SCOTUS abortion ruling set to drive voter turnout in midterms: poll

Overturning Roe v. Wade WILL drive voter turnout in midterms, poll shows: 68% favor some restrictions on abortion and only 9% say it should be banned completely in fierce debate that officials fear could spark violence

  • Nearly two-thirds of Americans are against the Supreme Court’s looming decision to overturn federal protection on abortions
  • About half say the controversial ruling will make them more likely to vote in November’s midterms
  • Democrats are more enlivened by the issue than Republicans; this already shows in primary races across the US
  • Pennsylvania Democrats this week warned of Republican hardliner Doug Mastriano’s anti-abortion views in the state’s gubernatorial race  
  • Still, the public continues to grapple with a thorny issue, with seven-in-ten backing some kind of restricted access to abortions 

The Supreme Court’s looming decision to reverse Roe v. Wade is set to drive voters to the polls in this year’s midterm elections, a survey showed on Thursday, even as most Americans favor some restrictions in the fractious right-to-life debate.

Pollsters found that nearly two-thirds of Americans said the top court should not overturn the federal abortion protections granted in its landmark 1972, as a recently-leaked draft ruling suggests it is poised to do.

The final decision, which is expected as soon as next month, is likely to drive voters to the polls in this year’s midterm elections, says the latest NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

Nearly two-thirds of surveyed Americans are against the Supreme Court’s looming decision to overturn federal protection on abortions 

Some 49 per cent of those surveyed said the ruling on abortions – for decades a source of tension between liberals, conservatives and pro-life religious groups – would make them more likely to cast votes in November.

This is especially true for liberals, who see the reversal as a setback for women’s rights. 

Two-thirds of surveyed Democrats said the ruling would make them more likely to cast ballots, compared to 40 per cent of Republicans.

Respondents shied away from the extremes in the fractious debate – only 9 per cent said the practice should be wholly forbidden, while 24 per cent said abortions should be allowed at any point in a pregnancy.

Nearly seven-in-ten Americans supported some kind of restricted access to abortions, though opinions vary on at what stage in a pregnancy they should be allowed 

Nearly seven-in-ten Americans supported some kind of restricted access to abortions, with various preferences for at what stage in a pregnancy they are allowed, and with carve-outs for cases of rape, incest, and to save the life of a pregnant person.

The new polling data will likely feed a belief among Democratic organizers that a Roe v. Wade reversal would drum up support in the midterms, even as the governing party battles criticism over everything from inflation to gas prices and baby formula shortages.

They need the votes. Party insiders fear they could lose control of either the House or the Senate in the midterms, with President Joe Biden’s sagging approval ratings driving expectations of a ‘red wave’ on election night. 

After hardline candidate Doug Mastriano won the Republican primary for Pennsylvania governor this week, Democrats quickly warned voters that he threatens access to abortions and other rights should he win in November.

Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano and his wife Rebbie Mastriano lower their heads in prayer during his election night party on Tuesday

His rival, Josh Shapiro, the state’s attorney general and the Democratic nominee for governor, called Mastriano – who supports abortion bans with no exceptions for rape, incest or the health of the mother – the most extreme gubernatorial candidate in the country.

Tensions were heightened further on Thursday, when Oklahoma lawmakers passed the nation’s toughest anti-abortion law, which bans terminations from the moment of fertilization.

Meanwhile, Vice President Kamala Harris was readying to speak with abortion providers at the White House and as security officials laid plans for more protests and even violence over the Supreme Court ruling.

Ms. Harris, one of the most vocal advocates for abortion access in the White House, was meeting with providers in the administration’s latest attempt to show solidarity with pro-choice Americans, even though it has few legal avenues to directly protect those rights.

The federal government meanwhile is preparing for a surge in political violence when the Supreme Court officially rules in June on the abortion case that’s expected to overturn Roe v. Wade.

A leaked Department of Homeland Security intelligence memo from May 13 says it expects threats that were levied against Supreme Court justices, clerks, lawmakers, clergy and health others are expected to increase in the coming weeks.

Police officers look on as abortion-rights advocates hold a demonstration outside the home of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Security chiefs expect more protests and even violence in the coming weeks

The 26 states where abortion will likely become illegal if SCOTUS overturns Roe vs Wade

The 26 states where abortion will likely become illegal if SCOTUS overturns Roe vs Wade after leaked draft opinion showed a majority of justices supported the move

More than half of all US states have some kind of abortion ban law likely to take effect if Roe v Wade is overturned by the United States Supreme Court. 

According to the pro-reproductive rights group The Guttmacher Institute, there are 26 states that will likely make abortions illegal if the Supreme Court overturns the landmark 1973 ruling.

18 have existing abortion bans that have previously been ruled unconstitutional, four have time limit bans and four are likely to pass laws if Roe v Wade is overturned, the organization found.

The 18 states that have near-total bans on abortion already on the books are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. 

In addition, Georgia, Iowa, Ohio, and South Carolina all have laws that ban abortions after the six-week mark. 

Florida, Indiana, Montana and Nebraska, are likely to pass bills when Roe v Wade is overturned, the Guttmacher Institute said.

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia and Wisconsin’s bans all have pre-Roe v Wade laws that became unenforceable after the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision – that would kick into effect if the federal legal precedent established in Roe were overturned.

Arkansas, Oklahoma, Mississippi and Texas have further bans that will come into effect if the law was overturned. These were passed post-Roe v Wade.

They’re joined by Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and Wyoming, in passing such laws. 

The states that will limit abortions based on the length of time a patient has been pregnant are Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, North Dakota and Ohio.

There are four states that have laws that state abortion is not a constitutionally protected right: Alabama, Louisiana, Texas and West Virginia. 

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