Abortion rights have emerged as one of the Democrats’ strongest arguments with voters. Campaign aides in Kentucky said the Beshear ad helped sway some independent and conservative voters. The issue led to victories in the 2022 midterms and in other races in 2023. Now, the issue is a centerpiece of Biden’s re-election bid, part of an argument that abortion rights are one of many personal freedoms that will be taken away if Donald Trump is once again elected president.
Dennard supported Biden and generally votes for Democratic candidates, she said, but never considered herself particularly political.
“Other than being an active voter, I don’t follow politics closely,” she said. “I am a mom in Texas, driving my S.U.V. to Costco, picking up food and trying to get everyone’s shoes on in time for church on Sunday. There’s nothing special about me.”
That started to change on June 24, 2022, when the Supreme Court voted to overrule Roe v. Wade. That night, Ms. Dennard sat on her sofa with her husband, also an OB-GYN, and made a plan. If she had a problem with her pregnancy, they would head to the East Coast to find care. And they would try to facilitate the same help for patients who wanted to terminate their pregnancies.
Two weeks later, she was diagnosed with an anencephalic pregnancy, a fatal defect where a baby is born without parts of the brain and skull. For the mother, it can lead to bleeding, preterm labor and other complications that could threaten future fertility — plus the emotional trauma of carrying a child almost certain to die within hours of birth.