MEMO: Republican Politicians Will Pay a Political Price with Suburban Women Voters for their Anti-Choice Extremism
To: Interested Parties
From: NARAL Pro-Choice America
Date: October 13, 2020
Yesterday during a debate, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) didn’t say whether he believes Roe v. Wade should be overturned and disingenuously suggested that we don’t know where Amy Coney Barrett stands on the landmark abortion rights case.
McConnell joins a growing list of Republican politicians suddenly pretending to back away from the party’s embrace of banning abortion. Why? Because they know this stance is wildly unpopular, especially among suburban women who are key to victory in November. It’s clear that anti-choice Republicans see that 77% of Americans support legal abortion. Now, they’re running scared from their records and the threat to reproductive freedom they engineered by attempting to ram through the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett:
- Trump attempted to dance around the threat that Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett will pose to Roe v. Wade during the first presidential debate. In reality, Barrett’s record shows she stridently opposes reproductive freedom. She has suggested that Roe is an “erroneous decision.” She also signed onto an ad calling the landmark ruling “barbaric” and failed to disclose it in the documents submitted to the Senate ahead of her confirmation hearing. Barrett sided with states trying to restrict abortion access and joined anti-choice groups in opposing the Affordable Care Act’s birth control benefit.
- During the first vice presidential debate, Pence avoided a question about whether he would want his home state of Indiana to ban abortion if the Supreme Court rolled back Roe v. Wade.
- Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) tried to have it both ways during a recent debate of her own. She attacked NARAL-endorsed Democratic challenger Theresa Greenfield for her support of reproductive freedom, but in the same breath denied the threat that Roe faces thanks to her votes to rubber-stamp Trump’s extreme agenda. “I think the likelihood of Roe v. Wade being overturned is very minimal. I don’t see that happening,” she said.
The Republican Party’s agenda of rolling back social progress and gutting Roe is especially unpopular with suburban women voters who will be the key to electoral victory for Democrats and watershed losses for Republicans this November. This was true in 2018 and we are sure to see it again in 2020.
As outlined by NBC, recent Pew Research Center polling found that 74% of suburban women oppose overturning Roe v. Wade.
A recent Morning Consult poll shows a massive gender gap in the presidential race:
- Biden leads Trump among white suburban women, 51% to 44%
- Biden leads Trump by 14 percentage points among women, 54% to 40%
- Biden leads Trump among Black women, 88% to 6%
The fact remains: Voters are galvanized by reproductive freedom.
Recent polling by Change Research and NARAL Pro-Choice America highlights how out of touch the Republican Party is with the suburban women they critically need for victory in November:
- Suburban women voters in Georgia strongly support reproductive freedom, oppose Georgia’s 2019 abortion ban, and do not trust politicians to make decisions about women’s health
- A vast majority (78%) of suburban women in Georgia oppose making abortion illegal and turning back the clock to the days before Roe v. Wade
- Two-thirds of suburban women in Georgia (65%) oppose the 2019 Georgia law that banned abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, a time before many women even know they are pregnant.
- 82% oppose the 2019 abortion ban in Georgia once they learn more about its impacts—including 73% who are strongly against it.
Republicans are right to fear that their extreme views on our fundamental rights and freedoms could be what loses them key voters, including suburban women. But no matter how Republicans try to downplay their real intentions and the threat they pose to reproductive freedom, voters—including NARAL members—are paying attention. We are ready to hold them accountable this November.