Abortion debate appears to be at forefront of 2022 midterms

North Carolina races heavily influenced after $5M investment from Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood will invest $5 million in the state of North Carolina ahead of the midterm elections this November, the company announced Friday.

Planned Parenthood Votes and Planned Parenthood Action PAC North Carolina said the money will be used across 14 legislative swing districts to produce ads, mailings, phone banks and assist canvassing efforts.

The investment is part of the abortion provider’s $50 million national campaign to protect reproductive rights after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade over the summer.

Democratic State Sen. Natalie Murdock, of Durham County, and state Rep. Julie von Haefen, of Wake County, encourage North Carolina voters to support candidates who will preserve abortion access at a news conference in Raleigh on Aug. 18, 2022.
(AP Photo/Hannah Schoenbaum)

North Carolina is historically a competitive battleground and even more so with voters potentially thinking the outcome of the midterm elections could determine the legality of abortion in their state.

ABORTIONS IN ARIZONA AND OHIO ARE LEGAL AFTER SEPARATE COURT RULINGS

Over the summer, a federal judge ruled abortions should remain legal in North Carolina until 20 weeks of pregnancy. Republicans in the state, however, have attempted to outlaw it.

While their efforts have so far been rejected by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, Republicans are just five seats shy of a supermajority in the General Assembly — three seats shy in the House and two in the Senate — which would give them the power to override a potential veto.

Hundreds of demonstrators rally and march in downtown Raleigh, N.C., June, 24, 2022.

Hundreds of demonstrators rally and march in downtown Raleigh, N.C., June, 24, 2022.
(Travis Long/The News & Observer via AP, file)

Emily Thompson, deputy director of Planned Parenthood Action PAC North Carolina, said her team’s efforts are on preventing Republicans from gaining a supermajority in the General Assembly.

“If we don’t elect reproductive rights champions in five key state Senate races, an anti-abortion supermajority will have the votes to ban abortion in North Carolina,” Thompson said. “And if we don’t defend two critical North Carolina Supreme Court seats, we will lose our last line of defense against restrictive state laws designed to rob us of our right to make our own health care decisions.”

ARIZONA JUDGE DENIES PLANNED PARENTHOOD PLEA TO SUSPEND RULING THAT HALTS ALL ABORTIONS

Republicans in the state, as recent as this week, said they would not entirely ban abortion even if they obtain a veto-proof majority. GOP leaders said claims that say otherwise are misguided.

“They’ve not been able to point to anybody because it doesn’t exist,” Berger said Wednesday.

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Planned Parenthood is also pouring resources into North Carolina’s high-profile U.S. Senate contest between Democrat Cheri Beasley and Republican U.S. Rep. Ted Budd, as well as two state Supreme Court races.

North Carolina remains among the few states in the South that keep abortion legal.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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