Image Courtesy of NPR

By John Maggio

Ever since the overturning of Roe v. Wade by the Dobbs decision, the Republican Party has largely not been able to campaign on pro-life policies successfully. This will likely affect the 2024 general election, with abortion being one of the top issues this cycle.

While the overturning of the landmark case was seen as a major win for the GOP in 2022, Democrats have been the real winners on this issue in recent elections. These elections were not just in liberal havens, something that may not be a good sign for Republicans.

Kansas, a state that has not voted for a Democratic presidential nominee since 1964, voted to keep abortion legal in a 2022 special election. The same year saw California, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana, and Vermont protect women’s right to choose.

Last year, Ohio, a bellwether state in elections, voted to protect abortion, and Virginia Democrats took over both state legislative chambers after Republicans campaigned on a 15-week ban.

In a poll just before the Virginia election, 60% of registered voters stated that abortion was a “very important” issue to them. Abortion remains a top issue for voters across the nation this election.

With the recent reinstallment of the near-total abortion law in Arizona, both parties are looking to use this to help their case in the November election. This ban was put into the books in 1864, nearly 50 years before Arizona became a state in 1912.

Democrats are looking to combat this law and continue their recent successes against pro-life laws. Arizona’s Democratic Attorney General, Kris Mayes, stated that this ban will not be enforced.

“Look, there are laws on the books in Arizona and in every state that are not enforced. I mean, Arizona has an adultery law, a bigamy law,” AG Mayes stated. “Those laws are not enforced. And it’s my job to make sure that the resources of my office are properly utilized and spent.”

Democrats in the Arizona Legislature shouted “shame” to their Republican colleagues as they shut down discussions to repeal that law.

Republicans are also looking to have electoral successes after the revival of the 160-year-old ban. Republicans in Arizona have been outlining a ballot measure that would set abortion bans to 15 weeks, seemingly a compromise to the voters in the Grand Canyon State as opposed to the Civil War-era law.

Former President Donald Trump, who is also the Republican nominee, had some comments on the issue of abortion in this election.

Trump stated that if he were back in the White House, he would not sign a national abortion ban, arguing that it is a states’ rights issue.

“We brought it back to the states, and now lots of things are happening, and lots of good things are happening” the former president said.

In a video posted to Truth Social, his social media site, Trump said that Democrats’ only issue is abortion and that “all I say is the states are handling it, and it’s totally killed that issue,” continuing the states’ rights narrative.

Three of the five Supreme Court Justices (Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett) who voted in the majority in Dobbs v. Jackson, which sent the issue back to the states, were appointed by Trump.
With a Gallup poll showing that an all-time high of 76% of Republicans hold pro-life views, GOP voters who hold this issue close to their hearts may have to make a tough choice on whether or not to vote for a candidate that has flip-flopped on this issue over the years and vows not to sign a national ban.

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