Americans' Views On Abortion Aren't So Binary: Newsy Poll

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People walking on street
Newsy conducted a survey to see how regular Americans feel about abortion, and the results reveal a spectrum of positions.

Newsy conducted a survey to find out where average Americans stand on the issue of abortion access. The results suggest more than one-third of Americans hold views that don't neatly fall under the labels of "strictly pro-life" or "strictly pro-choice." Instead the survey responses, which appear below, reveal the nuances in people's positions.

Newsy's poll was conducted May 22-23, 2019. Americans were invited by text to complete an online survey, and 464 Americans responded. The precision of the Newsy online poll is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 4.6 percentage points for all respondents. Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including but not limited to coverage error and measurement error. The data was weighted to current U.S. population data by region, gender, age, education and ethnicity. Where figures do not add up to 100, this is due to the effects of rounding.

Has your state introduced legislation to change its rules regarding abortion this year?

No - 59.98%

Yes - 40.02%

How much have you heard about new abortion legislation introduced this year?

A great deal - 38.17%

A lot - 29.62%

Some - 16.61%

A little - 12.54%

Nothing - 3.05%

Ignoring particular policies and exceptions, where do you stand on abortion legislation generally?

Abortion permitted first 18-23 weeks - 10.25%

Abortion permitted first 24-28 weeks (so-called fetus viability standard set in Roe v. Wade) - 13.61%

Abortion permitted in first 6-8 weeks (so-called heartbeat bills) - 11.21%

Pro-choice, no exceptions - 33.92%

Pro-life, no exceptions - 31.01%

Do you believe abortion should be available in cases of rape? (Question not asked of people who identified as pro-choice, no exceptions)

No - 21.30%

Yes - 78.69%

Do you believe abortion should be available in cases of incest? (Question not asked of people who identified as pro-choice, no exceptions) 

No - 23.39%

Yes - 76.60%

Do you believe abortion should be available in cases where the life of the woman is at risk? (Question not asked of people who identified as pro-choice, no exceptions)  

No - 12.41%

Yes - 87.58% 

Do you believe abortion should be available when the fetus has a life-threatening abnormality? (Question not asked of people who identified as pro-choice, no exceptions)   

No - 28.37%

Yes - 71.62%

Do you believe abortion should be available later when the fetus has a non-life-threatening abnormality? (Question not asked of people who identified as pro-choice, no exceptions)

No - 50.13%

Yes - 49.87%

Has the recent abortion legislation passed in 2019 changed your personal stance on abortion?

No - 55.73%

Yes, more pro-choice - 26.20%

Yes, more pro-life - 18.07%

Has the recent abortion legislation passed in 2019 changed how intensely you feel about your stance on abortion?

A great deal - 18.33%

A lot - 17.62%

Some - 12.66%

A little - 11.27%

No - 40.12%

Should the Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade?

No, do not overturn - 60.35%

Yes, overturn - 39.65%

Generally, should states be allowed to pass legislation on abortion that is more restrictive than federal law?

No - 57.78%

Yes - 42.22%

If abortions are performed against the law, who do you believe should be punished? (check all that apply)

Medical facilities in which abortion is performed - 4.61%

No one should be punished - 45.45%

No one should be punished; medical facilities in which abortion is performed - 1.73%

No one should be punished; woman having an abortion - 0.07%

Person performing abortion - 6.20%

Person performing abortion; medical facilities in which abortion is performed - 11.69%

Woman having an abortion - 3.85%

Woman having an abortion; medical facilities in which abortion is performed - 0.14%

Woman having an abortion; person performing abortion - 2.83%

Woman having an abortion; person performing abortion; medical facilities in which abortion is performed - 23.44%

If abortions are performed against the law and someone is punished as a result, how severe should punishment be? (check all that apply)

Major fine - 11.81%

Major fine; major jail time - 11.19%

Major fine; minor jail time - 7.67%

Major fine; minor jail time; major jail time - 2.04%

Major jail time - 11.53%

Minor fine - 7.15%

Minor fine; major fine 0.10%

Minor fine; major fine; minor jail time - 1.51%

Minor fine; major fine; minor jail time; major jail time - 0.33%

Minor fine; minor jail time - 1.19%

Minor jail time - 6.16%

Minor jail time; major jail time - 0.32%

No punishment - 36.06%

No punishment; minor fine - 2.76%

No punishment; minor fine; major fine - 0.07%

No punishment; minor fine; major fine; minor jail time - 0.12%

What partisanship most closely resembles your personal preference?

Conservative - 26.90%

Liberal - 18.87%

Moderate - 33.52%

Very conservative - 9.97%

Very liberal - 10.74%

Which major U.S. political party do you most identify with?

Democrat - 26.08%

Independent / other - 20.00%

Mostly Democrat - 16.40%

Mostly Republican - 15.20%

Republican - 22.32%

If you had to pick a preference between the two major U.S. political parties, which would you pick?  

Democrat - 52.16%

Republican - 47.84%