On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, which was a 1973 landmark decision that affirmed the constitutional right to abortion in the United States. The devastating ruling in June not only affects the reproductive rights of people with uteruses, but also impacts people of color and marginalized communities the most where access to health care is already a major issue.
The Democrats had 49 years to codify Roe into law, but they failed to do that in Congress, even in the years in which they held a majority. Now, it’s up to the party to step up and figure out a way to keep abortion accessible and safe — which is going to become a crucial talking point for the midterm elections in November, and the 2024 presidential race. The Democrats have already started to make some moves, but not all of them are getting the reaction they had hoped for.
Even with President Joe Biden’s executive order protecting access to abortion care, contraception, and privacy on a federal level, he reminds everyone that there is a lot more work to do to make reproductive rights a reality. “There is no constitutional right to choose. Only the way — the only way to fulfill and restore that right for women in this country is by voting, by exercising the power at the ballot box,” he said in his White House speech on Friday, July 8. “Let me explain. We need two additional pro-choice senators and a pro-choice House to codify Roe as federal law. Your vote can make that a reality.”
The Democrats are trying their hardest to reach their voter base. Some items have been meaningful, concrete steps or outlines for plans of how the party can courageously come together and pass historic legislation; other steps have just looked awkward and out of touch. Take a look at our list and see where the Democrats are headed in the right direction, and where they need to reconfigure their message because, as Biden said, “the Court has made clear it will not protect the rights of women.”
A version of this story was originally published in July 2022.