Poll: Abortion Rights Widely Supported Across Demographics

Abortion-rights protesters get ready to march to the Iowa governor’s mansion, Friday, June 24, 2022, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

A large majority of Americans (78%), across the board, believe whether women can have abortions should be left up to the woman and her doctor, according to a recently released poll conducted by ABC News and the Washington Post.

The second poll option, “regulated by law,” was the minority opinion across race, education, religious, regional, and partisan demographics. A third poll option was “no opinion, “but it was in the single digits for every category.

Smaller majorities across the same demographics said mifepristone, the first pill used in most medication abortions, should remain on the market.

The poll was conducted between April 28 and May 3 this year, with 1,006 adults and a 3.5% margin of error.


Even among Republicans, 58% say the decision should be left up to a woman and her doctor, with 37% saying it should be regulated by law.

Similarly, 60% of people who said they were conservatives said women and doctors should make the choice. The slimmest majority were those who identified as conservative Republicans, but it was still a 53% majority.

For moderates, 83% said they supported the decision being between doctors and patients while 96% of liberals agreed. Eighty-nine percent of moderate/conservative Democrats and 82% of Independents agreed women and doctors should make the decision about abortion.

People were asked whether they leaned toward the Democratic or Republican Parties and even 61% of those who leaned Republican said they thought the decision whether or not a woman can have an abortion shouldn’t be regulated by law.


When it comes to religion, the majority of religious people also support abortion rights. This includes 74% of white Catholics, 83% of white non-evangelical Protestants, and 56% of white evangelical protestants.

The non-religious were more in favor of abortion rights, with 92% saying it should be up to the woman and her doctor.


Majorities held across race and ethnicity lines, too, and were a bit more stable. Seventy-five percent of white and Hispanic respondents said they were in favor of abortion being a decision left up to patients and their doctors. The number was 82% for the total non-white respondents.

Only 22% of Hispanic respondents said the decision should be regulated by law, followed by 20% of white respondents and 15% of total non-white respondents.


The biggest difference here comes for white women and whether they have college educations.

Seventy-one percent of white, non-college-graduate women said abortion should be a woman’s choice, with 23% saying it should be regulated. For white women who have graduated college, 82% said the decision should be a woman’s choice and only 16% said there should be laws regulating the decision.

Non-college-graduate white men also support abortion rights in a big majority of 74% with 20% saying it should be regulated by law. The numbers aren’t much different for white men with college degrees; 75% say they support abortion rights.

Urban/rural divide

Overall, 67% of respondents from rural areas, 77% from suburban areas, and 82% from urban areas say women and their doctors should be in charge of deciding whether or not a woman can have an abortion.

Regionally, 76% of Midwesterners think the decision belongs to women and doctors, with 74% of Southerners, 80% of Northeasterners and 83% of Westerners agreeing.


Least surprising is the age breakdown, though it is also strong majorities across from age 18 to the over 65 groups. In total, 81% of respondents ages 18-39, 75% ages 40-64 and 77% ages 65+ are in favor of women and doctors making abortion decisions, not laws.


Nikoel Hytrek

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