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Analysis Shows Voters in States With New Abortion Restrictions Oppose Them

Only 13 percent of residents in states with near-total abortion bans said they supported the bans, a new poll found.

Abortion rights activists hold signs inside the Indiana State house during a special session in Indianapolis, Indiana, on August 5, 2022.

A new analysis finds that a majority of residents in states where abortion restrictions have been enacted since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade earlier this year are opposed to the new laws.

A new poll commissioned by The 19th asked residents in states where near-total bans on abortion have recently been enacted whether they support or oppose the bans. Within those states, 52 percent of residents said they believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while only 13 percent said they back the bans.

The poll also found that 61 percent of U.S. residents overall believe that abortion should remain legal in all or most cases. Just 10 percent back complete bans and 25 percent believe the procedure should be banned in most cases.

The poll indicates that a majority of voters stand directly opposed to the abortion bans that are being imposed by state lawmakers. According to The 19th’s analysis, the disconnect between voters and state lawmakers can largely be attributed to the fact that white men are overrepresented in government and tend to favor abortion restrictions at higher rates.

“Men, especially White men, have been overrepresented in all levels of the United States government for decades,” the publication’s analysis noted, adding that “the most stringent restrictions on abortion are in states that have the highest Black populations, where the laws are clearly out of line with popular opinion.”

The poll’s findings are backed by the results of referendums on abortion. Where they are able to do so, voters are opposing restrictions on abortion; one notable example is in Kansas, where voters struck down a statewide referendum seeking to quash abortion rights protections recognized by the state’s Supreme Court. Within that referendum, which was held this summer during Kanas’s primary election races, 62 percent of residents voted against a constitutional amendment that would have allowed conservative lawmakers to pass new abortion restrictions.

Several other states across the U.S. are planning to hold similar abortion rights ballot initiatives in the midterm races this November. Polling from those states shows a high likelihood of voters backing the right to abortion.

In Michigan, for example, a poll from September found that 64 percent of voters plan to support an initiative codifying abortion rights in the state Constitution. Earlier this month, a poll found even higher support for a similar proposal in Vermont, with 75 percent saying they plan to support the pro-abortion amendment.

Kentucky also has a question on abortion on its ballot this fall, which, like the Kansas initiative, asks voters to give the state legislature the right to restrict abortion rights. No polling is available yet for that ballot question, according to reporting from Reuters.

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