Recent polling by the Economist/YouGov finds that at least half of Americans, including people in both Republican and Democratic states, support including protections for abortion in their state’s constitution. Most Americans also support legislation that would protect the right of women in states that restrict abortion to travel to other states to receive one, and nearly half support Medicaid paying for this type of travel. The poll also finds that a majority of Americans are concerned that recent changes in abortion law will prevent doctors from performing abortions on women experiencing medical emergencies; women under 30 are especially concerned about this.
Following the defeat of a recently proposed amendment to the state constitution in Kansas, which would have removed abortion protections, we asked Americans whether they would support or oppose including protections for abortion in their own state’s constitution. Around half of Americans (53%) say they would support the inclusion of these protections, while 29% say they would oppose it. While people living in states with Democratic-controlled legislatures are especially likely to support such an amendment (64% do), people living in Republican-controlled states are more likely to support than oppose it (46% vs. 33%) as are people in states with divided legislatures (48% vs. 32%). (Separate YouGov estimates based on polling between 2020 and 2021 show that majorities of Americans in most states, including many Republican-controlled ones, say abortion should be legal in most or all cases.
Two-thirds of Americans (67%) say that people living in states that restrict abortion access should be allowed to travel to other states with less restrictive laws to have an abortion (only 17% say they shouldn’t be allowed; the rest are not sure). Most – 63% – say they’d support a law protecting the right to travel to other states to receive an abortion, while 22% oppose such a law. Fewer (47%) support a proposal raised in relation to Biden’s latest executive order, which involves Medicaid paying for women in abortion-restricting states to travel to other states to receive an abortion.
Following the signing of Biden’s executive order aimed at protecting doctors providing emergency abortions, we find that 64% of Americans say they are very (40%) or somewhat (24%) concerned that recent changes in abortion law will prevent emergency-room doctors from performing abortions for women facing medical emergencies; 36% say they’re not very concerned or not at all concerned about this. Adult women under 30 – who are among the most likely to be affected by this issue – are especially likely to be concerned: 57% say they are very concerned, compared to only 30% of men in the same age group.
— Kathy Frankovic and Carl Bialik contributed to this article.
This poll was conducted on August 7 - 9, 2022 among 1,500 U.S. adult citizens. Explore more on the methodology and data for this Economist/YouGov poll.
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