Where do Americans Stand on Abortion?

Where do Americans Stand on Abortion?

Public Opinion Polling on Americans’ Positions on Abortion

Quick facts:

More than 7 in 10 Americans Oppose Abortion after 15 Weeks (at most)

A Harvard-Harris national poll found 73% of voters would limit abortions by no later than 15 weeks.

Support Democrat Position of Abortion on Demand up to Birth

Just 10% of voters support the position of leading Democrats that there should be no limits on abortion.

Majority of Americans Oppose Mail-Order Abortion

63% of Americans, including 42% of Democrats, oppose new federal rules that allow abortion pills to be sent through the mail without an in-person visit to a medical professional.

Multiple post-Dobbs polls show that at least seven in 10 Americans support significant limits on abortion.

Oppose Abortion after 3 Months at Most

69% of Americans support limiting abortion to, at most, the first three months of pregnancy – this includes 72% of women, 71% of Independents and nearly half of rank-and-file Democrats.

Vast majority reject abortion on demand throughout pregnancy

Nearly 80% of Americans reject abortion on demand throughout pregnancy. 67% would limit to the first three months at most; only 22% say abortion “should be available any time during a pregnancy.

Would limit abortions when a baby's heartbeat can be detected

54% of voters support a limit after six weeks at most. Only 15% support the Democrats’ position of abortion on demand until birth.

Majority of Americans Oppose Abortion After 12 Weeks

The American Family Survey 2023 found that 54% of Americans believe abortion should be limited after the first trimester – at 12 weeks. Another 29% would limit abortion after the second semester. Just 7% support no-limits abortion up to birth.

GOP primary voters support protections at 15 weeks

Morning Consult finds nearly seven in 10 GOP primary voters (67%) support protections for unborn children at least when they can feel pain by 15 weeks.

National protections at no later than 15 weeks

72% of voters would limit abortions by no later than 15 weeks.

  • Includes 75% of women, compared to 69% of men.
  • Includes 70% of Independents and 60% of Democrats

More Americans support protecting babies at 15 weeks than oppose

More American voters favor the idea of a 15-week abortion limit than oppose it, according to the latest Wall Street Journal poll.

Would limit abortions nationally to no later than 15 weeks

According to polling from this year, nearly six in 10 voters would support Congress passing national legislation to protect babies in the womb after 15 weeks (with exceptions for the life of the mother, rape and incest), while allowing states to pass more protective laws.

  • Includes majorities of Democrats, Independents, women and self-described pro-choice voters.

Believe Babies Born Alive Should Be Protected

77% of voters support legislation to ensure that a baby who survives a failed abortion be given the same medical treatment as any other baby born prematurely at the same age (55% strongly support).

Believe Babies Born Alive Should Be Protected

76% of all respondents support pro-life protections for children born alive during abortions.

Hold Abortionists to Same Medical Standards

Three out of four Americans agree that abortion doctors should be held to the same medical standards as ordinary physicians.

Hold Abortion Facilities to Same Standard of Care as Hospitals

70% agree that abortion facilities should be held to the same medical standards as any ordinary hospital. 73.8% support states being able to pass safeguards that ensure abortion facilities comply with basic medical practices and sanitation.

Oppose Use of Taxpayer Funding to Promote Abortion Overseas

78% of those polled, including 67% of self-described “pro-choice” voters, 61% of Democrats, and 81% of Independents, oppose the use of tax dollars to support international abortion.

Oppose Taxpayer-Funded Abortions

60% of voters – including 34% of Democrats, 38% of self-described pro-choice voters, and 59% of Independents – oppose taxpayer funding of abortion.

Only 27 states require parental consent prior to abortion for girls under 18. Eight states require notification only. 15 states have functionally no requirement of either kind.

Support Parental Notification

64% of likely U.S. voters believe that abortionists should be required to notify parents before performing abortions on girls under age 18 (only 25% oppose).

  • Includes 48% of Democrats, 62% of unaffiliated voters, and 43% of pro-choice voters.
  • Includes 57% Black voters and 67% of other minorities.

Support Requirement of Parental Permission

By a margin of more than 2:1, voters believe parental permission should be required before an abortion is performed on girls under 18, with 60% of voters in favor of requiring parental permission and just 29% opposed.

  • Includes 42% of Democrats and 58% of unaffiliated voters.
  • Includes 57% of women.

More Likely to Support Republican Candidate Who Would Limit Abortion at 15 Weeks

53% of likely voters are more likely to vote for a Republican candidate who supports a 15-week limit on abortion versus just 28% of voters who prefer a Democratic candidate who supports unlimited abortion up until the moment of birth. Independent voters break strongly to the GOP side by a 54% to 18% margin.

More Likely to Vote for Candidates Who Limit Abortion

About two-thirds of Americans (65%) and the same percentage of registered voters say they “are more likely to vote for” candidates who would limit abortion to at most the first three months of pregnancy. This includes about nine in 10 Republicans (88%), more than six in 10 independents (62% percent), and more than four in ten Democrats (44%).

Only 10% of Voters Support Democrats position on abortion

The overwhelming majority of voters reject the Democrats’ position of abortion on demand until birth; only 10% support it.

Oppose Discrimination Abortion

70% of Americans, including 70% of Independents and 59% of Democrats, oppose abortion based on the expectation that an unborn child may have Down syndrome.

Majority of Those Who Identify as Pro-Choice Oppose Discrimination Abortion

56% of Americans who identify as pro-choice oppose abortion based on the expectation that an unborn child may have Down syndrome.

Overwhelming Majority Support Pregnancy Centers

91% of Americans support pregnancy centers, which offer vital material, medical and educational support to mothers both during their pregnancy and after their baby is born.

Say it's not safe to distribute abortion pills through the mail

61% disagree that it is safe to distribute abortion pills through the mail with little to no supervision (41% strongly disagree), in light of the increased risk to women of coercion and abuse.

Consider the FDA Untrustworthy

56% consider the FDA untrustworthy (31% very untrustworthy) when they learn that the FDA fast-tracked the abortion pill regimen using its accelerated drug approval authority by calling pregnancy a “life-threatening illness.”

Oppose Mailing of Abortion Pills Without In-Person Visit to Doctor

63% of Americans, including 42% of Democrats, oppose federal rules that allow abortion pills to be sent through the mail without an in-person visit to a medical professional.

Post last modified: December 19, 2023