Source: The News & Observer
North Carolina Republicans recently descended to new levels of delusion when they called their rushed and archaic abortion ban “mainstream,” “common-sense” and “reasonable.”
While the ban was hastily pushed through both chambers of the general assembly in a span of less than two days, Republicans balked at criticism, claiming that this abortion ban was “in line with what the majority of North Carolinians believe.” Unsurprisingly, recently released polling shows they’re wrong.
A new poll released by Elon University shows that the abortion ban Republicans called “mainstream” is not considered by most North Carolinians to be mainstream at all; the poll found that 45% of voters strongly or somewhat oppose recent changes to North Carolina abortion laws, while only 23% support them.
It isn’t shocking that Democrat voters were more likely to oppose the changes while Republican voters were more likely to support them. Interestingly though, voters who identified as neither Democrat nor Republican strongly opposed the changes, with roughly twice as much opposition as there was support for the changes.
Additionally, even among their own voters, the NCGOP is off-base. Twenty-nine percent of Republican voters strongly or somewhat opposed the changes. Across the board, there was more opposition than support for the 12-week ban regardless of race, income level, age and educational attainment. Support and opposition among men, however, were equal.
This is just another in a growing collection of polls showing widespread opposition to abortion bans in the aftermath of Roe v. Wade being overturned. In a poll commissioned last month by Carolina Forward, the majority of voters opposed the bill, and a poll from Meredith College released in February found that more than half of respondents wanted to keep NC’s 20-week law or even expand it further.
While Republican lawmakers may have publicly claimed that their ban would be popular, their tactics suggest they may have privately feared backlash. The abortion ban bill was in the public eye for less than 48 hours before being put up for a vote and Republicans adamantly fought the bill being labeled as a “ban”.
Worst of all, this ban may just be the first. House Speaker Tim Moore has said he wants a heartbeat bill that would ban abortion after a mere six weeks and remarked that he “can’t say” what might happen in the future regarding further abortion legislation. Senate leader Phil Berger said he felt this ban was a good place “for where we are right now”.
Additionally, Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, who is the Republican frontrunner for governor in 2024, has made repeated comments in the past that he does not approve of abortion in any case. More recently, likely after realizing that limiting personal freedom is not exactly a popular platform, Robinson back-tracked, saying he only favors a heartbeat bill or a six-week ban. Even more recently, Robinson said he’s “not interested” in talking about abortion anymore.
Robinson and the rest of the NCGOP may say or claim whatever they can to seem more moderate, but the simple fact remains: a bill that is only roughly supported by a third of voters is most certainly not “mainstream.”