The majority of Americans are concerned that people who have abortions and medical professionals providing necessary care could face criminal penalties.
Six months after the Supreme Court overturned the federal right to abortion, one in three (32%) Americans are still "outraged" about the decision, according to a new poll from Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) and Change Research. Six in ten (63%) reported feeling one or more negative emotions, including being terrified and angry, and four in ten (41%) said they feel motivated to take action in support of abortion access.
Twenty-four U.S. states have already banned abortion or are likely to do so, according to an analysis by Guttmacher Institute. However, most Americans (70%) support establishing and maintaining the right to abortion in their state.
Eight in ten (80%) respondents are concerned that law enforcement could investigate people who have miscarriages or stillbirths if they are suspected of getting an abortion.
In the U.S., up to 25% of pregnancies result in miscarriages. Since the federal protection for abortion was stripped, numerous media reports have described cases of miscarrying women denied care. Despite exceptions allowing pregnancy termination in case of a danger to a pregnant person's life, some doctors do not want to risk criminal charges.
Such fears are reflected in the survey results, as 81% of people said they are concerned that doctors and nurses could be charged with a felony for providing an abortion if the patient's life was at risk and a prosecutor disagrees.
Eight in ten (80%) respondents are worried that the risk of being charged with a crime will make medical professionals unsure about providing an abortion that could save the life of a patient.
In the states where abortion is banned, doctors and nurses providing the procedure face five years to life in prison.
Meanwhile, three in four Americans (75%) are worried that people who get an abortion could be charged with a felony or go to jail.
A recent survey from NPR/Ipsos suggests that the majority of Americans (62%) believe that the ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization case was based more on politics than law.
Seven in ten (69%) said they support their state using a ballot measure to decide state-level abortion rights rather than letting state legislators decide. If such a measure was held, 54% of Americans would vote in favor of abortion legality in their state.
- Planned Parenthood Federation of America. New Polling: Americans Still Outraged Over Abortion, Concerned Over Criminalizing Abortion Patients and Providers.
- Guttmacher Institute. Six Months Post-Roe, 24 US States Have Banned Abortion or Are Likely to Do So: A Roundup.
- National Library of Medicine. Miscarriage.