Abortion opponents eye priorities as High Court ruling looms – FOX21 News Colorado

In the nearly two months since a conservative majority of Supreme Court justices indicated openness to dramatic new restrictions on abortion, money has been pouring into the political arm of fundraising. funds from the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List.

The organization has secured $20 million in pledged financial contributions, five times more than it had at the start of an election year in its 30-year history, according to figures shared with The Associated Press. . Prior to the recent push, the group had already approved its largest political budget, $72 million, for 2022. That’s nearly $20 million more than it spent in 2020, a year that included a presidential election.

The pile of cash all but guarantees that the Supreme Court’s decision on abortion, expected by the summer, will do little to appease what has become one of America’s thorniest issues. . Abortion opponents say they will pour their new resources into the November elections.

Once a decision is made, “there will be a lot of attention on all states and the midterm elections,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony List.

The Supreme Court is considering a Mississippi law that bans abortions after 15 weeks. If the law is upheld, anti-abortion activists said much of the focus would shift to Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Kansas. These are states with Republican legislatures but Democratic gubernatorials, each of which is due to be elected in November.

If the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade that women have a constitutional right to abortion, the governors of Michigan and Wisconsin would be powerless to reverse restrictions in their states that were already in place before the 1973 decision.

But those governors would be the only obstacle to new measures passed by GOP legislatures, including outright bans on the procedure.

A Supreme Court ruling is “really just the beginning of the job,” said Terry Schilling, president of the socially conservative American Principles Project. “The groups have actually been very well connected with heads of state and invested in grassroots campaigns in these swing states, trying to gain control in divided governments.”

Abortion-rights supporters, already alarmed by the prospect of a Supreme Court defeat, are well aware of the importance gubernatorial races can have for their cause.

“Really, the governors of many states are going to be our support,” said Jenny Lawson, vice president of organizing and campaigning for the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. “While the decisions rest with the states, these governors are the ones who can protect access.”

She declined to say how much money the group plans to support candidates who support abortion rights.

Some of the Democratic governors seeking re-election are increasingly emphasizing their commitment to protecting some form of access.

“And as long as I’m governor, that’s what I will do,” Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers said at a news conference last week marking the 49th anniversary of the Roe decision.

“I’m proud to stand with so many people in Michigan to protect the right to a safe and legal abortion,” Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer tweeted last week, the same day. stage. Over the weekend, Whitmer tweeted that abortion rights are “hanging by a thread” at the Supreme Court.

Abortion opponents, for their part, are undeniably optimistic as the Supreme Court ruling approaches. Thousands of people gathered on a freezing day in Washington last week for the March for Life, expressing their joy and optimism at the prospect of Roe being overthrown.

But the political fallout from such a move could be volatile for both parties. A decision that dramatically cuts abortion access could energize Democrats heading into the fall campaign.

The issue is already becoming a priority for Democrats, according to a December poll from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The poll found that 13% of Democrats cited abortion or reproductive rights as an issue they want the federal government to address. That’s up from less than 1% of Democrats who named it a priority for 2021 and 3% who listed it in 2020.

Lawson predicted that a court ruling sharply restricting or ending a federal abortion right would “spur anger and outrage and cause a realignment in the voting booth.”

There is also a risk for religious conservatives, who have devoted decades of work to the issue and formed an unlikely alliance with Donald Trump to achieve their goals. The thrice-married former president who once voiced support for abortion rights has finally appointed three justices to the Supreme Court, dramatically reshaping it to threaten Roe.

But if those justices fail to overturn that decision or agree to some kind of compromise, conservatives could be deeply disappointed and feel less interested in participating in the midterm elections. The GOP has been stung before, including when Republican-appointed Chief Justice John Roberts helped enforce President Barack Obama’s health care law, another issue that had galvanized the right.

But for now, opponents say they are buoyed by a sense of momentum.

“It’s different now,” Dannenfelser said.

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Beaumont reported from Des Moines, Iowa. Associated Press writers Mark Sherman in Washington and Scott Bauer in Madison, Wisconsin contributed to this report.

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