Nearly immediately after Texas banned abortions, Democrats began to condemn the law as unconstitutional and an attack on women’s rights that should be challenged. However, the reactions of many Republicans on both sides have not been as strong.
Though some in the GOP are celebrating the moment as a long-sought win for the anti-abortion rights movement, others are minimizing the meaning of the Supreme Court’s Wednesday midnight decision that allowed the bill to take effect. Some are even attacking the court and the law.
Glenn Youngkin, Republican candidate for governor in Democratic Virginia, said, “I’m prolife.” The race is open in November for the only open governor’s seat in the country. A reporter asked him about the Texas law and he quickly responded that he supports exceptions for cases of rape, incest, and where the mother’s lives are in danger. These exceptions were notable not included in the new law.
These mixed reactions show the political risks that the GOP faces as their anti-abortion allies start achieving the goals they long hoped for. Americans are not united on this issue. Next year’s midterm elections will see loudly defending the country’s most severe curbs in Virginia and other political battlegrounds such as Georgia, Arizona, Florida, and Florida. This won’t be an easy task.
Christine Matthews, a Republican pollster, said that “it is going to be very motivating issue for ladies who haven’t traditionally been single-issue prochoice voters.” Matthews stated that this includes suburban women, independents from swing House districts, and candidates for governor who didn’t believe Roe V. Wade was under threat in previous elections.
The most serious threat to the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision that established the right to abortion is the Texas law. According to AP VoteCast (an independent poll of the electorate), 69% of voters voted for Roe v. Wade as it stands. Only 29% said it should be overturned.
Democrats and abortion-rights activists, who sometimes feel frustrated by voters taking access as a given, pledged Thursday to make this a moment to awaken people. They pledged to pursue not only GOP candidates and officeholders who support the Texas measure, but also corporations that support it. To give abortion access greater chances of passage in Congress, some people renewed calls to repeal Senate filibuster rules.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated that the House would vote soon to codify Roe v. Wade into law. However, chances are slim in the Senate.