Supreme Court Vacancy Reignites Debate Over Abortion in US

The death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg has reignited the abortion debate in the US, putting the issue front and centre with less than six weeks to go until November’s presidential election.

Donald Trump has vowed to replace Ginsburg, a liberal pro-choice icon, with a female jurist committed to overturning Roe vs. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that enshrined that constitutional right to an abortion.

The president will announce his choice at the White House on Saturday. The nominee, Mr. Trump's third since taking office, stands to tip the balance of the nine-member bench 6-3 in favour of conservatives. The shift would also be a big victory for the so-called pro-life, or anti-abortion, lobby that helped carry Mr. Trump to victory in 2016.

Ford O'Connell, a Republican strategist who is close to the Trump campaign, said that votes in places like Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Charlotte, North Carolina, were more socially conservative than their counterparts in coastal cities like New York or San Francisco.

"The states that are going to decide this election tend to be much more pro-life than the nation as a whole," he said.

Mr. O'Connell added that if Democratic lawmakers were too aggressive in questioning Judge Barrett or others, they risked losing support among suburban women.

"If they attack a female nominee for her faith or stance on abortion, that could backfire," he said.

Read more from Lauren Fedor at the Financial Times

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published this page in In The News 2020-09-25 13:42:06 -0400
Analysis & Political Strategy