Settled law

New poll highlights a revealing truth about Americans’ attitudes toward Roe v. Wade

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

As Americans find themselves facing the possible impact that President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh could have on abortion rights, support for women’s right to choose has reached a record high, a new poll shows. The poll, from NBC News and The Wall Street Journal, surveyed both Democrats and Republicans and found that 71 percent of respondents believed that Roe v. Wade, the case that established women’s right to an abortion, should stay in place — including 88 percent of Democrats, 76 percent of independents, and 52 percent of Republicans. That’s right — a majority of Republicans view Roe v. Wade as settled law.

Only 23 percent responded that the 1973 ruling should be overturned — including 39 percent of voters who identified as Republican. In a similar vein, the poll found that American voters were nearly twice as likely to vote for a pro-choice candidate compared to those who said they would vote for an anti-abortion one.

President Donald Trump’s pledge to appoint pro-life judges in order to “guarantee” the repeal of abortion rights has emboldened conservative politicians across the country who have begun passing increasingly stricter requirements on abortions and the practitioners who provide them in an effort to effectively — if not technically — ban the procedure. Already, those efforts appear to bearing fruit. In May, bolstered by the addition of recent Trump pick Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, the judicial body rejected an appeal from Planned Parenthood and allowed the Arkansas state government to effectively outlaw abortion pills. Pro-choice activists have warned that Kavanaugh, a devout Catholic who infamously argued that the government was justified in holding an undocumented teen immigrant in custody in order to prevent her from obtaining an abortion, would give conservatives the majority they need to potentially overrule Roe v. Wade — allowing state governments to outlaw abortion outright.

For now, it appears that the only obstacles left between Kavanaugh and his confirmation are two pro-choice women Republican Senators — Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. Earlier this month, Collins said that a candidate “who would overturn Roe v. Wade would not be acceptable to me,” but given that both Collins and Murkowski previously voted in support of Gorsuch, there is little to guarantee that their votes will end up matching their words.

Read the full story at NBC News.


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