- A majority of Americans identify as “pro-choice” and feel abortion rights are at risk nationally.
- Majorities oppose the Texas abortion law and are most concerned about the law’s lack of exceptions, its deputizing of civilians to enforce the law, and the possibility of increased illegal, unsafe abortions that may result from it.
- Biden and Democrats are more trusted to handle issues related to abortion and reproductive healthcare than Republicans.
Texas Abortion Law Getting Nearly as Much Attention as the Delta Variant
Three in five are hearing “a lot” about the Delta variant, followed by nearly half who are hearing about the Texas law.
- Viewers of Fox News are the least likely to be hearing “a lot” about the Texas abortion law compared to consumers of other news sources.
Majority of Americans Identify as “Pro-Choice” and Say Abortion Should Be Legal in All or Most Cases
The share of Americans who identify as “pro-choice” has increased 5 points since June of 2019, driven largely by a 9- point increase among Republicans (from 29% to 38%).
Three in Five Say Abortion Rights Are at Risk Nationally
On a separate question, a plurality of Americans feel that the right to an abortion in their own state is at risk (44%).
Framing the Texas Abortion Law as the Nation’s Most Restrictive Increases Opposition Even More
While a majority oppose the Texas abortion law when framed as a law that “bans most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy,” when framing it also as the “nation’s most restrictive,” net opposition grows 8 points (from +18 to +26).
Americans View Texas Abortion Law as Attack on Women’s Rights
When asked to describe their reaction to the new abortion ban in Texas, many say they feel the law is an attack on women’s rights and an attempt by men in Texas to control women’s bodies; when asked to choose between descriptors of the law, nearly half say it takes “away women’s rights and freedoms.”
Half of Americans “Strongly Oppose” Deputizing Private Citizens to Enforce the Texas Abortion Law
Half of Americans “strongly oppose” deputizing private citizens to enforce this law, including 43% of independents.
Lack of Exceptions, Civilian Enforcement, and Possibility of Increased Illegal Abortions Are Most Concerning
Across party lines, lack of exceptions for illness, rape, or incest in the new law are most concerning for Democrats, independents, and Republicans.
Statements Focused on Undermining Right to Abortion and Dangers of Civilian Enforcement Are Both Compelling
Progressive responses to supporters of the Texas abortion ban that focus on the law’s undermining of Roe v. Wade and on deputizing citizens to enforce the law are both effective.
A Majority Would Be Less Favorable to an Elected Official Who Supported a Law Like the Texas Abortion Ban
Nearly half of independents (47%) and more than one in four Republicans (26%) say they would be less favorable to an elected official who supported a law like the Texas abortion ban.
In Wake of Texas Ban, Support Is Strong for Congress to Pass Legislation to Federally Protect Abortion Rights
While almost three in five Americans support Congress passing legislation to ensure abortion rights are federally protected, two in five “strongly support.”
A Plurality Say Texas Law Is Proof SCOTUS Has Become Too Extreme and Support Adding Seats to Balance the Court
Among independents, 61% agree more with Democrats who would add seats to the Court than with Republicans.
Biden and Democrats Much More Trusted on Issues Related to Abortion and Reproductive Healthcare
Among independents, Biden and Democrats are more trusted by 35 points to protect the right to abortion, 20 points to protect reproductive healthcare, and 3 points to handle the issue of abortion.
About The Study
This release features findings from a national online survey of 995 registered voters conducted September 9-13, 2021. Additional interviews were conducted among 100 Hispanic voters, 100 African American voters, 100 independents without a partisan lean, and 79 Asian American and Pacific Islander voters.