As the nation waits to see if Brett Kavanaugh will be seated on the Supreme Court, a new survey finds that the majority of voters are against him and in support of legal abortion access, one of the hot button issues surrounding his nomination.
Last week, between September 5 and 7, Axios conducted a survey of 2,033 adults and found bipartisan support to keep Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 SCOTUS decision that said that a constitutional right to privacy means a woman has the right to make her own medical decisions—including whether or not to have an abortion. According to New York magazine:
In a new survey by Axios and SurveyMonkey, when asked “Would you like to see the Supreme Court overturn its Roe v. Wade decision?” 71 percent of respondents said no. That was the case for a majority of respondents in each of the given subgroups, including rural voters—who make up a large contingent of Trump’s fan base—and “Never Hillary” independents, who Axios says are the most crucial swing voters in this year’s midterm elections. In fact, the resulting numbers among those independents were equal to those of African-American women, 79 percent of whom were against overturning Roe. Meanwhile, 80 percent of suburban White women wanted to keep our current laws, and 71 percent of respondents between the ages of 18 and 34 agreed. Even among rural voters, a majority—59 percent—said they would not want SCOTUS to overturn the decision.
As Jamila Taylor wrote last month in an op-ed for Center for American Progress, Black women have the most to lose if Roe is overturned. “Despite the gains made since the legalization of abortion, the promise of Roe v. Wade has not been fully realized for many women of color,” she wrote. “A rising wave of restrictive abortion laws is affecting women across the country, and women of color are more likely to live in states with the most restrictive abortion laws.”
African-American women were also against Kavanaugh’s nomination in the Axios survey, with 69 percent answering “disapprove” when asked “Do you approve of Brett Kavanaugh as the nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court?” It was the highest percentage of the five groups surveyed.
If Kavanaugh, who wrote in a 2003 memo that SCOTUS “can always overrule” Roe, wins confirmation, the justices in favor of maintaining it will lose their majority. As CNN reports, “His past views, reinforced by testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, suggest Kavanaugh would permit government to impose stricter regulation of abortion, for example, with additional requirements that could delay the procedure or in stiffer rules for physicians who would perform it.”
There are four states where abortion would be banned as soon as Roe v. Wade were overturned: Louisiana, Mississippi, and North and South Dakota have enacted “trigger laws” with delayed effective dates. Ten states still have pre-Roe abortion bans on the books that never were repealed. Nine states have laws that explicitly protect abortion rights.
While the Axios survey only reported on Black people who identify as women, a Pew Research Center poll conducted in 2017 found that 62 percent of Black people overall are in support of abortion being legal.