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7 in 10 voters want a woman’s experience having an abortion to be safe, legal, and respectful of a women’s decision.

Conventional wisdom frequently suggests the public is deeply divided on abortion and, at least tacitly, approves of the kinds of restrictions states have passed to limit a woman’s access to it.

Throughout 2015, the National Institute for Reproductive Health commissioned PerryUndem Research/Communication to conduct qualitative research in eight states across the country (CO, FL, GA, MI, NY, OH, TX, VA) to assess voters’ awareness of and views toward the trend of abortion restrictions, and to find out whether those views align with their preferences for policies related to abortion.Powerpoint jpg smaller
This research found that voters are not aware of the trend of anti-abortion restrictions, and learning the details of those restrictions evokes significant motivation and anger to act.

Rather than erecting new roadblocks, as states have been in recent years, the public wants a fundamental shift to supporting a woman who has decided to have an abortion.

In January 2016, we commissioned PerryUndem to conduct a national survey to measure what we had been hearing in focus groups across the country. We found that people don’t want abortion to be a difficult or negative experience for a woman. Instead, they support affirmative approaches that make it more supportive, respectful, affordable, and without embarrassment, pressure, or shame. VIEW POLLING MEMO HERE.

Please contact Tara Sweeney at [email protected] for more information. 

Q: Think of a woman who has decided to have an abortion. How would you want that experience to be? Would you want it to be…

Informed by medically accurate information 94%
Safe 93%
Respectful of her decision 82%
Legal 76%
Supportive 75%
Without pressure 73%
Affordable 72%
Available in her community 72%
Without shame 68%
Emotionally difficult 32%
Expensive 23%
Uncomfortable 20%
Difficult in terms of travel and logistics 17%
Embarrassing 16%

Since January of 2010, states across the country have passed 318 laws restricting access to abortion.

Q: Have you heard of a recent trend of states passing laws making it harder for women to get abortion care?

Yes 45%
No 35%
Not sure 20%

Q: Do you think these laws are headed in the right direction or wrong direction?

Wrong direction 63%
Right direction 35%
Refused 2%

Most voters support policies that correspond to how they said they want abortion access and the experience to be for women.

Q. Would you support the following policy proposals?

Allow health care providers to care for patients based on their best medical expertise without interference from politicians


Ensure that laws regulating abortion providers are based on medical evidence and best practices instead of political beliefs


Prevent politicians from forcing doctors to give women medically inaccurate information about abortion


Help make sure that abortion providers can do their job safely without harassment


Help make sure that women can access abortion care without being harassed


Guarantee a woman’s right to have an abortion in your state


Make sure women have access to abortion coverage, no matter where they get their insurance from


Q: Let’s say your elected representative was in favor of these laws that have made it harder for women to get an abortion. Would you be more or less likely to vote to re-elect him or her?

Much more likely to vote for 14%
Somewhat more likely to vote for 15%
Somewhat less likely to vote for 17%
Much less likely to vote for 34%
Would not make a difference 20%