Suffolk Poll: Most Voters Not Informed on Abortion Facts
Most Americans have deeply held opinions on abortion rights, but the majority are not well informed about how many abortions take place in the United States each year or how early in pregnancy the procedure is most often performed, according to a new Suffolk University/USA TODAY national poll of registered voters.
Presented with a multiple-choice question, just 26% of likely voters correctly answered that fewer than one million abortions are performed each year in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. About 41% of respondents incorrectly chose “between 1-5 million,” and 18% said “more than 5 million.” Another 15% were undecided.
Most respondents also did not know that about 90% of abortions in the United States are performed during the first three months of pregnancy, the CDC has reported. Less than half (47%) of respondents correctly answered that question, while a majority had different answers, including 24% who incorrectly answered that only about half of abortions take place in the first trimester. Another 16% guessed about a third, and 13% were unsure.
Still, poll respondents had strong opinions on abortion, and the majority said they do not want to see the Supreme Court overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision in the coming days.
Exactly 61% oppose overturning Roe v. Wade, with 28% supporting the dissolution of the decision. And 63% of voters said abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while 30% said it should be illegal in all or most cases.
An overwhelming 79% oppose Congress passing a law banning abortion nationwide. Just 16% of respondents support a national ban, with 5% undecided.
"Which comes closest to your view?"
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The poll also shows that support for abortion rights wanes with the duration of a pregnancy. In the first three months, abortion is supported 60% to 29%. However, 56% of respondents oppose abortions in the midterm or second trimester of a pregnancy. The number opposed jumps to 67% for late-term abortions.
Nearly one-third of voters polled also said that strict abortion bans enacted by state governments made that state “less desirable” to live in, while 60% said it had no effect. Almost 53% percent of respondents supported employers aiding employees seeking out-of-state abortions, if the procedure is not legal locally.
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The nationwide Suffolk University/USA Today survey was conducted through live interviews of cell phone and land line users. The survey of 1,000 voters was conducted June 12-15, 2022. The margin of error is +/- 3.1 percentage points. Results are posted on the Suffolk University Political Research Center website. For more information, contact David Paleologos at 781-290-9310, [email protected].
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