In North Carolina, Republicans need a net pickup of five seats in the General Assembly to reach a supermajority, which could override a veto of an anti-abortion bill from the Democratic governor. In the Wisconsin Legislature, they need six. In Pennsylvania, if the incoming Legislature approves it, a legislatively referred ballot initiative to amend the state constitution could soon reach voters for final approval.
In Minnesota, a state that is an island of abortion access in the region, Democrats and Republicans are fighting for control of about 20 seats to determine party control of the Legislature.
Elsewhere, attorney general races could determine how now-contested state abortion bans might be enforced. In Arizona, where abortion is banned after 15 weeks, the Republican attorney general candidate Abraham Hamadeh has indicated he would uphold a near-total abortion ban dating to 1864 that has no exceptions for rape or incest. Kris Mayes, the Democrat, has said she “will not prosecute any doctor, any pharmacist, any nurse, for abortion,” even if anti-abortion laws are in place.
State supreme court justices are elected positions in some states, making races even more significant now that abortion law is determined at a state level. Partisan control of supreme courts is up for grabs in Ohio, North Carolina and Michigan.
“Everything is going to be close,” said Ianthe Metzger, director of state advocacy communications for Planned Parenthood. “A lot is at stake.”
Still, the extraordinary policy landscape has turned the theoretical into real political choices, prompting some voters to reassess their priorities.
In Western Michigan, Amanda Stratton, 37, had long considered herself a “pro-life” voter. But this November, Ms. Stratton, a stay-at-home mother, voted for Democrats. Five difficult miscarriages changed her beliefs, she said, and now the debate felt urgent.