Many policies aimed at expanding abortion access are popular among most Americans

Taylor OrthDirector of Survey Data Journalism
July 14, 2022, 2:10 PM GMT+0

The Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade passed the question of abortion policy to the states — or potentially Congress and the President, to the extent they are willing and able to act. YouGov polls conducted over the past month have measured support for a range of proposals made in the wake of the Dobbs decision.

Overwhelmingly, we find that the least popular abortion policies are also the most punitive and restrictive of people who have abortions and their providers. The most popular policies are ones that involve national protections on abortion or measures that expand access to it. Our polling shows that at least half of Americans support the following:

More Americans also support than oppose the following measures (though a majority neither favors nor opposes them), all of which expand abortion access:

The only policy on which Americans are nearly evenly split is the government providing financial support to people crossing state lines for abortions.

Of the 23 measures examined, the policies which rank lowest in support among Americans are those that make getting an abortion more difficult. Each of the following is supported by fewer than one in four Americans:

Do men and women differ in regard to the abortion policies they support?

Women are equally or more likely than men to support every measure polled that expands abortion access. The reverse is true for abortion-restricting measures: Men are equally or more likely than women to be in favor of each of them.

Women are at least 10 percentage points more likely than men to support:

  • Establishing a national right to abortion
  • Pressuring states to cover Planned Parenthood with their Medicaid programs
  • Providing financial support to people crossing state lines for abortions

Men, on the other hand, are 11 percentage points more likely than women to support banning abortion and 7 points more likely to back mandatory psychiatric commitment of women who have abortions.

— Carl Bialik contributed to this article

The polls analyzed in this article were conducted from June 25 - July 12, 2022. Explore more on the methodology and data for these polls.

Image: Jon Cherry / Stringer via Getty Images