The Susan B. Anthony List is targeting a group of U.S. Senators, North Dakota’s own Heidi Heitkamp among them, with an ad campaign urging them to support a 20-week ban on abortion.
The group is also touting polling showing that nearly 70 percent of North Dakotans would support a 20-week ban. While we should take any polling commissioned by an advocacy group with a grain of salt, but it has the ring of truth to it given that banning abortions after 20 weeks is actually pretty popular.
No fewer than four national polls in 2013 showed majority support among women for a 20 week ban. In 2014 a Washington Post poll showed 64 percent supporting such a ban and just 28 percent opposed. A Huffington Post poll had those numbers at 59 percent and 30 percent, respectively.
Given that North Dakota is generally more conservative than the rest of the nation, it wouldn’t surprise me at all to learn that 70 percent here support a 20 week abortion ban.
Which puts Heitkamp in something of a sticky wicket given her gubernatorial aspirations.
Heitkamp wants to be governor of North Dakota. With current Governor Jack Dalrymple having announced his resignation at the end of his current term, there’s a lot of speculation that she may actually run for governor.
But she’ll only run if she can win, and a campaign elevating the profile of her position on abortion – especially on the relatively non-controversial 20 week abortion ban issue – can only hurt her chances.