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Abortion Debate Heats Up Ahead Of Midterm Elections

Abortion amendments will be on the ballot in Alabama, Oregon and West Virginia in November.
Posted at 3:19 PM, May 25, 2018

Abortion remains one of the most divisive topics in American politics. A recent Pew Research poll shows the divide in every living generation hasn't changed much over the past 10 years. One thing that has changed is who's in the White House.

The leader of the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List recently called President Trump the "most pro-life president" in the history of the U.S. His support has invigorated anti-abortion groups across the country, especially as we head into midterm elections.

"He's actually walking the walk after having talked the talk, and we're seeing a lot of policy changes being made," said Mallory Quigley, vice president of communications at the Susan B. Anthony List. "Sometimes when things are going good, people can get complacent, so I think certainly elections are decided by who shows up. This is absolutely an election where we've got to make sure that people who've supported the president's agenda are going to get out and vote in November." 

"It's unfortunately not the only thing the Trump administration has done," said Christina Reynolds, vice president of communications at EMILY's List. "They are appointing judges that are just looking to undermine Roe v. Wade, to undermine the rights of reproductive freedom, and we think that's a dangerous precedent to set." 

This year, about a third of the Senate is up for re-election, meaning the outcome of the midterms could have consequences for the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling.

"The Senate is what confirms Supreme Court nominees, and so we absolutely must have a pro-life majority in the Senate after November 2018," Quigley said. 

The pro-abortion rights crowd might not have the support of the Trump administration, but groups like EMILY's List say their supporters have been encouraged to run for office at record rates. 

"What we saw in the entire 2016 cycle, 920 women reached out to EMILY's List asking with help to run for office," Reynolds said. "That was a record. And thus far this cycle, 36,000 women have reached out."

This November, voters in Alabama, Oregon and West Virginia will see abortion amendments on the ballot. Many states will also have governor and state legislature elections.