Why Democrats Are Using Personal Abortion Stories

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When Dr. Austin Dennard, an OB-GYN in Dallas, learned that her 11-week-old fetus had a fatal medical condition in July 2022, she immediately understood the medical implications.

What she didn’t know was that she would soon land in the middle of a lawsuit against the state of Texas — and in the midst of the presidential campaign.

Dennard is starring in a new political ad for President Biden’s re-election campaign, in which she describes her diagnosis and having to leave Texas and its restrictive abortion law to get an abortion.

Democrats like Biden are increasingly having women describe, in stark, emotional detail, the personal impact of the abortion bans championed by their Republican opponents. In 2023, Gov. Andy Beshear, a Democrat seeking re-election in Kentucky, ran an ad featuring a woman who said she was raped as child by her stepfather, criticizing a state abortion ban with no exceptions for rape or incest.

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.

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Why Democrats Are Using Personal Abortion Stories

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