In the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, Democrats have been united in outrage, and united in declarations like “Roe is on the ballot” and “personal freedoms are on the ballot” (both of those from President Joe Biden, but widely echoed). They’ve also been united in using the moment to raise money, with the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee telling The Washington Post that Friday was the best day of online fundraising so far this cycle. What has made some Democrats stand out, though, is having something more specific to say.

On that front, Democrats running for state-level positions in states where abortion laws are being contested have a definite advantage. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is “going at it, we’re pulling out all the stops” as she fights in court to keep a 1931 abortion ban from going into effect. In an interview on CBS’s Face the Nation, she noted that Republican legislators have supported that law going into effect, “as have all of the Republican people running for governor. They want abortion to be a felony: no exception for rape or incest. That’s the kind of Legislature that I’m working with. That’s the kind of matchup I’m going to have this fall.”

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RELATED STORY: Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, ending abortion rights for millions

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Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams is using the threat to abortion rights in her state as a reminder to voters of what is at stake in her campaign against Gov. Brian Kemp, saying that voters should “take into very real consideration the danger Brian Kemp poses to the life and welfare of women in this state” and warning that he “intends to adds incest and rape as prohibitions” in the state’s abortion ban—a warning a Kemp spokesperson said was a lie, but … we’ll see how that develops.

In Arizona, state attorney general candidate Kris Mayes said, “This will be the number one issue in my campaign,” pledging not to prosecute abortion providers or patients.

Democratic Senate candidates in battleground states also have a specific argument to make about how their elections matter to the future of abortion rights in this country: Any of them could be the decisive vote to end the filibuster and codify Roe, or the decisive vote preventing Republicans from doing the reverse. Rep. Tim Ryan, the Democratic nominee for Senate in Ohio, connected abortion to the economic focus of his campaign, saying, “We built a campaign around issues like freedom, economic freedom, good middle class jobs and wages, and making sure we rebuild the middle class. This is an issue of freedom as well.”

North Carolina Democratic Senate nominee Cheri Beasley said Friday, “I hope you all know that this doesn’t end this, that the threats don’t stop here.” Like many Democrats, she invoked the upcoming midterm elections, saying, “This November let us run, not walk, to the polls.” Not only is Beasley a key Senate candidate, though, she’s also a former chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court—a court with a narrow liberal majority that is on the ballot in November. Turning out pro-choice North Carolina voters matters to the U.S. Senate, but it also matters in the most direct and immediate sense to the fate of abortion law in the state.

Democrats need to lay out specific goals—enough Democrats in Congress to codify Roe, which means enough Democrats in the Senate to end the filibuster, Democrats in state-level positions that enable them to defend abortion rights and access—and let voters know why specific races matter to those goals. It’s not enough to say that Roe is on the ballot. Tell people what the plan is (because there’s a plan, right? Right?) and where and how and what to do about it. Drill down past platitudes to action. Hopelessness is a major danger right now, and being vague about how to change things just feeds hopelessness. Giving people something to do will combat that.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.

1 COMMENT

  1. Democrats use your god given right to vote before it is taken away from you!! We are being led by the minority!!!

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