By Kristan Hawkins for RealClearPolitics
By the time the midterm elections take place, targeted campaign ads and outreach will have littered the virtual American landscape, as politicians attempt to persuade voters that they have something to offer. In today’s partisan setting, abortion will be one of the issues raised.
While the pro-life position once encompassed people of all political persuasions, the two parties today generally stand as polar opposites, making a new poll on the views of almost one-third of the electorate important news for the army of campaign consultants gearing up to make their pitch.
Far from being pro-abortion/straight-ticket voters without nuance, Millennials and Gen Zers share concerns about the extremes of abortion. They also desire to have a voice and a vote on life, and thoroughly reject the reckless and deadly policy pursued by the Biden administration and its corporate abortion allies on chemical abortion pills, according to a poll taken in early January and reported by Students for Life of America’s Demetree Institute for Pro-Life Advancement.
Consider Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that almost 50 years ago stripped abortion policy away from the states, setting up almost limitless abortion and making ordinary political engagement almost impossible.
An extraordinary 8 in 10 Millennials and Gen Zers want to vote on abortion policy, up from 66% in 2021, while 3 out of 4 want limits on abortion and 4 in 10 want either no abortion or abortion only for the traditional exceptions – in cases of rape, incest, or when the mother’s life is in danger.
On taxpayer-funded abortion, a top policy position of the Democrat-controlled White House, Senate and House, 55% opposed using those resources to pay for abortions worldwide, and 54% support Hyde Amendment protections that limit taxpayer funding of abortion to the exceptions.
Education is key in working with these voters, which is the central mission of SFLA’s in-person, 50-state operation. A 10-percentage point shift in Millennial and Gen Z views on Roe, from positive to negative, took place after respondents learned more about its impact. For example, almost 6 in 10 opposed Roe after learning that it allows for abortion through all nine months of pregnancy.
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All of this means that if Roe becomes a historical footnote and the issue of abortion is returned to the states – possibly through the Dobbs v. Jackson case under consideration now – that’s a positive for most voters. In fact, the poll found that 65% of Millennials and Gen Zers oppose people in power deciding who is fully human and deserving of legal rights.
But the biggest news comes from Millennial and Gen Z’s response to cutting-edge policy being discussed at the state level, from chemical abortion pill limits to “heartbeat” legislation. In fact, more than half of Millennials and Gen Zers would support a limit on abortion after a preborn baby’s heartbeat is detected.
The poll also shows that the real losers in the abortion policy debate of our day are those pushing no-test, online sale of chemical pills, which can lead to injury, infertility and even death for the women taking them, as well as the obvious termination of the baby’s life.
Recently, Biden’s FDA drastically reduced health and safety standards for chemical abortion pills, and the president nominated Dr. Robert Califf to be commissioner of the agency, a role he held during the Obama administration – when he also weakened standards.
This appointment will further expose women to the drugs’ risks. Califf joins HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, who took legal action against the FDA during the Trump administration, forcing it to drop health and safety standards for the pills. This is leading to a state-by-state push for health and safety standards.
The new poll examined Millennial and Gen Z views on the separate harms women are now exposed to as a result of this deadly shift in policy. The Biden administration supports none of these protections in its new FDA-approved protocols.
More than 6 in 10 opposed no-test, online distribution of chemical abortion pills, with strong support for each of the screenings and protocols once in place. More than 6 in 10 support screening for a mother’s blood type, as Rh-negative women (15% of the population) can become sterile if not treated properly; 59% supported an ultrasound exam before selling the pills to prevent death from complication from an ectopic or late-term pregnancy; and 62% supported required follow-up exams so women didn’t die from infection.
Concern for women in dangerous situations motivated Millennial and Gen Z voters: 65% supported in-person purchase to prevent abusers or sex traffickers from using the drugs against women without their knowledge and consent, while almost 6 in 10 opposed young girls being left alone with an abortion sales team or coercive sexual partner without adult engagement from a judge, parent or guardian.
And for politicians looking for a winning issue, consider this: Almost 7 in 10 Millennials and Gen Zers said they are more likely to vote for a politician who supports health and safety standards for chemical abortion.
There is common ground to be found on the abortion issue for people of all parties, beginning with putting the opinions and needs of “We the People” over a handful of judges. Once Roe is gone, a long overdue debate will truly begin.