Presidential Polls 2012: Abortion Looms as Key Issue in DC and Around the Country

Editor's Note: With 37 days left until the presidential election, PolicyMic's Audrey Farber will be posting a daily update on the state of abortion rights in the U.S., covering legislative challenges to Roe v. Wade in all 50 states. So far, we've gotten updates on South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, VermontMassachusetts, Rhode IslandMaine and New Hampshire. Check back in every day to keep track!

D.C.

What do cybersecurity and abortion have to do with each other? Probably nothing, at least until we give fetuses laptops, too, unless you’re Utah Senator Mike Lee. On August 1, just days after HR 3803 (the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Act) which would have prohibited late-term abortion in D.C. ultimately didn’t pass the House, Lee attached an amendment to a cybersecurity bill to prohibit post-20-week abortions in the District.

The District is the least conservative “state” in the nation and this will probably never change. But being liberal means very little when you don’t control your own city: Eleanor Holmes Norton’s voteless voice in Congress was unable to protect the District from a House ruling prohibiting local D.C. funds from being used to provide abortion services for low-income women. Representative Norton and D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, both opponents of bills such as HR 3803, are unfortunately at the mercy of federal legislators. To predict the fate of accessible abortion in D.C., we will have to watch the House elections carefully.

The New York TimesFiveThirtyEight has Democrats holding on to a 52-48 edge in the Senate, and the Huffington Post’s conglomerate poll has Democrats slightly edging —46 to 43.5— Republicans in the House. Though it is slight, if it holds this could be a major tipping point for social issues, including abortion, and could bode well for D.C.’s (and everyone else’s) pro-choice electorate.