Among the key issues that could shape the outcome of midterm elections in November: a woman’s right to choose.
A recent Fox News poll found that abortion is the main issue motivating 16% of voters. It falls just behind inflation which was the main issue motivating nearly 20% of voters.
In a number of key battlegrounds, the threat of further restrictions on abortion appears to have energized voters.
For example, Ohio is among several states that saw an uptick in female voter registration following the landmark ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade in June.
In the weeks following Dobb’s decision, Ohio reported that 54% of new voters were women, compared to 47% in the months before the decision was leaked, according to a New York Times review of voter data.
“Women do not want to raise their daughter in a country where they have less rights than they had, and they are willing to fight,” said Katie Paris, the founder of Red, Wine and Blue, an Ohio-based Democratic grassroots organization.
Paris told Fox News that members of her coalition were energized ahead of November.
“The impacts of the overturn of Roe have been faster and more far-reaching than anyone could have imagined, so there was so much new awareness about how the government works and how that impacts our lives,” Paris said.
At the same time, pro-life voters say they’re still motivated to vote following Dobbs, according to Elizabeth Whitmarsh, a spokesperson for Ohio Right To Life.
“I think that our work really has just begun and many pro-life women understand that and they know that now is the time, more than ever, to get involved,” Whitmarsh said. “It would be really naive to think that this increase in female voter registration is only from the pro-choice side; pro-life women are here and we’re ready to fight for life.”
Across the country, only a few states are set to put abortion on the ballot for the midterms. In November, Montana and Kentucky will vote on Republican measures that would restrict abortion, while California, Vermont and Michigan will vote on proposals that would protect abortion access.
Democrats are hoping to keep up the momentum from the August primary in Kansas where voters in the reliably red state chose to protect abortion rights; voting against a constitutional amendment that would have granted lawmakers authority to regulate the termination of pregnancies.
“The Democrats have a significant advantage on this issue that’s very emotional, where there are very human stakes involved. Of course, the parties are polarized on abortion,” said Nathaniel Swigger, an associate professor of politics at The Ohio State University.
Meanwhile, members of the Republican Party appear increasingly divided over abortion as midterms draw closer. On Wednesday, party leaders and a number of Republicans running in midterm races distanced themselves from Sen. Lindsey Graham’s proposed 15-week abortion ban.