Two years after the fall of Roe v. Wade, new data demonstrates the dire state of reproductive care

Plus, a look into key Heartland races as the 2024 election comes into view.

It’s now been two years since the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and the consequences have predictably been catastrophic for women living in the 25 states where abortion is either banned or very limited. 

For starters, the current era of reproductive health restrictions has been especially harmful to low-income women. According to data compiled by the health policy organization KFF, some 67% of women in some of the most dire poverty live in states with some kind of severe or total abortion restriction. 

Additionally, per a national survey of OBGYNs by KFF, health outcomes for those seeking reproductive healthcare have seen a decline in the ability to receive care.

“Most OBGYNs (68%) say the ruling has worsened their ability to manage pregnancy-related emergencies,” the survey reads. “Large shares also believe that the Dobbs decision has worsened pregnancy-related mortality (64%), racial and ethnic inequities in maternal health (70%) and the ability to attract new OBGYNs to the field (55%).” 

Such circumstances have fueled a substantial rise in medicated abortion, which was the method of care used for 63% of abortions in 2023. 

And while former President Donald Trump has been resistant to calling for a national abortion ban, those involved in the conservative movement have urged him to use the FDA to ban medicated abortion should he assume office. 

However, the dire state of abortion access has failed to resonate with voters. Gallup polling shows that only 4% of voters see abortion as an urgent issue. This is further compounded by the fact that close to one in five voters believes the end of Roe falls on the shoulders of Biden. 

2024 Heartland Election Ratings: Key races to watch in the Midwest

By Richard Eberwein


U.S. Senate race:

TBD (likely Elissa Slotkin (D)) vs. TBD (likely Mike Rogers (R))

Designation: Leans Democrat

After successfully defending her congressional seat in 2022, Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D) is seeking Michigan’s U.S. Senate seat. Incumbent Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) is retiring and leaving the seat open for a new candidate, and Slotkin is the favorite in the race so far.

After raising $10 million for reelection in 2022, Slotkin has picked up where she left off and already raised more than $15 million for her Senate bid. Although Slotkin has two primary challengers, her overwhelming fundraising numbers make her the clear frontrunner. Her primary opponent, Hill Harper, an actor best known for his role as Dr. Marcus Andrews on “The Good Doctor,” has never held political office. A Mitchell Research and Communications poll on June 3 showed Slotkin with a 45-point lead over Harper, 53-8.

On the other side is a litany of potential GOP candidates, but Emerson College polling suggests an edge for former U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, who has worked in the private sector since retiring from Congress in 2015. He has attempted to paint himself as a China hawk despite personally benefitting from work to expand the influence of Chinese companies in America. His bizarre video announcing his campaign launch featured an Estonian, instead of Michigan, family.

Slotkin has consistently maintained a narrow edge over Rogers in polling.

7th Congressional District race:

Curtis Hertel (D) vs. Tom Barrett (R)

Designation: Toss-Up

This will be the second cycle in a row where former state Rep. Tom Barrett (R) seeks Michigan’s 7th Congressional District seat. Barrett ran an unsuccessful campaign against Slotkin in 2022 but faces a non-incumbent  candidate this time in former state Sen. Curtis Hertel (D). Barrett sparked controversy earlier this year when he said that abortion shouldn’t be as big of an issue in 2024 since his opponent is a man this time instead of a woman. Barrett has also faced criticism for attacking his opponent on raising taxes, despite voting to raise the Michigan gas tax himself in 2015.

With both men running uncontested in their respective primaries, Hertel and Barrett will undoubtedly face each other in November.


U.S. Senate race:

Incumbent Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D) vs. TBD (possibly Royce White (R))

Designation: Safe Democrat

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D) will defend her U.S. Senate seat in 2024. Although her seat is considered safe for Democrats, the Minnesota Republican Party made a surprise move by endorsing former NBA player Royce White.

After leaving major league basketball in 2018, White became a controversial right-wing commentator and ran for Congress in 2022 for the seat held by Ilhan Omar. Although he got former President Donald Trump’s endorsement, White lost the GOP primary election to Cicely Davis by 10.8 percentage points.

­­The list of liabilities for Royce White is long. In addition to promoting conspiracy theories about a variety of topics, White has reportedly described himself on X as “sexist, Misogynist, Homophobic, Transphobic, Xenophobic and antisemitic.” A recent report from the Star Tribune highlighted campaign finance records that show White used thousands of dollars in leftover campaign funds in 2022 for strip club visits and limousine services. He later argued that the campaign expenditures were for food at the strip club, not strippers.

White will face a crowded field of GOP challengers during the Minnesota primary election on Aug. 13.

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Jamie Larson