As the debate over whether Brett Kavanaugh deserves a spot on the Supreme Court begins to heat up, a new poll shows Americans are fiercely supportive of justices continuing to protect abortion rights.
The poll, put out by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, finds that 71 percent of Americans want Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision protecting a woman’s right to govern her own body, to remain the law of the land. Just 23 percent of Americans want the decision overturned.
That’s the highest level of support that the NBC/WSJ poll has ever reported since 2005, when the poll started asking the question regularly.
Remarkably, support for the right to choose transcends partisan lines. A majority of Democrats (88 percent) and independent voters (76 percent) support keeping the law intact, but even a majority of Republican voters (52 percent), who tend to be more conservative in their politics, say that Roe v. Wade should not be overturned by the Supreme Court.
Voters are even more likely to support candidates that support the right to choose. A plurality of voters, 44 percent, said they’d be more likely to back a candidate if they came out in support of abortion rights, while a significantly smaller number, 26 percent, said they’d be more likely to support that candidate’s opponent. Twenty-nine percent said that the issue bore no bearing on how they would vote.
Democrats should take note of this poll’s findings when they consider whether they should support President Donald Trump’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Kavanaugh has a staunchly anti-choice point of view, and he could be the determining vote on whether Roe v. Wade remains upheld or not in the future.
Opposition to Kavanaugh on this issue alone could ensure Democrats a stronger showing in the midterm elections, especially if it’s in defense of this specific right. Beyond being electorally advantageous, however, the opposition to Kavanaugh’s nomination would simply be the morally sound decision to make — women have the inherent right to determine what they should do with their bodies, and any law that says otherwise is an unjust interpretation of the Constitution.