This summer, as House Republicans took stock of their path to holding the majority, National Republican Congressional Committee Chair Richard Hudson of North Carolina brushed off concerns about the GOP's deeply unpopular anti-abortion stance.
"I don't think it played a major role last time," he said of the 2022 midterm cycle, "and I don’t think it’s going to play a major role this time."
Republicans may hope, or even believe, that's true. But it's an outlier opinion among politicians and analysts alike, including Democrats, who made protecting reproductive rights a central pillar of a midterm strategy that proved to be wildly successful given historical precedent.
And while many national figures in the Republican Party continue to downplay the issue, the political landscape is continuing to shift underneath them. Why? Because their forced-birth zealotry is devastating Americans' lives, headline by headline.