Republicans Could Change Abortion Access

Republicans North Carolina

The outcome of Tuesday’s election, which has seen record campaign spending, will likely impact the prospects of abortion access, Republican-drawn legislative boundaries, and years of GOP policy in the critical swing state.

The outcome of the high-stakes race between Republican-backed Dan Kelly and Democratic-backed Janet Protasiewicz will determine the court’s majority heading into the 2024 presidential election. In 2020, the court came into one vote of reversing President Joseph Biden’s narrow victory, and both parties anticipate another tight campaign in 2024.

It is the most recent election in which abortion rights have been a major issue that’s because the Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade in June.

Republicans Have The Power To Deny Abortion  

It is also an illustration of how, when big legal conflicts play out at the state level, nominally nonpartisan court campaigns have morphed into political battlegrounds.

All of this has resulted in expenditures that will more than double, if not treble, the previous high of $15.4 million spent on a state court campaign in Illinois in 2004. Democrats have invested substantially in Protasiewicz, while Republicans have spent much on Kelly.

Democrats are attempting to take control of the Supreme Court, which has been dominated by conservative justices for the past 15 years. This has allowed the court to sustain a number of Republican initiatives, such as prohibiting absentee ballot collection points last year and upholding a 2011 statute that effectively ended bargaining rights for most public employees.

Protasiewicz, 60, has attempted to turn the contest into a referendum on abortion rights, running on a Democratic-backed platform that includes her outspoken support for abortion rights. The court is scheduled to rule on a case challenging the state’s 174-year-old abortion prohibition.

That statute, passed a year after statehood, was reinstated following the Supreme Court’s decision reversing Roe v. Wade, thus ending abortion services in Wisconsin. Democrats have seized on the issue, including Gov. Tony Evers, who was re-elected in November.