Marilyn Lands

Democratic candidate Marilyn Lands walked the streets in the suburbs in Huntsville, Alabama looking to convince voters to support her on March 20, 2024.

(Photo: Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Democrat Flips Seat in Alabama House After Running on Abortion Rights

Democrats see the win in Alabama as a sign that supporting reproductive rights will make a difference in November.

Marilyn Lands, a Democratic candidate for a state House seat in Alabama, won a special election on Tuesday, defeating Republican Teddy Powell.

Lands focused her campaign on reproductive rights, including support for access to in vitro fertilization and abortion. The election was for a seat in Madison City, and it was previously held by a Republican.

"Today, Alabama women and families sent a clear message that will be heard in Montgomery and across the nation. Our legislature must repeal Alabama's no-exceptions abortion ban, fully restore access to IVF, and protect the right to contraception," Lands said in a statement.

Alabama has a strict abortion ban, and a February Alabama Supreme Court ruling declared that frozen embryos are people, imperiling access to in vitro fertilization in the state following the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade in 2022. Lands' opponent supported the state's abortion ban.

"This special election is a harbinger of things to come—Republicans across the country have been put on notice that there are consequences to attacks on IVF—from the bluest blue state to the reddest red, voters are choosing to fight for their fundamental freedoms by electing Democrats across the country," Heather Williams, president of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, told Politico.

Democrats see Lands' win as a sign that supporting reproductive rights could continue to be a winner in November, even in deeply red states like Alabama. President Joe Biden voiced his support for access to IVF and abortion in his State of the Union address earlier this month.

"Marilyn Lands' victory demonstrates that voters aren't going to sit idly by while MAGA Republicans lay the groundwork for a national abortion ban," Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison said in a statement.

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