This Is What Americans Feel About Abortion, According To A Latest Report

Abortion was termed to be a national right in the United States (“US”) in 1973 after Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, which asserted the fundamental right to abortion before viability of the fetus.

The Supreme Court of the US in June 2022 reversed the long-lived fundamental right to abortion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization and laid down that the “Constitution does not confer a right to abortion, and the authority to regulate abortion is returned to people and their elected representatives”.

People in the US are facing a major human rights crisis after the Dobbs v. Jackson decision. This decision has raised a lot of questions like restrictions on access to healthcare places, women’s lives, health at risk, increased rate of women’s mortality and morbidity, and reduced access to all forms of care.

After 2 years of such a life-turning decision, Pew Research Centre underwent a research survey on the views of 8,709 Americans on the right to abortion.

Majority Partisan still say “yes” to abortion access

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The survey study says that although 2 years have passed since the landmark decision taken by the Supreme Court, about 6 out of 10 (63%) Americans still believe abortion should be legal.

85% of the Democrats say that abortion should be legal and 41% of the Republicans support the legality of abortion rights. Even fewer (8%) take the stance that abortion should be illegal in all or most cases.

Right to abortion

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The majority of Americans lay their views about abortion rights should lie with the pregnant woman, whereas about a third of Americans differ in their opinions while holding up the stance that human life begins at conception; therefore, an embryo is a person with the right to life which is enshrined in Section 1 through 14th Amendment.

About 32% of the Americans had a mixed view about the topic and answered that both the women’s decision and embryo’s rights describe their views somewhat well.

Medication abortion

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A majority of two to one (54% v. 20%) say that medication abortion should be legal. Medication abortion accounts for more than half (53%) of abortions in the US, as per the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization that supports abortion rights.

As per Pew Research, Partisans differ widely in their views on medication abortion. 37% of the Republicans held the view that medication abortion should be legal against the 32%. Around a third (30%) took no stance about the same. Whereas, 73% of the Democrats held it legal while just 8% said it should be illegal.

Views according to race and ethnicity

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Views supporting the legality of abortion rights vary widely according to race and ethnicity. Race plays a major role in abortion stigma in the US than in other countries.

As per the Pew research, the support for legal abortion is more in Blacks (73%) and Asians (76%) adults, as compared to Whites (60%) and Hispanic adults (59%). Qualitative studies suggest that women of color experience less abortion stigma than white women.

Age factor influencing the study

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Adults under 30 influenced the study by 76%, putting their views that abortion should be legal, while the adults above the age of 30 were more on the side that it should be illegal.

The youth in the US are highly disappointed by the political leaders and institutions after the Dobbs v. Jackson verdict of the Supreme Court.

This has also led to the youth relocating to the states with fewer restrictions over abortion laws. Many studies also pointed out the ratio of increase in deaths and millions of injuries to women who cannot afford to pay for a safe illegal abortion.

Education plays a significant role

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As per the Pew Research Centre, people with higher levels of formal education express higher support for legal abortion than those who did not attain a higher level of education.

A higher level of education directly correlates with support for the legalization of abortion.

Religion and ideology

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Most White Christian Protestants (7 out of 10) think abortion should remain outlawed, while very few (only 2 out of 10) believe it should be legal.

This is different from other religious groups like non-evangelical protestants, Blacks, Asians, and Catholics, where most people are fine with legal abortion. Even those with no religion (unaffiliated) mostly say it should be legal.

Views vary according to the abortion access

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According to Pew Research, views vary widely according to abortion access in different states. About six in ten Americans say that abortion access is much easier in the state where the person resides while 39% would say that it would be difficult.

But Americans are still less likely than before the Dobbs decision to say obtaining an abortion would be easy. The study varied widely according to the views of people, whether they reside in a state that has banned or restricted abortion.

Debate about the legality of abortion rights

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Pew Research Centre has done a vast research on the views of Americans on abortion rights. A major chunk of Americans have made a strong viewpoint on their inclination toward the legality of abortion rights. At the same time, a minority population holds their stance that abortion should be illegal and should be allowed in certain circumstances only like, rape cases, etc. While the majority says that embryos also pertain to the right to life, the younger generation supports that the pregnant woman should have the right to abort.

Cross-Pressure about abortion

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Among the population holding such strong views about the still hot topic, some of the Americans are cross-pressured about abortion rights.

When the debate about the pregnant woman’s rights and the embryo’s rights is touched, 41% of the Americans hold the views that the Pregnant woman should have the abortion rights but, it does not touch the discussion about the embryo being a person with rights.

About two in ten say the reverse. Both statements describe their importance well and hold their significance separately.

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