Progressives, Activists Plan to Use Texas Abortion Law to Energize Voters

Progressives and activists plan to use Texas’ new ban on abortions to energize their bases and encourage voter turnout in next year’s midterm election, The Hill reported Thursday.

The Supreme Court voted 5-4 on Wednesday to deny an emergency request by abortion and women’s health providers for an injunction on enforcement of a Texas law that bans abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.

The law, which puts the landmark Roe v. Wade decision in jeopardy, also allows private citizens to sue abortion providers or people who receive abortions. The Texas law makes no exceptions for cases of rape or incest.

Opponents of the Texas law say it shows why winning state-level elections is vital.

“Roe v. Wade has been the law of the land for a long time, and so many voters took for granted that there was a constitutional right to abortion,” Kristin Ford, acting vice president of communications and research at NARAL Pro-Choice America, told The Hill.

“With that in real jeopardy and this bill being able to go into effect in Texas really flies in the face of Roe v. Wade.”

Democrat leaders wasted little time in denouncing the Supreme Court’s decision and vowing to motivate voters to fight back.

“We won’t go back — and we’ll be fighting from now until Election Day to make sure that the House Republicans who are coming for reproductive rights lose their seats in 2022,” Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said in a statement.

Abortion rights groups are already working to engage voters ahead of the midterm elections.

“Our plan for the election cycle is registering voters, engaging with people now on the issues … showing them that they have a part in this and that they can make a real difference,” Carisa Lopez, the political director of the Texas Freedom Network, told The Hill.

Other Republican-led states, like Texas, have sought to enact abortion bans that challenged Roe v. Wade. In May, the Supreme Court agreed to review Mississippi’s ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

“The right to an abortion is non-negotiable. Reproductive freedom is sacred both in PA and in America,” tweeted Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, D-Pa., who is running for the U.S. Senate. “In PA, Governor Wolf + I will veto any bill that limits a person’s reproductive freedom.”

Virginia, which holds its statewide elections in November, could give a preview into how messaging on abortion will play out next year, The Hill said.

“This dangerous Texas law is exactly what [Republican opponent] Glenn Youngkin has in mind when he says he wants to go ‘on offense’ to ban abortion in the Commonwealth,” gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe, D-Va., said. “We’ve seen these extreme right-wing attacks on reproductive health in Virginia before, and as governor I fought back against every single one.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitter early Thursday morning to tell progressives it was time to abolish the Senate filibuster.

“Republicans promised to overturn Roe v Wade, and they have,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “Democrats can either abolish the filibuster and expand the court, or do nothing as millions of peoples’ bodies, rights, and lives are sacrificed for far-right minority rule.

“This shouldn’t be a difficult decision.”

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