Americans see potential to develop public consensus on abortion policy and want laws to reflect public opinion.
An exclusive poll by America’s New Majority Project reveals that one year after the Dobbs decision, Americans agree that the overturn of Roe v. Wade may be an opportunity to build public consensus on abortion.
- The research also reveals that 73 percent of Americans support abortion restrictions of some kind.
WHY IT MATTERS – After backlash against the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and state level abortion restrictions helped lead to surprisingly strong 2022 election results for Democrats, abortion is likely to be put front and center by Democrats and progressive groups in 2024. This means pro-life candidates need effective language neutralize their attacks.
- One year since Dobbs, Americans agree that the return of abortion policy to the elected branches of government presents an opportunity to come to public consensus on a divisive issue.
- Large majorities of Americans support abortion restrictions of some kind.
- Bipartisan agreement that any abortion policy must have broad public consensus shows danger of bills that don’t have large public support.
- Americans are divided on whether abortion policy should be set at the state or national level. However, large majorities support state-level policy in which there is no public consensus.
- The net impact of framing the election choice between a pro-life GOP consensus builder and a pro-choice Democrat abortion extremist is slightly negative for the GOP (-1 margin) compared to the generic ballot.
Discussing the repeal of Roe v Wade and the abortion debate around the need to reach consensus can be used as SHIELD LANGUAGE to minimize damage from opponent attacks.
READ THE REPORT – Click on the image below to view the slideshow or continue to read highlights of the results in the body of the article.
An exclusive poll by America’s New Majority Project measured American’s support for abortion restrictions and desire to have abortion policy match public consensus.
POTENTIAL FOR CONSENSUS
Voters were asked: Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? “The return of abortion policy to elected officials who are accountable to the people is an opportunity to come to public consensus on a difficult issue that has divided America for decades.”
- 64 percent – Agree
- 26 percent – Disagree
- 52 percent of Pro-Life voters
- 55 percent of Pro-Choice voters
MOST SUPPORT SOME LEVEL OF ABORTION RESTRICTION
Voters were asked: Which of the following comes closest to your position on abortion?
- 20 percent – Available at any time during pregnancy
- 13 percent – Allowed only during the first six months
- 22 percent – Allowed only during the first three months
- 25 percent – Allowed only in cases of rape, incest, or life of the mother
- 6 percent – Allowed only to save the life of the mother
- 7 percent – Never be permitted under any circumstance
Those expressing support for some level of abortion restriction include:
- 95 percent of Republicans
- 60 percent of Democrats
- 72 percent of Independents
DESIRE FOR ABORTION POLICY TO MATCH PUBLIC CONSENSUS
Voters were asked: Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? “Any national abortion policy must have broad public consensus.”
- 65 percent – Agree
- 19 percent – Disagree
The agreement was similar among all groups of voters, including pro-life and pro-choice voters.
PUBLIC DIVIDED ON STATE OR NATIONAL LEVEL ABORTION POLICY
Voters were asked: The 1973 Roe v. Wade case ruled that the U.S. Constitution generally protects an individual’s right to have an abortion. Last year, the Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, allowing abortion policy to be decided by elected officials at the state or national level. Do you believe that abortion policy should be set at the state or national level?
- 40 percent – State level
- 43 percent – National level
In general, pro-choice Americans prefer national abortion policy, pro-life Americans prefer state level policy. However, the most pro-life Americans (those who think abortion should never be permitted) are narrowly divided (42 state – 38 national).
MOST RECOGNIZE SOME ROLE FOR STATE LEVEL POLICY
Voters were asked: Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? “For areas of abortion policy where there is no national public consensus, states should enact policies that match the beliefs of the majority of people in their state.”
- 63 percent – Agree
- 24 percent – Disagree
POTENTIAL IMPACT ON 2024
Voters were asked: Which candidate would you be more likely to support?
- A Republican candidate who is pro-life but has pledged not to enact abortion limits that do no have broad public consensus.
- A Democratic candidate who is pro-choice and opposes any limits on abortion access, including up until the time of birth.
- 46 percent -Republican Candidate
- 40 percent – Democratic Candidate
The 6-point margin for the Republican candidate is 1 point smaller than the generic ballot, suggesting that a framing of the abortion debate along these lines may be effective shield language against opponent attacks.
This national survey of 2,000 people was conducted from May 4-7, 2023 by McLaughlin & Associates for America’s New Majority Project and has a margin of error of 2.2%.