Survey Says Less Than 25% in Any US State Approves Total Ban on Abortion

Abortion rights activists rejoice in front of the Supreme Court in Washington after the justices struck down a strict Texas anti-abortion restriction law known as HB2, on June 27, 2016. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

In no state in the U.S. does even one-quarter of the population say abortion should be illegal in all cases, a new survey shows.

The report, released Tuesday (Aug. 13) by Public Religion Research Institute, shows that in five states, at least 20% of the population believes abortion should be legal in all cases: Louisiana (23%), Mississippi (22%), Arkansas (21%), Tennessee (21%), Nebraska (21%), North Dakota (20%) and Kentucky (20%).

But even in Alabama and Missouri, where laws have recently been passed to make abortion illegal with practically no exceptions, fewer than a fifth of the population says abortion should be illegal all the time. In Alabama just 16% opposes abortion at all times, while 19% of Missourians hold that position. The anti-abortion laws are facing court challenges in both states.

“These results demonstrate that the Republican-controlled legislatures who have passed state laws that amount to a virtual ban on abortion are out of touch not just with Americans overall but with residents of their own states and members of their own party,” said PRRI CEO and founder Robert P. Jones in an announcement of the survey results. “Few Americans, even in the most conservative states in the country, believe that abortion should be banned outright,” he continued.

“Support for Legality of Abortion Remains Stable, 2014-2018” Graphic courtesy of PRRI

These state-by-state findings come at a time when national views on abortion have remained stable. In 2018, 15% of those surveyed said it should be illegal in all cases, according to PRRI, compared to 16% in 2014. In 2018, 23 percent of respondents said abortion should be legal in all cases, compared to 21 percent four years earlier.

In 22 states, less than half of those surveyed say abortion should be legal all or most of the time. In 12 of those states, a majority say abortion should be illegal.

The study’s researchers found that more than three-quarters of Americans surveyed said their opinion about abortion had remained unchanged over the last five years.

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Source: Religion News Service