AP-NORC Poll Reveals Most US Adults Oppose Complete Abortion Prohibitions, Even in States that Enforce Them

by Lucas Garcia
Abortion bans in the US

A recent survey conducted by The Big Big News-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research has found that most U.S. adults, including those residing in states with strict abortion limitations, believe that abortion should be legally permissible at least during the initial stages of pregnancy.

The survey took place in late June, marking a year since the U.S. Supreme Court rescinded Roe v. Wade, effectively dismantling a nationwide abortion right that had been firmly established for nearly five decades.

Despite legislative changes in the past year, the poll shows that public opinion on abortion largely mirrors the complex attitudes observed a year prior. Most respondents hold that abortion should be legal in certain circumstances but not in others. About two-thirds of Americans generally support legal abortion, but only around one quarter believe it should always be allowed, and merely about 10% contend it should always be illegal.

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The poll further found that by 24 weeks of pregnancy, most Americans do not support abortion rights. This viewpoint is held by Jaleesha Thomas, a 34-year-old Chicago resident. She believes that abortion should generally not be an option about 20 weeks into pregnancy unless the mother is facing health complications that could endanger her life or the life of the baby.

Illinois, Thomas’ home state, permits abortion until fetal viability, approximately around 24 weeks. The state has become a hub for individuals from neighboring states like Kentucky, Missouri, Wisconsin, and others, where restrictions on abortion travel are in place.

Approximately half the states currently permit abortion until between 20 and 27 weeks but prohibit it thereafter in most instances. Before Roe’s revocation, nearly all states followed this rule. Today, 14 states, predominantly in the South, ban abortion at all stages of pregnancy, subject to a few exceptions.

The poll discovered that 73% of all U.S. adults, including 58% of those in states enforcing the strictest bans, support the right to an abortion at six weeks of pregnancy. Currently, Georgia is the only state to enforce a ban at this stage.

Around half of the Americans polled believe that abortions should be permissible at 15 weeks, though 55% of those residing in the most restrictive states believe abortion should be outlawed by then. By 24 weeks, approximately two-thirds of Americans, including those in states with the least restrictions, assert it should be prohibited.

Despite the push for more abortion restrictions by most GOP-led state governments, the survey reveals that such moves often lack public support. About 40% of people nationally expressed that accessing abortion services in their community was overly difficult, contrasted with roughly a quarter who felt it was too easy.

Robert Green, an 89-year-old politically independent rancher in Wyoming, has advocated for abortion rights since before the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling. Green argues that children tend to suffer when born to parents who don’t want them.

Respondents from states with the strictest bans were marginally more likely to report difficulties accessing abortion services compared to those in the least restrictive states. On average, about half of Democrats find access challenging, compared to 22% of Republicans.

The survey also found that women were more likely to describe access to abortion services as challenging in their areas. There wasn’t a significant gender gap within both parties: about half of Democratic men and women and around 20% of GOP men and women reported difficulties. However, nearly half of independent women found access challenging, compared to about a third of independent men.

The poll, conducted from June 22 to June 26, used a sample of 1,220 adults from NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel, intended to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Abortion bans in the US

What percentage of U.S. adults support full abortion bans?

Based on the recent poll conducted by The Big Big News-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, only about 10% of U.S. adults believe that abortion should always be illegal.

How many states currently have full abortion bans?

As of the date of the poll, 14 states have bans at all stages of pregnancy, including much of the South.

At what stage of pregnancy do most Americans believe abortion should be prohibited?

The poll found that by 24 weeks of pregnancy, most Americans believe their state should generally not allow abortions.

What is the general opinion about abortion according to the survey?

The poll shows that public opinion on abortion is complex, with most people believing abortion should be allowed in some circumstances and not in others. About two-thirds of Americans say abortion should generally be legal.

What is the current status of access to abortion in the U.S.?

Based on the survey, about 4 in 10 people nationally said it was too difficult to access abortion in their community, with access being more challenging in states with the strictest bans.

More about Abortion bans in the US

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SamT July 12, 2023 - 12:47 pm

Unbelievable…thought we’d be more divided on this. Guess most ppl still believe in choice, despite the strict laws.

DaisyB July 12, 2023 - 4:53 pm

so glad to see that there’s still some common sense out there. Woman’s body, woman’s choice!!

TuckerP91 July 12, 2023 - 11:17 pm

Surprised at the number of folks okay with the 24-week thing. Thought it would be less…

Michele87 July 13, 2023 - 1:58 am

Kind of relieved to see these numbers, but access is still a huge problem in some states. Wish we could solve that.

GregP July 13, 2023 - 7:39 am

Interesting results… shows that the laws really don’t reflect what the people want. Wonder what’s gonna happen next.


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