One of the battleground campaigns last night was the open U.S. Senate seat in Georgia. The Republican nominee, Herschel Walker, is an enthusiastic supporter of the Dobbs decision. In August he said that he opposes any exceptions to a broad prohibition of abortion. This fact was thrown into a very unflattering light later in the campaign, in early October, when a woman claimed that Walker had impregnated her and then had paid for her to have an abortion. Walker denied doing so. He also denied a similar story of another woman later in the month.
Arguments over abortion played a big part in many of the campaigns for Senator or Governor over recent months, in large part due to the Dobbs decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in June. The Court through Dobbs reversed decades of precedent protecting a woman’s right to privacy, as exercised in her decision to end a pregnancy, precedent going back to 1973. Accordingly, the Court empowered legislators to restrict or prohibit abortion as they see fit. The implications of this decision for other applications of the right to privacy are still up in the air.
The Thing to Know:
The result of Tuesday’s election in Georgia is as of this writing unknown. The final decision may have to be made by a run-off next month. It seems likely that Walker would have had a clear path to victory in the absence of the abortion issue — both the national one kicked off by the Dobbs decision and the personal one centered on his own alleged hypocrisy.