How abortion will impact this midterm election

The midterm election happens halfway through a presidential term when state representatives of the House are determined and a portion of the Senate. This is very important because it tells us who will hold the majority in each chamber of Congress for the following two years. A political party that holds a majority will have an obvious advantage passing bills and laws in their best interests. A key topic that will be in the air this election will be abortion. After the Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade in June, lifting a 50 year long constitutional right to abortions, 65% of Americans reported being unhappy with the decision according to a poll conducted by The Hill. These numbers will benefit Democrats this midterm election, and it could be a deciding factor for them

When Roe v. Wade was overturned in June, it left abortion up to the state level, with no federal or constitutional protection for women, meaning states could decide the legality and restrictions of abortion procedure. Most abortions are now banned in at least 14 states across the country Other states are also looking to restrict the procedure. Some of these “trigger laws”, make it illegal for women to get abortions in almost any case with no exception to rape or incest and would only make it legal if there was a medical emergency such as the woman being incapable of delivering. Additionally, some states with bans view abortion as a felony which could end in up to a 15 year sentence in prison. These bans specifically target those of lower income since they don’t have the fiscal luxury of receiving medical care in other states where it’s still legal.

The topic of abortion and the right to choose, resonates strongly with voters especially women since this directly affects them. This has prompted an increase of women registering to vote after Roe v. Wade was overturned, increasing by 11% after the decision according to UC political scientist David Niven. Clearly, there will be a huge voter turnout among women, greater than other years. Considering voters make decisions on emotional matters, we will also see a turn out from citizens who have previously not participated in elections and feel strongly about abortion rights which could be of help in swing states. Democrats have noticed the reverberations of the Roe decision and have used it as a campaigning strategy to rally up voters, spending ungodly amounts of money on pro-abortion ads in the hopes of grabbing attention.

Historically speaking, the party in control of Congress is usually the one that loses after a term because the public is displeased. Right now the House is more likely to flip than the Senate considering the quality of the candidates and the layout of each congressional district which tends to favor the Republican Party. However, both chambers are still head to head and it could go either way.

“Senate races are just different. They’re statewide. Candidate quality has a lot to do with the outcome.” This was a statement given by Senate minority leader Mitch McConnel when asked about the odds of the midterms. Reading between the lines of McConnell’s comment on quality he is referencing the fact that some of the Republican candidates are too extreme to be competitive in statewide general elections. To illustrate, in the swing state of Pennsylvania, the GOP Senate nominee, Mehmet Oz, Dr.Oz is running against the Democratic candidate John Fetterman, the lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania will be a great state for the Democrats to seize, taking Oz is trailing in recent polls. Republican candidates such as Oz is one of many who have shied away from touching on abortion during their speeches as this could lose them votes in swing states where the margin is so closely divided that small remarks could sway the voter. In contrast, abortion is one of the key points Democratic candidates like Fetterman are emphasizing, who understand this will gain them votes in toss up areas.

Our nation is at one of its most divided points in history, and the voice of the voter has never been more important. Whether you believe in it or not, fact of the matter, abortion is an extensive concern that reaches deeper than just politics for most people. Some believe it’s a woman’s right, others will go as far to say it’s murder. The far-reaching extent of the issue creates a divide but also an opportunity to claim votes. Democrats have used this issue to their advantage and it will benefit their voter turn-out among key states.