CBS News poll analysis: Americans have range of views on timing, circumstances of legal abortions

Katie R. Ochoa

As we’ve witnessed in the latest CBS News polling, two in three Individuals want abortion in their condition to be legal in at minimum most instances. But polling also reveals a spectrum of views on when, and beneath what circumstances, abortion should be permitted. Of people who think abortion should really be legal in all or most scenarios, most would nevertheless established constraints on when during a pregnancy an abortion must get spot. And amid these who believe abortion must be against the law in most conditions, most continue to think some exceptions should really be produced.

Beneath what conditions ought to abortion be permitted?

We asked all respondents — such as people who said abortion should really be illegal in all cases in their state — no matter whether there have been certain circumstances wherever abortions must be permitted and identified significant majorities over-all imagine abortions need to be authorized in conditions where the woman’s health and fitness is endangered by the pregnancy, in instances of rape or incest, and when there is a sturdy likelihood of either the fetus not surviving prolonged right after childbirth or currently being born with a really serious disability. When questioned if a girl should really have an abortion “due to the fact she decides to,” this proportion, even though still a slight greater part, is just over fifty percent.

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Americans who feel abortions need to frequently be unlawful would make a lot of of these exact exceptions, but are less inclined to agree on other folks.

Like Us residents over-all, a the vast majority of people who imagine most abortions should be in opposition to the regulation in all or most cases would also make exceptions for the woman’s overall health or in conditions of rape and incest. There is a lot less settlement when it comes to the viability and wellness of the fetus: only 50 % of these who who want most abortions in their condition to be illegal would make an exception in cases exactly where there is a robust probability the fetus would not stay after exterior the womb, and even fewer — about four in 10 — consider exceptions ought to also be produced when there is a solid opportunity of the fetus possessing a major disability.

But the clearest divide will come when the difficulty is framed in phrases of alternative. While most Us citizens believe that a female should really be permitted to have an abortion for the reason that “she decides to,” just about all who assume most abortions need to be illegal in their condition reject this thought.

On the professional-abortion rights side, there is is very little differentiation when it will come to these exceptions: most think all of these are legitimate factors for an abortion to be permitted.

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When need to an abortion be lawful?

For quite a few People in america, how one feels about legal abortion in their state has additional to do with at what point throughout the pregnancy the abortion would consider place. While 12% say abortion need to be unlawful in their point out in all scenarios, just 17% assume abortion need to be lawful at any place in the pregnancy, like the last trimester. For most Us citizens, it is really someplace in involving.

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These who imagine most abortions in their point out should really be legal largely agree that a female ought to be permitted to have an abortion for any purpose she chooses, but not necessarily at any position through the pregnancy. Much less than half who generally support lawful abortion imagine it should be permitted beyond the initially trimester, and just a quarter think abortion should really be authorized up as a result of the last trimester.

For these who believe most, but not all, abortions should really be in opposition to the regulation in their condition, there is much more of a consensus. Most in this group imagine authorized abortions should really only be permitted within the initially thirty day period of being pregnant. A 3rd would extend this period of time to the very first trimester, and a incredibly small proportion – one in 10 – would extend that period of time to even later on in the pregnancy.

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Particular knowledge

One more factor that influences sights on abortion is personal practical experience. Over half of Us citizens — especially ladies — “know somebody perfectly” who has experienced an abortion (including majorities of Democrats and Republicans alike). All those who know someone properly who  has been in this problem are both of those additional possible to assume abortion should be normally accessible and that Roe v. Wade must be retained in put. They are also additional likely say the situations should be up to the lady herself:  6 in 10 Us residents who know an individual who has undergone an abortion method consider a woman really should be permitted to have an abortion “mainly because she decides to,” compared to fewer than half who never know someone who has experienced this. 

Jennifer De Pinto and Anthony Salvanto contributed to this report.

This CBS News/YouGov survey was performed with a nationally agent sample of 2,088 U.S. grownup residents interviewed amongst May  4-6, 2022. The sample was weighted in accordance to gender, age, race, and instruction based mostly on the U.S. Census American Local community Study and Present Population Survey, as very well as to 2020 presidential vote. The margin of mistake is ± 2.7 points.

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