Pew Research Center survey shows that the US Supreme Court's decision to remove the federal right to abortion has led to significant restrictions on abortion access. However, this has not affected public support for abortion, the study found.
Around a year following the Dobbs ruling, 80% US adults claim that their views about abortion haven't changed. Over 6 out of 10 Americans believe that abortion should be legal or almost always be legal. A third think that it should not be legal or nearly always be illegal. Pew data show that this divide has not changed much over the last few decades.
The majority of adults in the United States still believe that they could easily get an abortion, but this has decreased significantly over the last four years. This is especially true for states that have banned abortions.
In states that prohibit abortions, 70% of adults now say it would be hard to obtain one in their state. This is up from 50%. More than half of adults (56%) say it is difficult to obtain an abortion in states with restrictions or legal disputes. This is up from 41%. This number is consistent around 20% in states where abortions are legal.
A growing number of adults, including over a quarter who live in states that allow abortions, support the ease of access.
Another study showed that the average time it takes to travel for an abortion has more than tripled since the Dobbs ruling. This is because states have implemented complete or partial abortion bans, which effectively reduced the number of abortion facilities by one tenth.
Pew survey results show that the partisan divide over abortions is growing.
Approximately 40% of Republicans believe that abortion should be legalized in all or the majority of cases. This percentage has remained relatively constant since 2007. Democrats are twice as likely to be in favor of legal abortion. Their support has increased from 63% in 2007 to 84% by 2023.
Nearly half of Democrats believe that abortion should be made easier in their area, while almost as many Republicans think it should be more difficult.
Perceptions of local laws vary by party. More than eight out of ten Democrats in states that currently ban abortion say it would be hard for someone to obtain an abortion. This compares with around six out of ten Republicans. In states with abortion restrictions or ongoing legal disputes, a similar gap is present.
There is confusion regarding abortion laws in general. KFF conducted a survey in which it found that 2/5 of women in childbearing years were not sure if medication abortion was legal in their state.
Most demographic groups have not changed their opinions on abortion from last year.
According to a Pew survey conservative Republicans are twice as likely to believe that abortion should be prohibited in all or the majority of cases.
Black and Asian adults, on the other hand, are more likely to support abortion in all or most situations than White and Hispanic adults.
The Pew study is based upon a sample of over 5,000 US adults who were interviewed from March 27 to April 2 before the recent federal rulings regarding medication abortion. As of April 14, the states were classified according to their legal status regarding abortion. According to state laws, abortion is prohibited in 13 of them, restricted in 11 of them, or subject to legal dispute, and legal in 26 of them, including Washington DC.