Think abortion rights is a "divisive" issue? Only to the political class
Yes, a fundamentalist minority passionately opposes abortion, but most Americans want it to be legal and accessible
January 17, 2019
The ascendance of Brett Kavanaugh means that the Supreme Court now likely has the fifth vote necessary to overturn or gut Roe v. Wade, making it possible not just for the states but Congress to end legal abortion. The media narrative around this fight will likely, as it has for decades, portray abortion rights as a "divisive" issue that splits Americans right down the middle, suggesting that any overturn of Roe, however unsettling and unfortunate it may be, still reflects widespread popular sentiment.
This narrative would be wrong. In reality, opposition to abortion rights — like opposition to premarital sex, contraception or gay rights — is only a fetish for a minority of Americans involved in fundamentalist Christian subculture. While a fair number of Americans may express ambivalence about abortion, just as they might still feel shame about premarital sex or discomfort around LGBTQ people, ultimately they prefer a system that values sexual freedom and the right to privacy.