by Mary Margaret Olohan
Abortion is about “the functioning of our democracy,” former Democratic presidential contender Elizabeth Warren told Teen Vogue in an interview published Monday.
Warren, a Massachusetts senator, told the teen publication that “voting and access to abortion are basic” rights that are “about the functioning of our democracy and about the protection of personal autonomy.”
“Protection of the vote means your voice gets heard in government. Protection of access to basic health care means your autonomy as a human being is fully respected by the law. That you will make the decisions about yourself. To me, that’s part of the heart of what all of this is about,” she said. “This is where the two big fights are shaping up right now.”
Warren said that voting rights and abortion rights intersect with one another from the perspective of “respect for the individual” and from “a political point of view.”
“The right-wing extremists know that if they can keep people from voting, they’ve got a better chance to impose their views about abortion on an unwilling nation,” she told the publication. “I don’t have to tell you, [one 2018 poll found that] 71% of Americans support Roe. Now, when 71% of Americans support something, including 52% of Republicans, you’d think it would be easy to make that law.”
Warren said that pro-life Americans are a “small but intensely focused group of people who want to impose their will on the majority of this nation.”
The senator’s assessment of American sentiment did not appear to take into account polling finding that many Americans support restrictions on abortion after the first trimester. An Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll released in late June found that while 61% of Americans say abortion should be legal in most or all circumstances during the first trimester, 65% of Americans said abortion should almost always be illegal in the second trimester and 80% said abortion should almost always be illegal in the third trimester.
“It is fundamentally antidemocratic.… This is a Republican Party that now openly admits that their only chance to hang on to power is to keep a substantial number of American citizens from voting,” Warren said. “And why is that so? Because what they want to do is not popular with Democrats or Republicans.”