Well-Being Mental Health

Most young women say state abortion laws would influence where they live: poll

A new poll conducted by Generation Lab and Axios found that 50 percent of young people felt upset after the June Supreme Court ruling that overturned the federal right to abortion came out; 41 percent felt mad and 32 percent felt hopeless.
Demonstrators protest outside of the U.S. Supreme Court, Wednesday, May 4, 2022, in Washington. A draft opinion suggests the U.S. Supreme Court could be poised to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion nationwide, according to a Politico report released Monday. Alex Brandon/ AP

Story at a glance

  • A new poll looked at how the country’s young people reacted to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

  • Nearly half of women aged 18 to 29 checked their state’s abortion law since the court’s ruling came out. 

  • Two-thirds of respondents said they would consider a state’s abortion law when thinking about where they might live. 

Abortion has taken center stage in the U.S. as Americans react to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the constitutional right to abortion, and a new poll reveals most young people felt mad or upset at the decision. 

The court in June overturned Roe v. Wade’s nearly 50-year precedent, leaving abortion access to states to decide. In wake of the decision, reactions poured in from average citizens, lawmakers, health professionals and more. 

A new poll conducted by Generation Lab and Axios found that 50 percent of young people felt upset after the ruling came out. Forty-one percent felt mad, and 32 percent felt hopeless. 

The poll asked hundreds of young people aged 18 to 29 how they reacted to the court’s decision and how they might behave have now that abortion access is no longer a federally protected right.  

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

White respondents were more likely to be mad than Black or Asian respondents, at 46 percent compared to 25 percent and 30 percent, respectively.  

Nearly half of women checked their state’s abortion law since the ruling, at 44 percent. Only 5 percent tried to buy Plan B, over the counter emergency contraception.  

When thinking about where they might live, 2 in 3 respondents will consider a state’s abortion law, the poll found. Thirty-one percent said they would consider it “a lot,” while 27 percent indicated it would “somewhat” influence their decision. 

Twenty-five percent said a state’s abortion law would “not at all” influence their decision to live there. 

More than a dozen states had abortion trigger laws in place — which took effect immediately or with quick state action following the fall of Roe — banning or severely restricting abortion access. 

More than half of all female respondents indicated they would alter their sex or birth control behaviors if their state bans abortion. Thirty-seven percent said their use of birth control medication would change while 32 percent said they would change how frequently they have sex.  

Twenty-nine percent said they would alter how they chose sexual partners and their condom use. 

Fewer men reported they would plan to change their habits, with 48 percent saying they would not alter any behaviors if the state they live in bans abortions — but 38 percent said they would alter condom use. 

Twenty-four percent of men even said they were very likely to take FDA-approved oral or injectable contraceptives for men. 

A separate poll by the Pew Research Center found similar sentiments among U.S. adults, with 57 percent of respondents saying they disapproved of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which led to the overturning of Roe v. Wade.