Respect Accessibility

Most Americans want the right to an abortion, even in states with bans: poll

A new Kaiser Family Foundation poll found 61 percent of adults want laws in their state to guarantee access to abortion.
A crowd of people gather outside the Supreme Court, Monday night, May 2, 2022 in Washington. A draft opinion circulated among Supreme Court justices suggests that earlier this year a majority of them had thrown support behind overturning the 1973 case Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion nationwide, according to a report published Monday night in Politico. Anna Johnson/ AP

Story at a glance

  • A new Kaiser Family Foundation poll assessed a wide range of abortion issues among U.S. adults. 

  • About two-thirds of the public, 65 percent, said they disapproved of the Supreme Court’s June decisions to overturn Roe v. Wade. 

  • Nearly 7 in 10 — 69 percent — said they support laws guaranteeing abortion access. 

Despite new laws taking effect across the country that limit abortion, most Americans want to keep abortion access open, including those living in states that have abortion bans or trigger laws in place. 

The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) published results of a new national poll that assessed voters’ top priorities, including a wide range of views on abortion access. The results showed that not only is abortion a motivating factor for some groups of voters, but most adults, 61 percent, want laws in their state to guarantee access to abortion. 

About half of those respondents that live in states with pre-Roe abortion bans or trigger laws also said they want guaranteed access to abortion in their home state. 

The results stand in stark contrast to the current reality in the U.S., as the Supreme Court issued an opinion in June overturning a 50-year precedent established by Roe v. Wade affirming abortion access as a constitutional right.  

In response, at least 13 states enacted bans on abortions or severe restrictions. 

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The KFF poll found about two-thirds of the public, 65 percent, disapprove of the court’s June decision. 

In states where abortion access is currently protected, 68 percent said they support laws guaranteeing abortion access while 22 percent want laws that ban abortion in their state.  

KFF noted stark partisan divides among respondents, with 83 percent of Democrats saying they want their state to pass laws guaranteeing access to abortions. 

Meanwhile, 54 percent of Republicans said they support laws in their state that ban abortion. Only about a third of Republicans, 37 percent, said they want laws in their state to guarantee abortion access. 

Even as a majority of Americans indicate their support for abortion access, health care providers are being forced to stop offering the procedure. Data collected by the Guttmacher Institute found that 43 abortion clinics were forced to stop offering services after the Supreme Court’s June decision to overturn Roe. 

At the same time, some local leaders have tried to open abortion access, vowing to codify abortion into state Constitutions and welcome out-of-state patients that want an abortion but cannot get one in their home state. 

Illinois in particular has quickly become an abortion safe haven for the Midwest and Southern states, with Planned Parenthood of Illinois (PPIL) opening up two new clinics in anticipation of an influx of out-of-state patients.  

PPIL expects to receive about 20,000 to 30,000 additional abortion patients in the coming years.