Abortion is on the ballot in Tuesday’s key election

Abortion is on the ballot Tuesday, and key elections in Ohio, Virginia and Pennsylvania will be a test of staying power on the issue more than a year after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

Abortion rights have won every state that has voted on the issue since the fall of Roe v. Wade, and groups on both sides are pouring tens of millions of dollars into elections this year.

Although Ohio is the only state that will vote directly on the abortion measure on Tuesday, it is a central issue in both Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court race and Virginia’s legislative elections.

Voters have sided with abortion rights in six states since the end of Roe v. Wade, including conservative Kentucky and Kansas. Democrats have been able to ride the wave of post-Roe anger over abortion and are trying to use it as a powerful weapon against Republicans in 2024.

Their efforts on Tuesday are likely to be a sign of whether the strategy can continue to be successful, especially as more states seek to take abortion ballot measures.

“We hope to come out of Ohio and Virginia, Pennsylvania, with a clear national message that when abortion is on the ballot, abortion wins,” said Minnie Thimaraju, president and CEO of Reproductive Freedom for All.


Virginia Democrats are hoping to win full control of the commonwealth’s state house and argue that victory is the only way to ensure abortion access is protected.

Popular Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) has voiced his support for a 15-week ban on most abortions with exceptions and tried to present his views as a moderate compromise.

“I think this is where Virginians come together around common sense,” Junkin said in an interview on ABC’s “This Week.”

A previous ad sponsored by Youngkin’s PAC accused Democrats of spreading misinformation and said state Republicans favored a 15-week “limitation” rather than a ban.

While Democrats are trying to tie Virginia’s GOP candidates to an extreme position on abortion, some Republicans say Democrats have an extreme position because they refuse to place any restrictions on the procedure.


People in Pennsylvania, meanwhile, will head to the polls to fill a seat on the state Supreme Court. The race could decide the ideological makeup of the court in the future and could further cement the Democratic majority.

Republican Carolyn Carluccio and Democrat Dan McCaffery are vying for the open seat after Chief Justice Max Baer, ​​a Democrat, died last year. If Carluccio wins, Democrats will have a slim 4-3 majority, with three Democrats up for grabs in 2025.

Abortion looms large in the race. McCaffrey touted his endorsement from Planned Parenthood, which sponsored an ad campaign attacking Carluccio on abortion.

Carluccio has insisted that Pennsylvania’s abortion law is settled, and has repeatedly emphasized its judicial independence. But she also received support from several anti-abortion groups in the country.

Abortion rights groups argue that the issue has staying power and are not worried that their message will lose its power.

“This is a question that resonates with the vast majority of the population.” Support for abortion access is incredibly high,” said Ryan Stitzlein, vice president of policy and government relations at Reproductive Freedom for All.

“And so while you have an example in Ohio where abortion is literally on the ballot, our message to voters is in every race, you know, up and down the ballot, abortion is on the ballot.”


Ohio will vote on a ballot measure that would enshrine abortion protections in the state constitution.

Anti-abortion leaders and GOP politicians acknowledge that the campaign against the ballot measure is a major test of whether conservatives can prevail on the issue.

Ohio is the first red state where voters are being asked to vote in favor of changing abortion protection laws, instead of voting against the status quo.

“When Ohioans understand the enormous ramifications of putting this measure into the state constitution, whether pro-choice or pro-life, they understand it’s too extreme and we’re seeing minds change before our eyes,” said Kelsey Pritchard, director. for state public affairs at the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America.

As in Virginia, Republicans in Ohio are trying to tone down their messaging. They focus on the issue of parental rights and late-term abortions and rarely mention that the six-week ban, currently suspended by the courts, could come into force any day now.

Gov. Mike DeWine (R), who signed the six-week ban in 2019, has suggested that if Question 1 is defeated, he would consider adding rape and incest exemptions to the current law.

On the other hand, abortion rights supporters say the victory would send a powerful message to other states, especially amid an avalanche of misinformation and confusing messages, some of them directly from state Republican leaders.

Politicians have called a one-issue special election in August to try to change the rules on future ballot measures to make them harder to pass.

That effort failed, but Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R), a vocal opponent of the measure who is running for the U.S. Senate, used language favored by anti-abortion groups to write the official summary that will appear on the ballot.

The title of the measure is also the same as the one that voters defeated in August. So most who voted no on Question 1 in the previous election will now vote in favor of Question 1.

In a memo sent Monday, Planned Parenthood’s PAC called out anti-abortion politicians for “swindling” voters and predicted statewide victories.

“These victories for abortion rights will come despite desperate politicians who have stooped to new lows in their efforts to strip us of our rights — doing anything to get elected and advance their dangerous agendas,” the group said.

“But make no mistake: Voters will see through the lies, and abortion rights champions will win at the ballot box.”

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