Democratic leaders and Planned Parenthood executives joined together to condemn the Supreme Court’s decision not to block Texas’s controversial abortion law, arguing that “reproductive health care is on the ballot” in the 2022 midterm elections.
In a series of statements, which were first reported by Politico on Wednesday, Democrats and abortion rights activists took aim at the recent implementation of the so-called fetal heartbeat law in Texas that bans abortions from being carried out after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can occur as early as six weeks.
While the law grants exceptions for medical emergencies, it does not for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest beyond the first six weeks of gestation.
“Right now, Texans are being forced to drive and fly hundreds and in some cases thousands of miles to access abortion — basic health care that is their right,” Alexis McGill Johnson, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, said in a statement.
“When they go to the polls, they will remember who did this to them, who voted to deny them their constitutional rights,” she added, noting that the issue wasn’t just exclusive to Texas.
“With the right to safe, legal abortion in grave danger across the country, there is no doubt that reproductive rights will be on the ballot in 2022,” she said.
Democratic National Committee Chairman Jaime HarrisonJaime HarrisonTrump's election fraud claims pose risks for GOP in midterms Top Democrats tout California recall with an eye toward 2022 20 years later: Washington policymakers remember 9/11 MORE noted that since the landmark 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade that protected abortion rights across the country, “access to safe, legal abortions has been upheld, as well as the privacy of a decision made between a person and their doctor.”
“Now, due to extremist Republican lawmakers and conservative justices on the Supreme Court, people will have yet another barrier preventing them from accessing the health care they need and have every right to under our Constitution,” he added.
Harrison argued that “politics has no place in one of the most personal health care decisions a person can make, and every Republican lawmaker will have to answer for this unprecedented assault on the constitutional right to privacy.”
Christie Roberts, director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, also called the Texas law an “all-out attack on reproductive health care” that “is bringing this issue front and center in the 2022 midterm campaign.”
While Tim Persico, head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said "House Democrats will not back down when it comes to protecting reproductive rights, and we’re committed to doing everything in our power to make sure Republicans lose their seats for this in 2022.”
Lawmakers have seized on the Texas abortion law as Democrats look to strengthen their currently slim majorities in the House and Senate in 2022, with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezDon't let partisan politics impede Texas' economic recovery Ocasio-Cortez explains 'present' vote on Iron Dome Dingell fundraises off Greene altercation on Capitol steps MORE (D-N.Y.) slamming Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) this week for defending the abortion measure from a place of “deep ignorance."
Abbott defended the abortion law after a signing another controversial bill on elections Tuesday. Responding to criticism that the abortion bill makes no exceptions in cases of rape, he said his administration would "work tirelessly to make sure that we eliminate all rapists from the streets."