The Abortion-Rights Message That Some Activists Hate

A devastating defeat in the Supreme Court could be a boon to the Democrats’ slim midterm hopes—if they can agree on the way to convert progressive anger into votes.

By Russell Berman
MAY 25, 2022

Democrats appear to have settled on their message for targeting these voters, judging by the ads that the party and its candidates have already produced in the three weeks since the leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that would overturn the landmark 1973 ruling in Roe. An initial spot from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee opens on an image of matches about to be struck, with a narrator warning: “If Senate Republicans win in November, they will light women’s rights on fire.” Ads from Senators Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada and Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, two of the party’s most vulnerable incumbents up for reelection this year, home in on GOP proposals to “criminalize abortion” and ban the procedure with “no exception for rape, incest, or human trafficking.”