Democrats believe abortion will motivate voters in 2024. Will this be enough?


WASHINGTON (AP) — When Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump recently said he was “proud” to have had a hand in overturning abortion protections enshrined in Roe v. Wade, Democratic pollster Celinda Lake called it a political gift. Took it as, thinking to myself, “Oh my God, we just won the election.”

It may not be that simple, but as the race to 2024 heats up, President Joe Biden’s campaign is betting big on abortion rights as a key driver for Democrats in the election. Republicans are still trying to figure out how to talk about the issue, and how to avoid a political backlash.

Julie Chavez Rodriguez, Biden’s campaign manager, said, “A vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris is a vote to reinstate Roe, and a vote for Donald Trump is a vote to ban abortion across the country. ” “These are at stake in 2024 and we will continue to make sure every single voter knows that.”

Since Roe was overturned in 2022, voters have pushed back by approving several statewide ballot initiatives to preserve or expand abortion rights. Support for abortion rights Getting women to vote during the 2022 midterm elections led to unexpected success for the Democrats. For many, the issue took on heightened meaning, part of a broader concern. The future of democracyAccording to AP VoteCast, a nationwide survey of more than 94,000 voters in the midterm elections.

Democrats are working to broaden the way they talk to voters about this Supreme Court’s decisionDelivered by a conservative majority that included three justices nominated by Trump, and what it means for people’s access to health care and their personal liberties.

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Biden campaign is starting A nationwide political push this coming week Monday focuses on the 51st anniversary of the 1973 decision that codified abortion rights. On this, Vice President Kamala Harris, the main messenger of the administration, will organize the first program in Wisconsin on Monday.

On Tuesday, Biden, Harris, first lady Jill Biden and second gentleman Doug Emhoff will travel to Virginia for another campaign event focused on abortion. This will be their first joint appearance in the 2024 re-election campaign, an indicator of how much importance the campaign attaches to the issue. More events featuring top Democrats in battleground states are in the works.

Still, Democrats believe abortion will be a major motivator for base voters and help expand their coalition. Biden allies and aides point to recent polls that have overwhelmingly shown that, when voters can choose, they have chosen to protect abortion rights.

Democrats spent decades trying to calibrate their messaging on abortion, always defending the right to choose, while also making overtures to voters who are conflicted on the issue. President Bill Clinton’s mantra was that abortion should be “safe, legal, and rare.”

But the loss of federal abortion protections following the historic setback from the decision overturning Roe in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization has been a catalyst for a broader and bolder message about abortion and reproductive rights.

“We know that if we talk about this issue as a fundamental freedom, we are able to resonate across demographics – older voters, younger voters, people of color, people in rural areas,” Reproductive Freedom for All said Mini Timmaraju, head of. Formerly the National Abortion Rights Action League.

Biden aides said the strategy is to let the president remain who he is — an 81-year-old Catholic man who typically avoid using the word Prefers to talk about the issue in the context of abortion and personal liberty.

The White House often frames the fight over abortion as part of a larger battle that includes book banning, voting rights and other issues. Harris in particular is the messenger for a more aggressive discussion about abortion and how the acute effects of the decision are affecting maternal health.

Timmaraju said that “different messages resonate with different segments of the electorate.”

According to an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll, Among Democrats, nearly nine in 10 say abortion should generally be legal. Four in 10 say it should be legal in all cases, and nearly half say it should be legal in most cases. Nearly nine in 10 Democrats say their state should allow a pregnant person to get a legal abortion at six weeks of pregnancy, compared to about three-quarters of American adults overall.

As far as Republicans are concerned, the topic was largely absent in the lead-up to this year’s Iowa caucuses, which is a notable change in one state. long supported religious conservatives Vowing to ban the process. Part of the change is that Republicans achieved a generational goal with the overthrow of Roe. But it also underscores a broader fear among Republican candidates and voters that vocalizing their desire to further restrict abortion rights could be politically dangerous in 2024.

“I’m calling the time period we’re in right now the ‘new fight for life,'” said Benjamin Watson, a former NFL player who is now an anti-abortion advocate. “Roe’s work is over, but we still live in a culture that doesn’t know how to care about life. There has been a cry, but the factors motivating women to seek abortions remain ever-evident and increasing. Roe is done, but abortion is still legal and thriving in much of America.

Overall, opinion on abortion remains complex, with most people believing that abortion should be allowed in some circumstances and not in others. About two-thirds of American adults say abortion should generally be legal, but only one-quarter say it should always be legal and only 1 in 10 say it should always be illegal.

Trump has avoided talking about this topic. During a recent Fox News town hallHe expressed support for limited exceptions and criticized state laws that ban abortion after less than six weeks.

“We live in a time when some concessions, one way or another, will have to be made,” Trump said.

But he has also promoted his role in ending abortion rights nationwide, a milestone goal for his conservative and evangelical supporters.

He said, “For 54 years they were trying to end Roe v. Wade, and I did it and I’m proud to have done it.”

Biden administration is close to the border What it could do to preserve access to abortion absent congressional legislation. In the immediate aftermath of the Dobbs decision on June 24, 2022, the administration immediately sought to bolster its regulatory power to fight against Republican efforts to severely restrict abortion. Many efforts have been challenged in court.

Biden had invited states with strong abortion access to apply for Medicaid waivers that would help women travel for care. But so far, only California has applied to unlock federal funding for this effort. Legal battles around abortion pills, emergency health care and state laws have disrupted some of the agency’s efforts.

The nation’s top health official, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, is beginning a three-day tour on the East Coast to talk to doctors and medical students about access to abortion and birth control.

“This is the beginning of an effort to reach out to all Americans, and let the American people know how important it is that we stand up at a critical time,” Becerra said.

Associated Press writers Alana Durkin Richer and Amanda Seitz and Lynley Sanders in Boston contributed to this report.

Copyright 2024 The associated Press, All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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