Respect Accessibility

Most Americans support free, widely available birth control if abortion is banned: poll

A national poll showed that among abortion rights respondents, 91 percent believe birth control should be made free and widely available if abortion is outlawed. Among those who are anti-abortion, 61 percent agree.
Anastasiia_Guseva/ iStock

Story at a glance

  • YouGov and The Economist released new polling data that showed most Americans overwhelmingly support free birth control access. 

  • Twenty-one percent of women who used contraceptives used birth control pills in 2018. 

  • Under the Affordable Care Act, insurers must provide birth control for free, but employers are allowed religious exemptions. 

Most Americans say that birth control should be made free and widely available if abortion is outlawed, according to a new poll conducted shortly after a leaked draft opinion shows the Supreme Court is likely to overturn the constitutional right to an abortion.  

YouGov America and The Economist released results of a new nationwide survey that assessed how Americans view abortion and reproductive rights. A majority of respondents, 45 percent, indicated they do not want the Supreme Court to overturn the 1973 case Roe v. Wade, which affirmed abortion access as a constitutional right. 

Thirty-two percent said they would like to see the court overturn Roe, while 23 percent were not sure. 

The poll was taken right as a leaked opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito showed the court was likely to overturn Roe v. Wade as part of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case. The final decision is expected in June and if the court does gut Roe, 13 states will immediately ban or severely limit abortion through trigger laws. 


America is changing faster than ever! Add Changing America to your Facebook or Twitter feed to stay on top of the news. 


The wide-ranging YouGov poll also shows that among those respondents who support abortion rights, 91 percent believe birth control should be made free and widely available if abortion is outlawed. Among those who are anti-abortion rights, 61 percent agree. 

Twenty-one percent of women used birth control pills in 2018, making the contraceptive the second most common behind permanent contraception, according to the Guttmacher Institute, an abortion advocacy group. Birth control pills have consistently been one of the most popular methods of contraception since 1982. 

Despite the pill’s long history as an effective and safe contraceptive, more than 19 million women of reproductive age living in the U.S. are in need of publicly funded contraception and live in contraception deserts, according to Power to Decide, a reproductive rights advocacy group. 

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandates insurers in the health insurance marketplace cover contraceptive methods, including birth control pills. Religious employers are allowed to be exempt from covering it. 

Beyond birth control, YouGov also explored Americans’ views on abortion. When presented the statement “abortion is sometimes the best solution in a bad situation,” 24 percent of anti-abortion rights respondents agreed. Of those who support abortion rights, 91 percent also agreed.  

Fifty-nine percent of anti-abortion rights respondents also believe it should be possible for a woman to legally obtain an abortion if her life is seriously endangered by the pregnancy—92 percent of pro-abortion rights respondents also agreed. 

Notably, when asked should people in states that restrict abortion be allowed to travel to other states with less restrictive laws in order to have an abortion, 43 percent of anti-abortion rights respondents agreed as did 89 percent of pro-abortion rights respondents. 

That’s something that could become a reality for thousands of Americans if the Supreme Court ultimately overturns Roe v. Wade. States like Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas and Idaho have some of the country’s strictest abortion laws that make performing an abortion punishable with prison time. 

At the same time, other states are doubling down on their commitment to allowing abortion access, including in Chicago where Mayor Lori Lightfoot said on Twitter, “As mayor, I have one message to anyone worried about access to abortion care…Chicago’s doors are open. We unequivocally respect you, and your choices.” 


READ MORE STORIES FROM CHANGING AMERICA 

US DRUG OVERDOSE DEATHS HIT ANOTHER RECORD HIGH 

HOW TO PREPARE FOR THE END OF THE STUDENT LOAN PAYMENT PAUSE  

HUNDREDS OF BILLS TARGETING LGBTQ+ PEOPLE UNDER CONSIDERATION NATIONWIDE, HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN SAYS 

FLORIDA SCHOOL BOARD REJECTS PLAN TO COVER HIGH SCHOOL YEARBOOK PHOTOS OF ‘DON’T SAY GAY’ PROTESTS 

ANONYMOUS DONOR PAYS OFF STUDENT DEBT FOR TEXAS STUDENTS