Updated Jun 5, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Senate Dem campaigns ready abortion rights blitz

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) (C) talks reporters during a news conference about the Senate Democrats proposed China competitiveness legislation with Sen. Gary Peters and other committee chairs in the U.S. Capitol on May 03, 2023 in Washington, DC.

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) (C) talks reporters during a news conference in Washington on May 3, 2023. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Senate Democratic campaigns are launching a month-long blitz on reproductive rights, pressing Republicans on abortion as the second anniversary of the fall of Roe v. Wade approaches, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Republicans have suffered at the ballot box since the Supreme Court overturned the landmark abortion rights case, and Democrats will elevate it as a top election issue this year.

  • Campaigns in all battleground states will partake, a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee aide told Axios.
  • The blitz will include paid advertising from the DSCC, events hosted by campaigns and local organizations, and social media activity.

The big picture: Senate Democrats will also spend this month voting on reproductive rights bills, marking an all-encompassing barrage from the party on abortion rights.

  • The bills have no chance of being considered in the Republican-controlled House, but aim to put Republicans in the tough position of voting against federal protections for contraception.

Context: With the two-year anniversary of the Supreme Court overturning Roe approaching on June 24, Republicans have struggled to find an effective counter-message on abortion rights.

  • Polling shows Republicans suffered during the 2022 midterms because of their abortion messaging.
  • And a slate of controversial state-level abortion bans and ballot initiatives seeking to enshrine abortion rights are threatening their 2024 prospects.

Yes, but: Republicans have tried to find a more consistent message on reproductive rights this time around, with the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) telling its candidates Tuesday to clearly state their support for access to birth control.

  • Republican candidates have also stuck to saying that abortion rights are a state-level issue, in a bid to blunt questions about whether they would support federal abortion restrictions.

What they're saying: "Democrats will join with local leaders, health care advocates and voters to highlight the threat Republican Senate candidates pose to women's right to make medical decisions for themselves," Tommy Garcia, a DSCC spokesperson, told Axios.

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