Support For Abortion Has Increased, Despite GOP Efforts To Demonize It

The majority of Americans still support broad access to abortion, new research shows, despite aggressive efforts by the GOP to convince voters it’s dangerous and immoral.

The findings released by Pew Research on Monday show 63% of Americans say abortion should be legal “in all or most cases,” up four percentage points from that share in 2021. Even two-thirds of moderate and liberal Republicans share that view, the survey found.

Only 8% of Americans say the procedure should be illegal in all cases, and 28% say it should be banned in most cases. Despite those low figures, Republican leaders in more than a dozen states have completely outlawed the procedure, and several others have put harsh six-week limits on it since the fall of Roe v. Wade in 2022.

Among adults under 30, 76% say abortion should be legal in all or most cases ― indicating that support for reproductive rights is likely to keep increasing as the electorate ages.

Boxes of the drug used in medication abortion sit on a shelf at the West Alabama Women's Center in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, in 2022.
Boxes of the drug used in medication abortion sit on a shelf at the West Alabama Women's Center in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, in 2022. via Associated Press

Support for medication abortion ― the most common method of terminating a pregnancy in the first trimester ― is also high, with 54% of Americans saying it should be legal. A quarter say they’re not sure. Even among Republicans, 37% say it should be legal, compared to 32% who say it shouldn’t and 30% who aren’t sure.

Obtaining abortion-inducing medication via telemedicine is perfectly safe and effective, a study found in February.

The polling on medication abortion comes as the U.S. Supreme Court weighs a case that seeks to overturn the Food and Drug Administration’s loosened restrictions around the treatment, allowing it to be distributed via mail and at large pharmacy chains and extending the number of weeks into pregnancy it may be prescribed. During oral arguments in March, a majority of the justices seemed skeptical of the lawsuit’s merits.

The survey’s findings echo what’s happened when abortion is put before voters, even in red states. Shortly after the fall of Roe v. Wade, Kansans overwhelmingly voted to keep abortion protections in their state constitution. Months later, Kentucky voters rejected an amendment that would have said the state constitution does not protect the right to an abortion. Last November, Ohioans voted in favor of a constitutional amendment protecting access to the procedure. Voters in California and Michigan have done the same, and similarefforts are underway in other states.