Jun 24, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Abortion rights leaders focus on November after Roe decision

Former President of Planned Parenthood, author Cecile Richards in October 2019

Former president of Planned Parenthood Cecile Richards in October 2019. Photo: Gary Gershoff/Getty Images

Abortion rights activists who've spent months preparing for the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade said their task now is convincing voters who are frightened or angry to turn out in November and in 2024.

The big picture: With control of Congress, governors' races and state legislatures on the line this year, and the White House in two years, these groups are seeking to mobilize their networks.

What they’re saying: Former Planned Parenthood President and co-chair at American Bridge 21st Century Cecile Richards told Axios that Friday is "one of the darkest days in American history" and "the biggest threat to doctors and patients right now is the Republican Party."

  • She said laws in Wisconsin, Florida, and Texas could jail doctors who help women access abortions, and she warned: "A Republican-controlled Congress will pass a nationwide abortion ban. That's their plan — and we have to stop them."
  • “I’m mad as hell," EMILY's List president Laphonza Butler told Axios. "Protest is an incredibly important part of how we hold elected officials accountable, but the ultimate way is in the ballot box."

Flashback: Ellen Malcolm, who founded EMILY’s List in 1985 to elect women who support abortion rights to political office, told Axios: “The women who began EMILY’s List grew up in a pre-Roe world. We knew the horrible dangers that came from unexpected pregnancies.

  • "One of our first decisions for EMILY’s List was to only support pro-choice Democratic women," she said.
  • "We’re proud that our elected women have always stood strong to protect women's freedom. Today was a powerful lesson of the value of that decision and the need to elect more women.”

Go deeper: Here's what happens now that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade

Go deeper