July 1, 2022 9:00am

In conservative Acadiana, over half of Power Poll voters oppose overturning Roe v Wade

42% said they were strongly opposed to the court tossing out the historic ruling

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Lafayette, LA Correspondent
 
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In Acadiana, where large chunk of the population is Catholic and votes conservatively, Power Poll respondents had this to say this week: the U.S. Supreme Court got it wrong.

More than half of the respondents in this month's Acadiana Power Poll indicated they were opposed the high court’s decision last week in a 6-3 vote to overrule the Roe v. Wade decision and end a woman's constitutional right to an abortion in a ruling in a Mississippi case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

The Dobbs decision allows states to make their own laws regarding abortion. It ends abortion at the three clinics in Louisiana after lawmakers passed a trigger ban years ago.

This month’s poll focused on the ground-shifting decision, upending the decision made nearly 50 years earlier, and their feelings about the court and other issues surrounding the decision. The remaining questions were sort of a mixed bag.

But back to the first question: What was your reaction to the ruling? Here's how they voted:

  • 42% said they were strongly opposed.
  • 27% said they strongly supported it.
  • 13% said they were somewhat opposed tio it.
  • 13% said they could see both sides of the issue.
  • 4% said they somewhat supported it.

The ruling was a welcome one among the Catholic churches in Acadiana. Many area churches rang their bells for five minutes starting at noon the day of ruling in the Catholic Diocese of Lafayette.

Yet protests were held days after the ruling, including one outside a building on the South Louisiana Community College campus while state lawmakers were speaking during a One Acadiana event.

But the perception of how the ruling was received told a different story. Maybe those who were opposed to the decision the most were the most quiet. Asked how others around them and in their social media circles responded to the ruling, here's what they voted:

  • 33% said it was hard to say. They heard both sides.
  • 24% people strongly supported it
  • 21% people somewhat supported it
  • 16% people somewhat opposed it
  • 7% people strongly opposed it.

The ruling marked the end of a years-long fight against abortion in the United States, particularly among lawmakers in Louisiana and other states that passed laws to chip away at the ruling.

In Louisiana, lawmakers passed a trigger law in 2006 that would outlaw abortion in the event Roe v. Wade was overturned. But Orleans Parish Civil District Judge Robin Giarrusso issued a restraining order earlier this week, allowing abortions to continue.

Meanwhile, Power Poll respondents pointed the finger as the U.S. Senate and their approvals of conservative candidates for the Supreme Court as the key reason that put the ruling in motion. When asked what was the one event that really set the table for the ruling, here's how the voting went:

  • 34% cited the Senate approving the three conservative justices after not appointing Merrick Garland to the court in 2016.
  • 22% cited Donald Trump getting elected president.
  • 17% said the ruling was flawed from the beginning.
  • 15% cited how states' efforts to chip away at the ruling for years exposed its flaws.
  • 12% cited the rise of the Christian right in American politics the 1980s.

What’s it look like going forward with the courts and with politics in the U.S. after this decision? Power Poll residents had mixed responses on those topics, too. The Supreme Court, with its conservative majority, made another unprecedented move this week in limiting the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to regulate planet-warming emissions from the country's power plants. The court's rulings going forward is the topic of debate now.

When asked what their opinion of the Supreme Court is now, here's how the voting went:

  • 33% said they had no opinion or it was hard to say
  • 29% said they did support the court before the Roe decision and strongly support it now.
  • 21% said they did support the court before the Roe decision but do not support it now.
  • 17% said they did not support the court before the Roe decision and strongly do not support it now.

Whether or not the decision will benefit one party over the other in the upcoming midterm elections and others in the future is the current topic of debate. Power Poll residents were almost split evenly on the issue: 51% said it will favor the Democrats, and 49% said it will help Republicans.

Conducted online Tuesday through Thursday, the Acadiana Advocate Power Poll survey is not a scientific inquiry. But because it asks questions of leaders from various sectors throughout Acadiana, it does afford nonpartisan insight into the thoughts and opinions of the community. Of 350 members surveyed, 104 voted for a participation rate of 29.7%.

The Acadiana Advocate Power Poll is a partnership with powerpoll.com, a nonpartisan survey, news and information company focused on the opinions of influential people.

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