Within hours of the Supreme Court accepting a case that could lead it to overturn or scale back a landmark abortion rights ruling, Senator Michael Bennet, a Colorado Democrat facing re-election next year, issued a dire warning to supporters: The fate of Roe v Wade is on the line.
“We cannot move backwards,” Mr. Bennet said in a campaign statement. “Colorado was a leader in legalizing abortion — six years before Roe v Wade. I will always fight for reproductive justice and to ensure everyone has safe and legal access to the health care they need.”
His declaration was among the first in a quickly intensifying clash over abortion, long a defining issue to many voters but one likely to gain additional prominence as the court weighs the possibility of rolling back the constitutional protections it provided to abortion rights in Roe 48 years ago.
Motivated in part by a belief that the Supreme Court will give them new latitude to restrict access, Republican-dominated states continue to adopt strict new legislation, with Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas signing into law on Wednesday a prohibition on abortions after as early as six weeks.
The court’s expanded conservative majority has injected new volatility into an already turbulent political atmosphere, leaving both parties to game out the potential consequences.
Nearly all agree that the latest fight over Roe, which has been building for years, is certain to have significant political repercussions. Conservative voters are traditionally more energized than liberals about the abortion debate, and for many of them it has been the single issue spurring voter turnout.
But Democrats say a ruling broadly restricting abortion rights by a court whose ideological makeup has been altered by three Trump-era appointees could backfire on Republicans and galvanize women.