CHARLESTON, W.Va. — More than two-thirds of West Virginia voters say it’s important for all West Virginians to be able to get a full range of reproductive healthcare, including abortion, according to a survey by Hart Research.
Representatives from Hart Research joined leaders from WV FREE and state legislators Monday at the state Capitol to discuss the results that showed 66 percent of respondents agreeing it is important to provide reproductive healthcare.
“West Virginians show compassion and an interest in equitable access to healthcare, in particular, reproductive healthcare. This poll really substantiates that,” Margaret Chapman Pomponio, the CEO of WV FREE told MetroNews.
31 percent of the telephone survey of 903 registered voters said they disagree by saying it’s not important that all West Virginians have that healthcare. The data showed that Democrats strongly believe it is important at a 90 percent clip along with 70 percent of Independent registered voters. 49 percent of Republican respondents believe it is important for citizens to have access to abortion.
Young voters, ages 18 to 34, strongly believe in the importance of abortion access at 86 percent while women under the age of 50 agreed at 82 percent.
The results also indicated that a majority of West Virginia voters do not want to see Roe v. Wade overturned, with 61 percent of respondents in support a woman’s right to abortion or believes the government should not prevent a woman from making that decision for herself.
65 percent of voters in the survey believe things are off on the wrong track when it comes to access in abortion in our country today, including 72 percent among voters who oppose overturning Roe v. Wade.
Pomponio said WV FREE, a reproductive rights organization, is launching a statewide, grassroots public education campaign centered around these results.
“We will have seed grants available to individuals and community leaders so that they are ready to educate legislators about their interests and to try to get policymakers to create a policy to reflect the electorate’s interest,” she said.
West Virginia voters passed an amendment in November, 51 percent to 48 that proposed language be added to the state Constitution, “Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of abortion.” This limited how taxpayer funds can be used for abortion.
“It’s the amendment that took away Medicaid coverage for abortion care,” Pomponio said. “I think it was a bit of a wake-up call to a lot of legislators and policymakers because it squeaked passed with little more than three points margin.”
The survey was done by Hart Research out of D.C. via telephone among registered voters June 17 to 22. WV Free said the sample is representative of the West Virginia electorate and consistent with the political inclinations of West Virginia voters statewide. The sample leans Republican by 18 points, as 45 percent identified as Republican with 27 percent as Democrat.