The results of Pew Research Center’s first poll on abortion since Roe was overturned came out today, revealing, unsurprisingly, that the majority of Americans do not agree with the Supreme Court’s decision to tear down the landmark case, which found abortion to be a constitutional right in the U.S. nearly 50 years ago.
The percentage of Americans who don’t support the death of Roe hasn’t shifted much since Pew conducted its last poll on the issue — 62 percent, overall, said abortion should be legal in most or all cases.
But interestingly, a slim majority disagree with the Supreme Court even in the states that have outlawed abortion in recent days and in states where lawmakers are scrambling to pass new restrictions and bans in the wake of Roe’s demise.
(Pew based its assessment of the status of abortion legislation in various states on the New York Times’ tracker.)
Here’s the breakdown:
In the 17 states where abortion is either newly banned or may soon be, adults surveyed were divided almost 50-50 — 52 percent indicated they disapproved of the SCOTUS decision. Pew surveyed 6,174 Americans between June 27 and July 4 to gather this data.
The percentage was the same in the four states — Florida, Georgia, Ohio and South Carolina — that either have new weeks-related restrictions on the books or are about to, with 52 percent disagreeing with the decision to strike down Roe. Pew also broke down respondents’ opinions in states where things are still up in the air, “in which further action may be taken in the near term by state governors, legislatures or public referendum,” in Pew’s words. In the nine states that fall into that category, opinions were similarly split.
And 65 percent of adults surveyed in states where abortion is legal up to 24 weeks disapproved of the ruling, which is closer to the national average.
The divide among respondents in states scrambling to outlaw abortion could prove consequential, though the extent to which it will is still murky. My colleague Kate Riga has a story today looking at Kansas, a state that, as of 2021 saw the majority of its residents (60 percent) disagreeing with efforts to make abortion completely illegal there. About 50 percent of respondents to that same poll agreed that the state government “should not place any regulations on the circumstance under which women can get abortions.”
As Kate reported, anti-abortion advocates in the state have succeeded in getting a question on the ballot in Kansas’ upcoming August primary that would, if approved, change the language of the Kansas state constitution, which, the state Supreme Court recently found, currently protects the right to an abortion. Abortion supporters are scrambling to turn out voters to repel the Republicans’ attempt to change the state constitution, including encouraging the wide swath of Kansans who don’t traditionally participate in primary election to vote against the measure. (More from Kate here.)
Texas could find itself in a similarly interesting situation. There’s been some new polling out of the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin that shows incumbent Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s lead over Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke is narrowing, down to just six points. As the Texas Tribune has reported in recent weeks, Abbott’s extreme views on abortion (plus his handling of the Robb Elementary School mass shooting massacre) might be playing a role in O’Rourke’s current standing.
It’s also a state where the reality of extreme restrictions on abortion access have had more time to settle in among voters. Abortion post-six weeks has been banned in Texas since last fall, after Republicans in the state legislature passed a first-of-its-kind bounty hunter style abortion ban, that puts the enforcement of the restriction into the hands of private citizens. We’ve seen copy-cat proposals pop up in red states ever since.
Another recent Texas Politics Project poll found that just 15 percent of respondents in the state support banning abortion entirely. Per the Texas Politics Project: “While 37% of Texas voters say that they support ‘trigger law’ that would ban abortion in most cases in Texas in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling, no more than 36% would foreclose all access to legal abortion across a range of circumstances.”
The Best Of TPM Today
Here’s what you should read this evening:
More on those Fulton County subpoenas: What Lindsey Graham Did In Georgia To Keep Trump In Power
The latest from Kate Riga: Kansas Republicans Scheduled Big Abortion Vote For Low-Turnout Primaries. Will It Backfire?
From ProPublica: DOJ Investigating Texas’ Operation Lone Star
Yesterday’s Most Read Story
What We Are Reading
Could John Fetterman Shitpost His Way to the Senate? — Ursula Perano
The Proud Boys Have Only Become More Central to GOP Politics Since Jan. 6 — Rachel Kleinfeld