From 2011 to 2013, states adopted more abortion restrictions than they had in the previous decade, a phenomenon which led to unprecedented barriers for women and trans men seeking safe abortion care.
But according to a recent survey, most registered voters—both liberal and conservative—don’t believe the government should pass any more laws to restrict a woman’s right to an abortion.
Although many respondents said that they were personally against abortion, they did not believe that lawmakers should prevent others from making their own choices when faced with a pregnancy.
Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research conducted the nationwide poll in early August on behalf of NARAL Pro-Choice America.
GQR contacted 800 registered voters and asked them about both their moral and political beliefs surrounding abortion.
About one quarter of the respondents believed that abortion is both morally acceptable and should be legal. Similarly, one quarter responded that it was immoral and should be illegal.
However, more than 45 percent of respondents said that, while they would not choose abortion for themselves or their families, they believed that the government should not “prevent a woman from making that decision for herself.”
Among the Republicans polled, 53 percent believed that the government should not impose additional limitations on abortion access.
More than 80 percent of Democrats and 66 percent of Independents agreed.
A GQR pollster told Politico that voters who hold this nuanced belief—who often identify as both pro-life and pro-choice—are underrepresented in polls about reproductive rights.
And as a result, legislators who may represent moderately pro-choice constituents often support anti-choice bills.
“People ask why are we losing ground on reproductive freedom, and it’s because our elected representatives don’t represent our values,” Erika West, Political Director of NARAL, commented.
Natalie tweets from @nsanluis.