A Women Right to Access and Abortion is a Winning Policy!

Democratic women won eight state governor races; a historic number!  Democrats also won key races to retain control in the Senate and keep the Republican majority in the House to a miserly low number (maybe 4-5 seats?).  The “red wave” has been described by a number of journalists as a “trickle.”  Why? 

As noted by Ron Brownstein in The Atlantic, “Up and down the ballot, Democrats dominated among voters who believe that abortion should remain legal – despite predictions from Republicans and many media analysts that the issue had faded in importance.”  Exit polls showed more women voted than men (52% vs. 48%) and 53% of women voted Democratic. Abortion was a key issue. Thus close Senate races in Pennsylvania, Arizona, New Hampshire and Nevada were won by John Fetterman, Mark Kelly, Maggie Hassan and Catherine Cortez-Masto running against anti-abortion, MAGA Republicans!  

Another indicator of the strength of the sentiment against the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade was the success of five abortion referendum, with all passing including in the red state of Kentucky. While women are still a long way from having the Women’s Health Protection Act signed into law (it passed in the House in 2022 but died in the Senate), which would guarantee access to abortion across the country, the state referendum are important steps to protect women’s access in more of the country.  They also sent a message that the issue remains critical to women and men. 

Analysts mention other factors unique to this election that favored Democrats, in particular the large number of MAGA, extremist Republican candidates who did not win over voters.  President Biden will face an unpredictable Republican majority in the House that could block legislation.  Democrats Abroad must continue to advocate to advance the economic policies that will help women to achieve their full potential, in particular paid family leave and affordable childcare.  We will keep you apprised of action on this front in 2023.