Abortion rights issues could fuel a voter shift in Pa. in November

Written by on June 28, 2022

Abortion rights issues could fuel a voter shift in Pa. in November

By Megan Frank
June 28, 2022

Voters could rally behind either abortion rights or anti-abortion rights in November. (Photo | Creative Commons)

BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade could shift how some commonwealth residents vote in November, particularly inside the Republican Party.

A Lehigh Valley social scientist says one voting demographic in particular may play a key role in November’s election.

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“It’s always more difficult and more incentivizing to lose something than it is to gain something. And I think that for many who are pro-choice, they have taken Roe v. Wade for granted,” said Ziad Munson, professor of sociology at Lehigh University.  

Munson, who studies the politics surrounding abortion rights, said the Supreme Court’s decision may make it tough for some GOP politicians seeking office.

“The complete overturning of Roe v. Wade is going to have a dramatic impact on the accessibility of reproductive services for white, middle-class, suburban women and families who are, in fact, an important part of the Republican constituency,” said Munson.

Republican candidates are going to face pressure to soften their position on the issue, he said.

“Most of the ways in which those rights and protections have been chipped away have fallen disproportionately on poor women and women in minority communities. As more and more middle-class suburban white women have a harder and harder time receiving reproductive services in large swaths of the United States,” Munson said, “I think this is going to change.” 

He added that the Supreme Court’s ruling is very likely to galvanize abortion rights voters in Pennsylvania. 

With several abortion access bills now before the Republican-led state Legislature, the race for governor may become one of the most high-profile elections in November, with the two candidates diametrically opposed on the issue.

Democrat Josh Shapiro has said he would keep existing abortion access laws in place while Republican Doug Mastriano has said he would push for a ban on all abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.

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