Doctors Call Out Republicans’ Extreme Views on Abortion
Axios: “The dynamic is especially pronounced in governor’s races, where abortion rights are on the line”
A new article by Axios details how doctors across the country are speaking out against Republicans’ extreme plans to ban abortion and in support of Democrats campaigning to protect abortion access.
With abortion on the ballot this election cycle, Democratic governors serve as the last line of defense for reproductive rights. And in Hawaii, New Hampshire, and Tennessee, the Democratic gubernatorial nominees — Dr. Josh Green, Dr. Tom Sherman, and Dr. Jason Martin — are physicians who have made abortion “a central pillar of their campaigns.”
“I’ve always been a person who doesn’t want to talk politics,” said one emergency medicine doctor from Kansas. “But this is the hill I will die on.”
Meanwhile, the RGA has become a headquarters for Republicans’ extreme plan to ban abortion — and former GOP Gov. Chris Christie is working with Republican governors to carry out their agenda. GOP governors are even pushing to have doctors and nurses thrown in jail for providing abortion services.
Read key excerpts from the article below.
Democrats in close races are increasingly leaning on doctors to drive messaging on abortion, betting their credibility will appeal to bipartisan audiences and help center a polarizing political debate around health and safety.
Why it matters: Health care professionals aren’t your typical political surrogates, but the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade reversal has changed the midterms playbook for both parties.
The latest: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) introduced a national 15-week abortion ban Tuesday in a bid to unite Republicans around a common position, weeks after arguing the issue should be left to the states.
- The bill uses the non-medical phrase “late-term abortion” in its title and pledges to “protect pain-capable unborn children,” in some instances citing contested medical assertions.
- Democrats see doctors as trusted voices who can help in the political fight against abortion bans by convincing voters that GOP positions aren’t medically sound.
The big picture: Kansas became ground zero for post-Roe politics after voters rejected an anti-abortion constitutional amendment that would’ve stripped protections from the state’s constitution.
- Now doctors and nurses are weighing into the abortion debate in contests across Georgia, Michigan, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Tennessee, New Hampshire and Hawaii.
- The dynamic is especially pronounced in governor’s races, where abortion rights are on the line.
State of play: The Democratic nominees for governor in Hawaii, New Hampshire and Tennessee are all physicians who have made abortion a central pillar of their campaigns.
- In Georgia, local doctors convened with the state Democratic Party last month “to speak on the dangers Gov. Brian Kemp’s extreme abortion ban poses” to the health care system and providers.
- A group of doctors called out Pennsylvania’s Republican nominee for governor, Doug Mastriano, on the issue last month, with one physician flatly stating that the candidate’s position on abortion “goes against established medicine.”
Between the lines: Some Democratic campaigns have seized on abortion bans that would criminalize health care providers who continue to perform the procedure.
- The Democratic Governors Association’s latest ad against Michigan’s Republican nominee Tudor Dixon attacks her for supporting the state’s 1931 abortion ban, emphasizing its penalties for doctors and nurses.
- A group backed by DGA highlighted the same issue in an early general election ad against Wisconsin’s GOP nominee Tim Michels, citing his support for an 1849 law that “jailed doctors” who performed abortions.