By Dave Andrusko
So let’s dissect the curious headline of the story that ran yesterday in Politico is “Dems grow alarmed by lack of fear over Roe’s future.”
Spoiler alert. I’ll talk about that in a few moments but the real audience for this story by Laura Barrón-López and Alice Miranda Ollstein is only secondarily pro-abortion women who they believe are insufficient panicky and primarily….President Biden!
Barrón-López and Ollstein opening sentence explains that “For decades, Democrats insisted that Republicans would invite a major voter backlash if they took aggressive action to curtail abortion rights.” But Republicans have done exactly that and “They [Democrats] are sounding the alarm that more is needed to engage voters and warn them that the current slate of laws is just the beginning.”
One example of an attempt to rouse the rabble is
“Defending Roe v. Wade is a five-alarm fire, and I’m deeply concerned that millions of Americans’ reproductive rights are at serious risk,” said Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). “Democrats need to mobilize an effective response — and every voter should know that Roe is on the ballot in November.”
To reach voters in key swing states, Planned Parenthood is launching a national $16 million TV, streaming and digital ad campaign. The campaign, first shared with POLITICO, will run in states like Arizona, Georgia, Mississippi, Texas, Ohio and Florida and focus on reaching voters of color and young people. The ads will run through the Supreme Court ruling expected this summer on a challenge to Roe v. Wade and are accompanied by Spanish and English websites to educate the public on abortion access in different states, locate health centers and provide resources on how to get politically involved.
But the reason they need to spend this much money is they lack the grassroots support enjoyed by National Right to Life. And, as NRLC PACs have proven time after time, in the competitive races, despite being far outspent, we flat-out beat the pro-abortion candidates.
However, the story is a not-so-subtle attempt to persuade Biden to tout the wonderfulness of abortion. Or at least use the word!
The move comes as Democratic pollsters, campaign operatives and candidates argue that the party needs to act more aggressively ahead of the high court’s decision and not wait until the ruling is handed down. Key to making this reality stick, they say, is President Joe Biden.
“We absolutely need [Biden’s] voice now,” said Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, who is running for reelection. “I know he has a lot on his plate right now as leader of the free world. But certainly the voice of the president is important to this. A whole lot more people are going to listen to what Joe Biden says as opposed to Kwame Raoul.”
Here is another example of the pressure being put on Biden to be more vocal about abortion.
“We need the leader of the party to show full-throated support and a willingness to do whatever is necessary to protect the right to abortion and to look for ways to expand access where possible,” said Morgan Hopkins, the interim executive director of campaigns at All* Above All, one of several abortion-rights groups that have pushed the administration for more action. “Elected officials and candidates have such an incredible reach and platform, especially the president, to talk about the urgency of this moment.”
The administration responds as you would expect. They tell Politico that preparations have been in the works for the past year which “includes listening sessions held by Vice President Kamala Harris with health care providers, patients and advocates across Texas, Mississippi and Kentucky. Last week, Klein and other White House officials met with state legislators from Oklahoma, Missouri and Nebraska where legislative bodies have passed or attempted to pass laws restricting access to abortions.”
Republicans and conservative advocacy groups, meanwhile, are confident that the politics of the abortion fight are in their favor, and have leaned into portraying Biden and Democrats as extreme on the issue. Senate Republicans, for example, are forcing a vote as soon as this week on a bill that would reimpose the Trump administration’s ban on abortion referrals in the Title X family planning program that Biden recently lifted.
Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), the chair of the GOP’s Senate campaign arm, enthusiastically backs the effort.
“It is our sacred responsibility to protect babies, born and unborn, from all acts of violence,” he said in a statement on the bill.