Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, Democratic attorneys and lawmakers have been fighting to protect and expand abortion rights nationwide. From allowing interstate travel for abortion care to protecting those who aid people seeking abortions, legal battles are determining whether abortion rights will be preserved or eroded.
One of the most critical battles is currently happening in Texas over the legality of the abortion pill mifepristone. Abortion pills are a safe way to end an early pregnancy, accounting for 54 percent of abortions in 2020. In red states where abortion is banned, access to abortion pills via mail is particularly crucial and often the only option for patients who don’t have the ability to travel out of state. Republican lawmakers have tried to pass legislation restricting the use of abortion pills, and recently, conservative legal group Alliance Defending Freedom filed a lawsuit claiming that the FDA lacked the authority to approve the drug. The case is currently before Trump appointed judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, who is known to be deeply opposed to abortion.
Data for Progress finds 59 percent of voters disapprove of overturning the FDA’s approval of abortion medications like mifepristone, including 72 percent of Democrats, 65 percent of Independents, and 40 percent of Republicans.
In fact, voters generally believe that access to abortion pills should be unrestricted. Forty-six percent of voters believe people should be able to access abortion pills through telehealth, mail delivery, and pharmacy pickup, with no requirement to visit a physician in person. This includes 67 percent of Democrats, 57 percent of Independents, and 21 percent of Republicans. An additional 34 percent of voters believe abortion pills should be legal, but should require an in-person visit with a physician. Only 14 percent of voters — including just 24 percent of Republicans — support making abortion pills illegal.
Legality of abortions
Despite the rollback of abortion rights in Republican-governed states, Data for Progress finds voters are strongly in favor of policies that protect abortion. Sixty-two percent of voters believe abortions should be legal under most circumstances, including 85 percent of Democrats, 67 percent of Independents, and 36 percent of Republicans.
Supreme Court should have kept Roe in place
Furthermore, 62 percent of voters believe that the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization was incorrect and Roe v. Wade should have been kept in place. This includes 84 percent of Democrats, 62 percent of Independents, and 39 percent of Republicans.
Protecting abortion access post-Dobbs
In order to protect access to abortion in the aftermath of Dobbs, legislators have proposed various policies to ensure that people can obtain safe and legal abortions. Sixty-six percent of voters support protecting abortion providers from facing criminal penalties for providing abortion services, and 64 percent of voters support passing federal legislation to protect abortion rights. Furthermore, voters are in favor of increasing access to and awareness of abortion pills (58 percent) and protecting the mailing of abortion pills across the country (57 percent). Fifty-one percent of voters also support opening abortion clinics on federal lands.
Banning abortions without exceptions for rape, incest, life of mother
Data for Progress finds voters are strongly opposed to banning abortions nationwide without exceptions for rape, incest, or the life of the mother. Sixty-nine percent of voters oppose a complete ban of abortions with no exceptions, including 87 percent of Democrats, 73 percent of Independents, and 48 percent of Republicans.
Banning abortions even with those exceptions
Asked if they would support a nationwide ban on abortion with exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother, a majority of voters (58 percent) are still opposed. This includes 80 percent of Democrats, 59 percent of Independents, and 37 percent of Republicans.
Repealing the Hyde Amendment
Another way to ensure access to abortion is by repealing the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funds from covering abortion services, except in cases of rape, incest, or the life of the mother. This prevents people who have federal insurance, like Medicare or Medicaid, from getting coverage for abortion care. In response, lawmakers have proposed the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH) Act, which would repeal the Hyde Amendment.
Data for Progress finds 57 percent of voters support repealing the Hyde Amendment through the EACH Act, including 73 percent of Democrats, 56 percent of Independents, and 39 percent of Republicans.
While opponents of the EACH Act argue that federal funds shouldn’t be used to cover abortions, we find that voters believe that everyone should have equal access to abortion care, regardless of whether they have federal or private insurance.
Coverage of abortion regardless of source of insurance
Data for Progress finds 65 percent of voters believe abortion care should be equally covered for women with federal insurance and women with private insurance. This includes 84 percent of Democrats, 65 percent of Independents, and 45 percent of Republicans.
It’s crucial that, in a post-Dobbs world, lawmakers take every opportunity to ensure that people have access to abortion care. By repealing the Hyde Amendment and protecting access to abortion pills, we can give people the care and options they need when considering an abortion. Conservative politicians don’t govern our bodies, and voters very clearly support policies that preserve the right to choose. If someone wants to have an abortion, they need every avenue open to them.
Written by Sabrina Jacobs. Cross-posted from Data for Progress.