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E-Blast: A Pollster’s Case for Democrats to Make Reproductive Rights a Centerpiece of the 2022 Midterms



A Pollster’s Case for Democrats to Make Reproductive Rights a Centerpiece of the 2022 Midterms 

To:     Interested Parties 

From: Roshni Nedungadi, Democratic pollster and founding partner at HIT Strategies 

Re:     A Pollster’s Case for Democrats to Make Reproductive Rights a Centerpiece of the 2022 Midterms 
In an unprecedented but not unexpected move, the Supreme Court is prepared to overturn the 50-year precedent set by Roe v. Wade. HIT Strategies was conducting focus groups of Democratic voters when Politico reported the breaking news on Roe’s reversal. As a result, we could probe their real-time reactions to the news as it happened. The shock and anger of voters we recorded should be another piece of evidence that Democrats need to mobilize on this issue. 

Here’s the political case for Democrats to make the protection of reproductive rights the centerpiece campaign in the midterms. 
  • The state level is the last line of defense for abortion rights. With federal protection ripped away, individual states will now have the power to legislate access to abortion. In all, 26 states plan to limit abortion access once Roe is overturned. Many GOP states have already made their intention clear—no abortion and no exceptions. Only by flipping GOP state legislatures and electing pro-choice governors and attorney generals can voters now protect women’s health options. The upcoming midterms will feature many opportunities for Democrats to halt the rollback of abortion access and maintain reproductive freedoms post-Roe
  • A majority of voters, including two-thirds of Black voters, AAPI voters, college graduates, and young voters support access to abortion in all or most cases. According to Pew Research, 59% of voters support access to abortion in all or most cases, a majority that exists across all race, gender, and age demographics. These numbers are highest for key Democratic base groups: Black voters (67%), Asian voters (68%), college-educated voters (68%), and voters under 30 (67%).  
Some of the Democrats’ most loyal voters, including Black and AAPI voters, would be disproportionately impacted by the reversal of Roe v. Wade.
  • For several reasons, Black women are at the greatest risk for unintended pregnancies and therefore access abortion at a higher rate than other women. Black women also face three times the risk of maternal mortality compared to white women. Thus, eliminating abortion access will cause more Black women to carry out unwanted pregnancies and rely on inadequate maternal care even when their life may be in danger. See the CNN graph below.  
  • AAPI women face unique social barriers to abortion. In tandem with growing anti-Asian discrimination, GOP politicians have begun basing statewide sex-selective abortion bans (SSAB), which ban women from seeking an abortion due to the sex of the child. This is based on the racist stereotype that AAPI women prefer male children over female children. So far, fourteen states have passed SSABs, with similar bills under consideration in 22 states.  
Protection of abortion rights is a mobilizing issue for base voters. According to Navigator Research, 61% of pro-choice voters would be more motivated by the court undermining Roe. In our own HIT BlackTrack poll from November, 72% of Black voters reported they would be more motivated to vote by abortion restrictions, as compared to just 10% who would be less motivated. Finally, HIT’s youth Democratic base focus group respondents reacted to the SCOTUS news in real-time. 
  • Several participants noted that people of color would “suffer the most” and that changes would lead to a “higher rate of women harming themselves trying to do their own abortions.” 
  • Some participants signaled their increased desire to vote and “organize a lot more” to make sure people vote in the midterms, “in local elections, especially.” 
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