Virginia poll shows nuance of abortion debate
Virginians' views on abortion can vary dramatically depending on how they're asked about it, new polling by Christopher Newport University's Wason Center indicates.
What they found: General questions about abortion rights yielded familiar results, finding broad support for access to the procedure.
- 67% of respondents said they think abortion should be legal in all or most cases.
- 58% said they oppose or strongly oppose the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
👀 Yes, but: A narrow majority of respondents (51%) also said they'd support a ban on abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy with exceptions for pregnancies arising from rape or incest.
Details: The poll, conducted between Sept. 18 and Oct. 7, surveyed 740 registered voters and has a margin of error of +/- 4.5%.
Why it matters: It's the first time a public poll has asked voters directly about Gov. Glenn Youngkin's push for a 15-week abortion ban, which he announced immediately after the Supreme Court overturned Roe.
- Democrats, who hold a one-seat majority in the state Senate, have vowed to block any measures.
Context: Abortion is currently legal in Virginia with no restrictions through the 25th week of pregnancy.
Between the lines: How can the same survey show voters hold two seemingly contradictory views?
- Rebecca Bromley-Trujillo, the Wason Center's research director, tells Axios she reads the results in the context of broader fears about complete bans on abortion. Juxtaposed to those extreme stances, she says a 15-week ban could "seem like the moderate take of the moment."
What we're watching: Bromley-Trujillo says views can change as the policy is debated.
- "It's clearly a nuanced and complicated issue," she says.
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