Anti-choice lawmakers are pushing disinformation in an effort to distract from their dangerous and unpopular agenda, with Virginia on the precipice of a final vote that makes clear reproductive freedom is a winning issue
For Immediate Release: February 25, 2020
Anti-choice lawmakers across the country are ramping up their attacks on reproductive freedom this week in a desperate bid to weaponize their inflammatory and dangerous rhetoric ahead of the 2020 election. Their efforts to ban abortion outright are deeply unpopular, so they resort to deception and disinformation to gin up their base and mislead voters. Today, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will force votes in the U.S. Senate on a pair of anti-choice bills grounded in dangerous disinformation about abortion intended to insert politicians into personal decisions about pregnancy, often in devastating and heartbreaking circumstances. Meanwhile, in Iowa, state lawmakers will hold a public hearing this evening on an extreme constitutional amendment to roll back access to abortion in the state.
“Make no mistake, these cruel and deceptive attacks on our reproductive freedom are a smokescreen to distract from the anti-choice movement’s deeply unpopular agenda to ban abortion and punish women,” said Ilyse Hogue, President of NARAL Pro-Choice America. “It’s no surprise that the anti-choice movement is turning up the heat with their attacks and disinformation campaigns as they face the reality that American public opinion is simply not on their side. Bills and amendments designed to impose one-size-fits-all restrictions on families in challenging circumstances or strip away reproductive freedom are an affront to the 7 in 10 Americans who believe that women, not politicians in Congress or state capitols, should make these personal decisions about pregnancy. Reproductive freedom is a winning issue, so anti-choice politicians turn to disinformation to whip up support from their extreme base.”
But there is good news: Amid these attacks, state legislators in Virginia are on the brink of a final vote on the Reproductive Health Protection Act (RHPA), an important bill to end restrictions on abortion access and safeguard reproductive freedom. And 79% of Virginians believe women should be able to make their own decisions about pregnancy, free from interference from politicians.
The imminent final vote on this legislation in Virginia is proof positive that elections matter and illustrates how reproductive freedom is a winning issue despite a rampant and bad-faith anti-choice disinformation campaign. Last year, NARAL Pro-Choice America and NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia helped flip both chambers of Virginia’s state legislature to a pro-choice majority, paving the way for this major victory for reproductive freedom.
This year, NARAL plans to reach 3.6 million voters with a historic electoral program in eight key states to flip control of the U.S. Senate to a majority dedicated to reproductive freedom and take back the presidency from anti-choice extremist Donald Trump. Reproductive freedom is a winning issue central to the 2020 election. Polls show that the public overwhelmingly believes decisions about pregnancy should be made by women in consultation with their doctors rather than politicians. That includes 94% of Democrats, 79% of Independents, and 59% of Republicans. Polls show that over 70% of Democratic voters are more likely to vote for a candidate that supports abortion rights, and 56% of Democrats said recent abortion bans are a key driver for their vote in 2020. And it’s not just Democrats: Independent and soft partisan women do not like attacks on reproductive freedom either.
Reproductive freedom is under attack in the United States like never before. Since Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court cemented an anti-choice majority on the bench, lawmakers hostile to abortion rights have launched an all-out assault on the right to access abortion in hopes that a challenge will make its way to the Court and end Roe v. Wade. Though an overwhelming majority of Americans support the right to determine our own destinies, anti-choice lawmakers introduced, passed, or signed abortion bans in 31 states last year alone.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court is preparing to hear arguments next week in June Medical Services, LLC v. Russo, which threatens to shut down healthcare centers providing abortion care and push access further out of reach. The case centers on a restrictive Louisiana abortion law identical to another the Court ruled against just four years ago in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. If the Supreme Court allows this law to go into effect, it will effectively ban abortion in Louisiana by closing all the clinics in the state except one, leaving one doctor to provide abortion care for nearly one million women of reproductive age in the state.
NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates and chapters are dedicated to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom for all. For more than 50 years, NARAL has worked to guarantee that every woman has the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. Since 1969, NARAL has made history, grown to over 2.5 million members, and met the moments that have defined this fight with action, power and freedom. In recognition of its work defending our constitutional right to choose, Fortune Magazine described NARAL as “one of the top 10 advocacy groups in America.”