Democrats Take Major Win Due To Reproductive Rights

A Democrat has flipped an Alabama House seat blue after running on a platform of protecting reproductive rights. Marilyn Lands, the Democrat candidate, who is a professional counselor, focused on the state Supreme Court ruling in February that paused IVF treatment and declared that fertilized eggs had the same rights as children. In the wake of the ruling, lawmakers rushed through legislation protecting doctors from lawsuits or criminal prosecution if they harmed the eggs, allowing services to resume but prompting debate about reproduction and the legal status of a fetus.

Lands seized upon the issue and campaigned on repealing Alabama’s no-exceptions abortion ban, as well as protecting vitro fertilization (IVF) and contraception rights. She defeated Republican Teddy Towell, a Madison City Council member, prompting Democrats to celebrate the win as a “political earthquake” in “the heart of Republican territory.”

In one of her campaign ads, Ms. Lands shared her own story and described how she was forced to terminate a nonviable pregnancy 20 years earlier. She noted that female Yellowhammer State residents would have to travel across state lines for the same procedure today.

Biden campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez issued a statement saying the surprise victory was a “warning” for Donald Trump, adding that voters, even in conservative states, will not “stand for his attacks on reproductive health care.”

The Alabama success is the latest in a long line of Democrat wins, as the party zones in on abortion and related issues and hopes to win over voters who believe the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v Wade was a step too far.

Last year, in Wisconsin, Janet Protaswiecz stood for a Supreme Court seat and also emphasized abortion rights. She won the seat and gave the court a conservative majority.

Some states have voted to enshrine abortion rights in their state constitutions, while others rejected proposals to ban it. This includes traditionally Republican states such as Kansas, where 59% of the electorate rejected an abortion ban in 2022.