Yesterday, CNN released a poll of American adults concerning their opinions on abortion, finding that three in ten Americans consider reproductive rights to be the major factor in their voting decisions.
The poll was conducted May 28-31 of this year and looked at individuals’ views on various laws restricting access to legal abortion and how significantly those views factored into the likelihood that they would or would not support a presidential primary candidate.
Since CNN last polled on this topic in 2016, the numbers have shifted towards greater support for reproductive rights, revealing that 31 percent of adults believe that abortion should be legal under any circumstance, compared to 29 percent in 2016.
In addition, the poll found that 30 percent of adults would only vote for a candidate that shared their views on abortion with an additional 45 percent viewing abortion as an important factor when making these decisions on whom to vote for. The percentage of adults viewing abortion as a critical issue grows from 30 percent to 32 percent among women and 36 percent among non-white women.
Within the last two days, the presence of reproductive rights in the campaign dialogue has increased dramatically, especially among the declared presidential candidates. Debates have focused in on the Hyde Amendment, which bans federal funding for abortion. Many major candidates including Senators Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Cory Booker released statements supporting a repeal. Though none of the other candidates have explicitly come out in support of the amendment, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, Mayor Wayne Messam, author Marianne Williamson, and tech executive Andrew Yang have been silent on the matter, not putting out any statements in support of the repeal.
This dialogue was catalyzed on Wednesday, as presidential candidate Joe Biden’s campaign released a statement in support of the Hyde amendment. This was put out in response to a video tweeted by the American Civil Liberties Union in which Biden appeared to support a repeal of the amendment. He reversed his position to support a repeal of the amendment within thirty hours of the original campaign statement.
The repeal of the Hyde Amendment has become an increasingly urgent effort within the reproductive rights movement. The Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH) Woman Act was first introduced in 2015 and would prohibit federal, state and local governments from passing laws that restrict private health insurance companies from offering abortion care, and restore abortion insurance coverage to people who receive health insurance through the federal government and are currently denied coverage for an abortion procedure by the Hyde Amendment. It was introduced in the Senate this March and has been cosponsored by 22 Senators, including many presidential hopefuls.
Media resources: CNN 6/6/19; Politico 6/5/19; Fortune 6/6/19; Feminist Majority Foundation 3/20/19; CNN 6/7/19