood by the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, saying he’s “proud” to have appointed three justices who helped reverse the 1973 ruling.
The Democrats’ abortion messaging push comes as immigration and the economy top the list of issues for many Americans, and the president faces increasing criticism for his handling of the border crisis.
Last month, the Biden campaign doubled down on the abortion rhetoric, releasing an ad that featured Dr. Austin Dennard, a Dallas OBGYN and mother of three, who obtained an abortion out of state for an unborn child she says had a fetal condition with “absolutely no chance of survival.” In the ad, Dennard slammed Texas’ pro-life laws, saying that her life was “at risk” because of the conservative legislation. She also presented Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris as “leaders who will protect” abortion rights.
The Biden campaign ad, however, mischaracterized Dennard’s pregnancy as there is no medical evidence that supports the claim that her life was in danger because of the pregnancy, Dr. Ingrid Skop, an obstetrician-gynecologist, previously told The Daily Wire.
“It is incorrect for her to say that she had to leave Texas to protect her life,” Skop said. “The reality is she left Texas because she wanted to terminate a baby who had a life-limiting condition.”
During remarks to reporters in Virginia, Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-TX), a co-chair of Biden’s re-election campaign, pointed to Dennard’s story as an example of why Democrats continue to make abortion a top issue.
“For those who pretend to believe in exceptions, or hide behind language that says there are exceptions, make no mistake about it: Texas has proven that Republicans do not believe in, and do not want, exceptions — not even when it’s threatening the life of a mother, not even when it threatens her ability to have children in the future,” said Escobar. “This is a very dire moment for American women.”
Democrats have credited their better-than-expected showing in the 2022 midterm elections to voters, especially young women, mobilizing around abortion rights in the wake of the Dobbs ruling. The party has also seen success in states such as Michigan, Ohio, Kansas, and Kentucky, where voters have moved to protect abortion rights.