The majority of Americans believe that abortion should be legal in all or most cases. But the story is more complicated in states where the future of abortion policy will likely be decided if – as is now expected – the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. valley.
In states preparing for new restrictions on abortion, people tend to say that abortion should be mostly or illegal entirely, based on a New York Times analysis of large national surveys conducted over the past decade.
In the 13 states that have enacted so-called operating laws, which would ban abortion immediately or very quickly if Roe was abolished, an average of 43 percent of adults say abortion should be legal in most or all cases, while he said 52 percent says it should be legal. Illegal in most or all cases.
Voters are more divided in the dozens of states that have prior book bans or that are expected to enact new abortion restrictions if Rowe is repealed. In those states — where abortion is more likely to be fought over in campaigns or state legislatures — an average of 49 percent of adults say abortion should be legal in most or all cases, compared to 45 percent who say it is not. that.
This is still somewhat lower than the national average of 54 percent who support or fully support legal abortion, compared to 41 percent of those who mostly or completely oppose it.
The apparent geographic pattern in the findings suggests that national outcry over the court’s decision to annul Roe may not have many political consequences in states where abortions can be restricted immediately. In some of those states, new abortion restrictions may tend to reinforce the political status quo, even as they spark anger elsewhere in the country.
But in some states, the fight over new abortion restrictions could pose serious political risks for conservatives, perhaps particularly in the seven predominantly Republican states that are seen as likely to introduce new restrictions even though a majority of voters tend to support legal abortion. . .
Public opinions about abortion are notoriously difficult to measure, as large segments of the public often appear to give confused or inconsistent answers. Polls consistently show that about two-thirds of Americans support the court’s decision in Roe v. Wade and opposed his heart. However, just as many Americans say they support banning abortion in the second trimester, a move prevented by Roe. And a more modest majority—typically about 55 percent in broader sets of data—supports legal abortion in most or all of cases, while people are roughly evenly divided on whether they consider themselves “pro-choice” or “pro-life.”
The poll question used here—whether the respondent believes that abortion should be legal in most or all cases, illegal in all or most of the cases—provides only a general sense of voters’ attitudes on the issue. It may not be entirely in line with whether the state’s voter or voters will support any particular restrictions.
Voters who support abortion in “most cases” might accept a ban on abortion after the first trimester, such as that recently enacted in Florida, which would be at odds with Roe v. Triggered but affects only about 8 percent of abortions. Conversely, voters who believe that abortion should be illegal in most cases may still support allowing abortion in cases of rape or incest – or perhaps even without conditions in the first trimester.
Roe’s opponents have long said they want to leave the issue up to voters in every state, and the data suggests abortion restrictions can vary widely across the dozen or so states where the problem is likely to emerge in months. ahead.
In Texas, which has implemented the most stringent abortion restrictions to date, there are few indications of a fundamental shift in state policies.
Texas residents are roughly divided over abortion in general, which makes abortion rights more common there than in a typical state with a launch law. But abortion was virtually non-existent in the state’s March primary, with candidates focusing on the pandemic and immigration. Only 39 percent of Texans said the state’s abortion laws should be “less strict” in a February poll, several months after the passage of the law, which effectively bans abortion after about six weeks of pregnancy.
Advocates of abortion rights in political areas may be more appropriate in the more traditionally competitive states of the Midwest. A modest majority of voters say abortion should be legal mostly in states like Ohio, Michigan and Iowa, where evangelical Christians make up a much smaller proportion of the electorate than in the South. The numbers are similar in other combative states, such as Arizona and Florida.
It is unclear whether the abortion issue will be enough to redraw the political map. Perhaps it will fade, as it seems in Texas. But the stakes are not small for Republicans in this region: The white working-class voters who switched from Barack Obama to Donald J. Trump in the 2016 presidential election have tended to support abortion rights.
In a post-election study, he found 58 percent of voters who turned against Mr. Obama for mr. Trump said in 2016 that they would support a law that “always allows a woman to have an abortion by choice.”