Apr 26, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Over 70% say abortion would be difficult to get where they live: Poll

Activists holding abortion rights signs and shout slogans while joining in a rally

Activists holding abortion rights signs at a rally outside the Supreme Court on April 15. Photo: Probal Rashid/LightRocket via Getty Images

In states where abortion has been banned, an increasing proportion of residents say it would be difficult to get an abortion, according to a Pew Research Center survey published Wednesday.

Why it matters: Abortion is set to be a central issue in the 2024 presidential race, with both President Biden and Republican candidates seeking to make clear their diverging stances on the issue.

By the numbers: In states where abortion has been prohibited, 71% of people say it would be difficult to get an abortion, up from 50% who said the same in 2019.

  • In states where abortion is restricted or is in a legal dispute, 56% of those surveyed said it would be difficult to obtain an abortion, compared to 41% who said so four years ago.
  • In states where the procedure remains legal, there was only a small increase in those who said getting an abortion would be difficult, from 19% in 2019 to 22% in 2023.
  • Nationwide, only 54% of Americans said it would be very or somewhat easy to obtain an abortion, down from the 64% who said so in 2019.

State of play: Nearly a year after the Supreme Court's Dobbs decision ended the constitutional right to abortion, 80% of Americans say their views of the issue have not changed since the ruling.

  • Abortion remains popular, with 62% of people surveyed saying abortion should be legal in all or most cases.
  • What's more, 34% of Americans surveyed said it should be easier to get an abortion in the area where they live, up eight points from 2019.

Methodology: The Pew Research poll was conducted March 27 to April 2. The poll is based on a sample of 5,079 panelists, with a margin of error of ± 1.7 percentage points.

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