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New Poll Shows Texas Voters' Views on Abortion

AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe

One year ago, Texas enacted a law banning abortions after fetal heartbeat detection. The law was challenged by abortion providers at the Supreme Court and was ultimately upheld. This year, after the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, Texas enacted a trigger law making abortion a felony, as Townhall covered. The abortion provider that challenged the six week ban last year closed its Texas clinics and is moving to New Mexico as a result. 

A poll released this week by pro-abortion rights groups claims that the majority of Texas voters express “strong” support for abortion. Specifically, findings suggest that 60 percent of Texas voters support abortion in “all” or “most” cases. Fifty-three percent said the six-week ban, S.B. 8, motivated them “a lot” to vote in the midterm elections. However, the same poll found that many Texas voters are “underinformed” on abortion, with only 36 percent knowing that there was a “trigger” law in place.

"We've known that politicians in Texas and across the country have been enacting harmful abortion bans. We've known that they've been out of step with what Texans want, and now we have the data to prove that," Carisa Lopez, senior political director for the Texas Freedom Network, one of several reproductive rights groups that commissioned the poll, told NPR. Texas Freedom Network was founded by Cecile Richards, who is the former president of Planned Parenthood.

The poll broke down which demographic groups say S.B. 8 motivated them “a lot” to vote: 

– Democratic women (75%)

– Democratic men (68%)

– Black women (64%)

– Latina/x women (60%)

– Suburban women (59%)

– Women 18 to 44 (58%)

– All women (57%) 

– Independent women who want abortion available in all or most cases (55%)

The poll results released this week were conducted in June, in Texas, from June 15-24, the time that Roe was overturned. 

However, a separate poll that was conducted after Roe was overturned showed that most Americans supported abortion until they learned more about the procedure.

Townhall covered in July how The American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) released poll results that gave insight into Americans’ opinions on abortion regulations. And, the results show how respondents' views change when they understood the details of what happens in an abortion.

The first question posed to respondents was “do you support or oppose the 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, which recognized a Constitutional right to abortion?” Fifty-three percent of respondents “strongly” or “somewhat” supported Roe. Thirty-one percent “strongly” or “somewhat” opposed Roe. 

The follow up question was “do you support or oppose Roe v. Wade if you knew that it allowed abortion up to birth, including late-term abortions, when the fetus can feel pain?” This question showed opinions shift on the issue.

In the results, 28 percent of respondents said they support Roe knowing that it allowed abortion up to birth, including third trimester abortions, when the fetus can feel pain. A majority, 56 percent, said they oppose it. 

In the findings, 62 percent of respondents said that in the eighth week of pregnancy, a fetus that responds to touch is a human life. Once there is an indication of human life, 59 percent of respondents said that they agree that abortion should not be permitted.

Broken down, 55 percent of respondents said that abortion should be legal up to six weeks gestation, which was the law of the land in Texas. Eighteen percent said seven to 12 weeks. Only three percent said 13 to 15 weeks.

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