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Anti-abortion advocates celebrate Friday in front of the Supreme Court.
Anti-abortion advocates celebrate Friday in front of the Supreme Court.Frank Thorp V / NBC News

Abortion was a top issue in battleground races even before Supreme Court ruling

Candidates running for Senate and governor in key states such as Pennsylvania and Georgia split over the court's decision.

By and

The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling that ensured a right to abortion is sure to shake up competitive campaigns across the country

And it’s already been playing out on the campaign trail, especially since the leak of the Court's draft opinion in May. And the issue has been showing up more often on the airwaves as candidates launch abortion-related ads. The issue has been particularly salient out in battlegrounds where the general election matchups have been set, such as Pennsylvania and Georgia. 


In Pennsylvania, both Democratic nominees for Senate and governor said Friday that the high court’s ruling raised the stakes of the race. 

State Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who is running for governor, tweeted that the GOP-controlled legislature would likely pass a bill banning abortion. “Without Roe, the only thing stopping them is the veto pen of our next Governor,” he wrote in a tweet thread that linked to his campaign’s fundraising page.

Shapiro had already been highlighting GOP state Sen. Doug Mastriano’s far-right positions on abortion, launching two new ads this week highlighting Mastriano’s comments that he supports banning abortions without exceptions. 

After the court’s decision, the Mastriano campaign's social media accounts shared other accounts’ posts celebrating the ruling and one of his campaign Facebook posts said the court “rightly held the ‘constitutional right to abortion’ does not exist.

In the Senate race, Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman said in a statement, “The right to an abortion will be on the ballot this November in Pennsylvania. I will protect abortion rights. Dr. Oz will take them away. It’s that simple.”

Republican Mehmet Oz weighed in Friday afternoon with a statement, saying "I respect those with a different view, but as a heart surgeon, I've held the smallest of human hearts in the palm of my hand, and will defend the sanctity of life. I am relieved that protecting the lives of America's unborn children will once again be decided by the people through their elected representatives. 


Republican Herschel Walker knocked Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock in his statement following the ruling, saying, “This Supreme Court decision sends the issue of abortion back to the states, which is where it belongs. I stand for life and Raphael Warnock stands for abortion.”

Warnock tweeted that he was “outraged” by the court’s decision. “Women must be able to make their own health care decisions, not politicians,” he wrote.

In the governor’s race, Democrat Stacey Abrams wrote in a tweet that she was “appalled” and “enraged” by the ruling. Abrams and her allies have already been criticizing GOP Gov. Brian Kemp’s stance on abortion. Her leadership committee launched a TV ad earlier this month knocking Kemp for supporting abortion bans. 

Kemp, meanwhile, called the ruling “a historic victory for life.”