● Nationally, roughly one-third of Americans do not offer an opinion on abortion across all nine scenarios. This lack of opinion is lowest for pregnancies caused by rape and for pregnancies that threaten the life of the woman (roughly three-quarters of Americans offered an opinion).
● Support for abortion to save the pregnant woman’s life outpaces opposition in every U.S. state, with majorities in most states supporting life-saving abortion care. However, residents of states where abortion is legal up to viability are roughly 12 percentage points more likely to support life-saving abortion than in states where abortion is prohibited except for rape or incest (where 55% support abortions to save the life of the woman).
● Laws prohibiting abortion without exception for rape are clearly at odds with public opinion of those states’ residents. A 55% majority of residents in states where abortion is currently banned without exception for rape or incest support abortion in pregnancies caused by rape. Just 17% oppose abortion in rape cases, with the remaining respondents not voicing an opinion.
● In every U.S. state, more Americans oppose than support abortion after fetal viability, the prior point at which states could prohibit abortion established in Roe and Casey but recently struck down in Dobbs. Even in states where abortion is legal without gestational limits (AK, CO, NJ, NM, OR, VT, and DC), opposition to abortion after fetal viability is more than double the share that supports such abortions (46% oppose versus 21% support, with the remaining respondents not voicing an opinion).
● In states where abortion is banned after 6 weeks of pregnancy, 37% of residents oppose abortions after 6 weeks compared to one-quarter (25%) who support such abortions – a 12 percentage point gap. Roughly 4 in 10 (38%) did not voice an opinion. Although not a majority of residents in these states, more residents say they oppose than support abortion in these cases, demonstrating some consistency of the law with opinion of these states’ residents.
● In states where abortion remains legal, more residents support abortion if a woman does not want to be pregnant than oppose. For people in states where the future of abortion legality is uncertain, roughly equivalent shares support, oppose, and have no opinion about abortions for women who don’t wish to be pregnant.
● Around half of Americans support abortion if the fetus could suffer from serious health problems or birth defects, compared to around two out of five Americans who oppose it. States with populations most opposed to this stance tend to be in the South - where it is not legal to get an abortion for fetal abnormalities in many states - while majorities in some northeastern states support abortion under these circumstances.
● Nationally, around twice as many Americans support abortions when the woman’s health is endangered (44%) than oppose it (21%). In many southern states where this is not legally allowed, like Mississippi and Alabama, around equal shares of the population support and oppose abortion when a woman’s health is jeopardized (around three in ten support and oppose). Other states that do not allow this, like Idaho and Utah, have populations that support versus oppose this measure by two to one or higher.
● Nationally, women overall, Hispanic women, young women, liberals and Democrats are most likely to rate abortion as an “extremely important” issue.
● Nearly half of Democrats (48%) versus over one-third of Republicans (36%) rate abortion as “extremely important” – a 12 percentage point gap. Similarly, a 53% majority of those who self-identify as liberals rate abortion as “extremely important” compared to 39% of self-identified conservatives – a 14 percentage point gap.
● Compared to the national average, support for abortion is significantly higher across each of the nine scenarios among individuals who found the abortion issue to be especially important.
● Regionally, the Northeast consistently contains the highest support for abortions across all scenarios, followed by the West coast and parts of the upper Midwest. The South tends to be least supportive, followed by the great plains and the northern mountain states. This vaguely - with many exceptions - mirrors the gradient of policy restrictiveness by region.
To see all the charts in one place, please go to this Interactive Charts page.