The Atlantic

White Women Are Helping States Pass Abortion Restrictions

Their support for Republican officials has been key to the GOP’s strength in the South.
Source: Patsy Lynch / AP

It’s common for critics of the new wave of state laws severely limiting access to abortion to say the measures are part of a Republican “war on women.”

But strong support from most white women, especially those who identify as evangelical Christians, has helped Republicans dominate local government in the states passing the most restrictive measures, from Alabama and Georgia to Kentucky and Missouri. In some of those states, polling shows that opposition to legal abortion is higher among white women than among white men.

These attitudes underscore why it’s too simplistic to forecast that the renewed push against abortion will uniformly drive women away from the GOP. There’s no question that abortion-rights supporters everywhere are mobilizing in opposition to the highly restrictive new laws, which range from bans starting at six weeks of pregnancy to total prohibition. Activists held some 500 events in all 50 states on Tuesday to protest the new laws—a preview, they say, of the energy the measures will ignite in the 2020 presidential and congressional elections, particularly among who support legalized abortion.

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