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Protecting Abortion Rights Now a Common Campaign Theme Among Democrats

The Supreme Court confirmation fight brewing in Washington has made abortion a front-burner issue in governors races around the country, as Democrats warn that Republicans could try to ban the practice in their states if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

By Daniel Strauss

The Supreme Court confirmation fight brewing in Washington has made abortion a front-burner issue in governors races around the country, as Democrats warn that Republicans could try to ban the practice in their states if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

The possibility that the Supreme Court will leave it to the states to legislate the legality of abortion has prompted a flurry of advertisements and campaign pronouncements from Democrats — and muted responses from many Republicans, who have generally praised Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh without getting into specifics about how he might affect abortion rights.

"This issue has been at the forefront of my campaign because down the road I see that it is not only possible but probable that Roe v. Wade would be overturned,” said former Rep. Gwen Graham, a Democratic candidate for governor in Florida.

Democrats in at least a half-dozen other competitive gubernatorial races are making the same case. The moves over the past week to seize on the Supreme Court vacancy show how thoroughly President Donald Trump’s performance and hot-button national issues are driving the debate in the midterms — even in state-level contests.

Caroline Cournoyer is GOVERNING's senior web editor.
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