What's the biggest presidential issue outside of the economy? Both sides say abortion is a winner for them

Even before the Supreme Court ruled on Idaho's abortion law, the issue of reproductive rights was considered a top driver of voters to the polls
Posted at 11:00 PM, Jun 27, 2024

BOISE — (Verbatim of story that aired is below)

Generally, when it comes to elections, most people vote their pocketbooks. To quote political operative James Carville, “It’s about the economy, stupid.”

But this year, there’s a whopper of an issue that just might come close to topping the economy: abortion.

Despite a Supreme Court ruling today suspending Idaho’s more restrictive abortion policies, or maybe because of it, abortion remains a huge issue.

I talked to both sides about just how important it will be in the coming election.

For decades, the issue of abortion was settled by Roe vs. Wade and it was a rallying cry for conservatives who saw overturning it as a winning issue. But now that it’s overturned, is it still a winning issue for Donald Trump? I asked Danielle Versluys with pro life Stanton Healthcare.

“I think it can be provided he respects the conscious vote of people in America there’s many people like myself who vote along pro life lines because we see abortion to be the most foundational issue for the United States,” said Versluys.

Idaho law, considered among the most restrictive in the country, virtually banned abortion across the board until the recent Supreme Court decision put enforcement on hold.

Pro choice forces, Like Jen Jackson-Quintano, with Pro Voice Project, say people are already seeing the negative effects of such legislation.

”Here in north idaho we know the importance of that because we’ve lost four obgyn in the past year a labor and delivery unit closed we know the impact of these abortion bans and how they affect health care offerings here," said Jackson-Quintano.

Nationwide, according to pew research, 76 percent of adults under age 30 say abortion should be legal in all or most cases.

61% of adults in their 30s and 40s agree.

A smaller majority of those 50 and above still express support for legal abortion.

“Yes studies have shown that a majority of Americans do support some form of abortion being legal in America. However a majority do not support abortion up to the day of birth,” said Versluys.

Jackson says she’d feel more comfortable if the election were just about abortion, but it’s not.

“Well that’s the thing, any election is about more than one issue but so far state by state when abortion has been on the ballot we’ve won. We’ve got an unbroken winning streak,” said Jackson-Quintano.

Whoever is the next president may have the chance to alter the makeup of the Supreme Court.

Trump already placed three justices on the court in his first term leading to the reversal of Roe vs. Wade. Biden has selected only one. The two sides disagree about the importance of a Supreme Court selection.

"I just think right now I don’t think it plays a major role,” said Versluys.
"Oh it’s scary. We’re already seeing the ramifications and it could happen. It’s scary looking at the age of people on the Supreme Court,” said Jackson-Quintano.

Of course, there’s four months until the November election and a lot can happen and usually does, before then.