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Voters want candidates who will defend their reproductive freedom.

The stakes in gubernatorial races are particularly high because, in many states, governors may be the last line of defense for abortion rights.  

Washington, D.C. — Tomorrow, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (JWHO), a challenge to Mississippi’s abortion ban at 15 weeks of pregnancy, which could end the constitutional right to an abortion. The state of Mississippi has explicitly asked the Supreme Court to use this case to overturn Roe v. Wade, which has guaranteed that right since 1973. Should that happen, nearly half of the country — including 36 million women of reproductive age and other people who can get pregnant, living in 26 states — could lose access to abortion, a devastating reality we’ve seen in Texas for the past three months. With the court’s decision in JWHO expected just months before the November 2022 elections, abortion rights are poised to play a critical role in the midterms.

Statement from Alexis McGill Johnson, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund:

“As abortion bans and restrictions mount across the country, abortion rights have emerged as a key issue in upcoming elections, up and down the ballot. There is no time to waste: The Supreme Court’s months-long failure to protect access to abortion in Texas, and now its consideration of whether Mississippi can ban abortion, raises the stakes for politicians to act. They must stand with the overwhelming majority of Americans who want abortion to be legal. Public opinion is on our side, and candidates who are champions for sexual and reproductive rights are going on the offense. Supporting reproductive rights is a winning issue at the ballot box, and Planned Parenthood advocacy and political organizations will ensure voters know who they can trust to protect their reproductive freedom and fundamental rights.”   

Despite the fact that abortion bans and efforts to overturn Roe are deeply unpopular and a losing political strategy, as we head into the midterm elections, we continue to see candidates across the country stand at odds with voters: 

  • Dean Heller (candidate for Nevada governor): When asked about Texas’s abortion ban, Heller said “I like what Texas did,” indicating that he would support a similar law in Nevada.  

  • James Craig (candidate for Michigan governor): Craig said that if elected, he would block any attempt to repeal Michigan’s 90-year-old abortion ban, which made it a felony to perform an abortion. It could go back into effect if the Supreme Court overturns Roe. 

  • Rebecca Kleefisch (candidate for Wisconsin governor): Kleefisch said that she would sign a bill that bans abortions at around six weeks, before many women know they are pregnant. 

  • Gov. Doug Ducey (Arizona): Ducey signed on to an amicus brief in support of the Mississippi abortion ban and asked the court to use this case to overturn Roe. 

In sharp contrast, candidates who support reproductive rights have been unapologetic in their efforts to protect reproductive freedom. Many Action Fund-endorsed senators up for re-election have sponsored the Women’s Health Protection Act, critical federal legislation that establishes the right to provide and receive an abortion. At the state level, gubernatorial candidates are proudly fighting back against attacks on abortion: 

  • Gov. Steve Sisolak (Nevada): On the day Texas’s abortion ban took effect, he tweeted “Texas' near-total abortion ban will take away the rights of countless individuals. I'm disappointed but I'm more committed than ever to making sure that never happens in Nevada. I've always fought to protect the right to choose and as your Governor, I always will.” 

  • Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (Michigan): In September, she line-item vetoed more than $16 million from the state budget that would have gone towards abortion restriction provisions. She’s also advocating for the state legislature to repeal a decades-old state law that criminalizes abortion.

  • Gov. Tony Evers (Wisconsin): The Republican-controlled Assembly passed a package of abortion restriction bills, many of which Democratic Gov. Evers vetoed two years ago and is all but certain to reject again. 

Public Polling: 

  • A Gallup poll finds that 80% of the American public think abortion should be legal.

  • A Marquette poll finds that voters oppose overturning Roe by a 30 point margin.

  • According to a Washington Post and ABC poll: 

    • Americans say by a roughly 2-to-1 margin that the Supreme Court should uphold its landmark abortion decision Roe v. Wade.

    • Seventy-five percent say pregnancy decisions should be left to the woman and her doctor, including 95% of Democrats, 81% of independents, and 53% of Republicans.

    • Protecting Roe is popular across political ideologies and religious views.

Abortion Rights Impacting 2022 Elections: 


Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational, advocacy, and electoral activity, including grassroots organizing, legislative advocacy, and voter education.


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