Republican-controlled legislatures across the country are enacting laws suppressing voters’ rights and highly gerrymandering legislative districts to secure an unfair advantage in next year’s midterm elections. At the same time, in a recent Mississippi abortion law case Republicans are advocating for the Supreme Court to further limit abortion rights, or to overturn Roe v. Wade entirely.
So, what happens if the Court does further limit a woman’s right to an abortion next year? That ruling could very well create a backlash so strong that the Republicans’ efforts to skew the election in their favor is wiped out entirely.
Earlier this year Americans’ support for abortion in all or most cases was at 80%, according to Gallup. And, a November Washington Post-ABC poll found broad agreement that women and their doctors should make decisions about abortion rather than being regulated by law. Overall, 75 percent indicated such decisions should be left to the woman and her doctor, including 95 percent of Democrats, 81 percent of independents and 53 percent of Republicans.
People on both sides feel very strongly about this issue. The Court’s decision in the Mississippi case next June is likely to motivate a great many voters. Most Democratic candidates will be promising to pass laws nationally and/or within their states legalizing abortion, while most Republican candidates will be supporting the Court’s decision further limiting or outlawing abortion. Given public opinion, championing a woman’s right to choose may well be a winning ticket in a good number of races.
While there is reason to hope that energizing pro-choice voters may be the silver lining to the Court’s anticipated anti-abortion decision, our voting rights still need protection.
The right-to-choose movement cannot guarantee voting rights. Time is running out to get voting rights protection implemented in all states before next year’s election. Urge your representative (Call 202-225-3121) and senators (Call 202-224-3121) to pass the Freedom to Vote and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement bills now. The fairness of our elections as well as the future of our democracy hangs in the balance.
Bruce Berlin, J.D.
A retired, public sector ethics attorney, Berlin is the author of Breaking Big Money’s Grip on America (See breakingbigmoneysgrip.com.), the founder of New Mexicans for Money Out of Politics, a former U.S. Institute of Peace fellow, and the founder and former executive director of The Trinity Forum for International Security and Conflict Resolution. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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