More Democrats view abortion rights as high priority: survey

More Democrats view abortion or reproductive rights as one of the top issues that the government should address in 2022, according to a poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research

The survey released Thursday found that 13 percent of Democrats polled mentioned abortion or reproductive rights as a priority issue, a significant increase from less than 1 percent who listed it in 2021 and 3 percent in 2020. 

Democrats also listed the economy, health care and gun control as top priorities in the poll.

ADVERTISEMENT

Jennifer Benz, deputy director of The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, suggested that in the recent year, abortion may have been overshadowed by the pandemic, economy and other issues.

“The public have lots of things that they want to see government addressing,” she said, according to the AP. “You ask this kind of question in a time of economic turmoil and in the time of a pandemic and all of these other things going on, we might not expect abortion to rise to the top.”

The poll comes as the Supreme Court debates Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling that legalized abortion throughout the country in 1973. 

“I think what we have seen is absolutely an increase in awareness, an increase in urgency, an increase in the need to fight back,” Sam Lau, senior director for advocacy media at the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, told the AP. “But I still actually think that huge swaths of this population still don’t quite believe that the access to abortion and the 50-year precedent that is Roe v. Wade is really hanging in the balance.”

He added that many are pushing elected officials who publicly supported Roe v. Wade to "be bold and to go on offense and to pass proactive legislation to protect access to abortion."

The AP-NORC polled 1,089 adults on Dec. 2-7 and has a margin of sampling error of  4.1 percentage points.