Abortion In the 2024 Presidential Elections

After the results of the 2024 presidential election primaries, it has become clear that the nation will once again witness a show-down between sitting president Joe Biden and former president Donald Trump. In their efforts to address nation-wide concerns, the two candidates have butted heads in their differing views and opinions on a variety of topics, particularly abortion.

Though abortion has always been a controversial subject in the country, the overturning of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade sparked national attention and made views on abortion an integral component of presidential campaigns. In June of 2022, the Supreme Court made a landmark decision in the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, declaring abortion “unconstitutional” and overturning the rights to a legal abortion presented in the 1973 case Roe v. Wade nearly fifty years prior. Laws and regulations regarding abortion were relegated to the states, and many states have instituted bans on abortion since. The most recent example of this can be found in Arizona, where on April 9, 2024, the Arizona Supreme Court issued a decision allowing the state to bring back an 1864 near-total ban on abortion.

In preparation for the elections, Trump released a statement asserting himself as “pro-life” and proclaiming that abortion laws should be left to the states. He has boasted about his role in appointing three of the five justices who overturned Roe v. Wade, saying, “We broke Roe v. Wade.” Trump has hinted in the past at a national ban on abortion under his administration, but has recently gone back to supporting the individual rights of states to decide on the matter. His insistence on leaving abortion laws under state jurisdiction has alienated many conservatives who want him to take more measures to curb it. His “will of the people” attitude angered many pro-life groups who believed that he was supporting states’ rights in the matter, rather than protecting the unborn children and their lives. At the same time, his clear opposition to Roe v. Wade has become a key rallying point for Democrats, who attack the Republicans’ lack of support for women and reproductive rights.

Meanwhile, Biden has emerged as a clear supporter of abortion during his presidential campaigns. Though he is a devout Catholic who has previously expressed his doubts about the topic, he has recognized that abortion could be the key to his second term in office. Both Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have cemented their views on the matter by delivering fiery speeches supporting women and their rights, singling out Donald Trump as the perpetrator and leader of the abortion ban movement. On April 22, 2024, the Biden administration issued a new rule protecting the privacy of women seeking reproductive healthcare, including abortions. Biden himself has called for a bill that would reinstate the reproductive protections afforded by Roe v. Wade. The issue of abortion has propelled a number of Democratic victories, including one at the 2022 midterm elections. Biden’s protection of abortion rights has been brought to the forefront of his re-election efforts, and has proved essential to the success of his presidential campaign.

While Republicans have been debating their approaches to abortion and reproductive rights, Democrats have been able to draw in a number of female voters, many of whom flocked to the ballot boxes in support of rights to abortion. Though it is still unclear how the matter will eventually play out in the presidential race, the issue of abortion will certainly appear at the forefront of the elections.