Most Americans Support State-Level Vote on Abortion

A poll by National Public Radio (NPR) and Ipsos reveals that most Americans believe Dobbs ruling was based more on politics than law and support ballot measures to decide state-level abortion rights.

Six months after the Supreme Court's landmark ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization case, which stripped federal protections for abortion, most Americans are discontent with how their state lawmakers handled the issue, according to NPR/Ipsos survey.

Most Americans disagree with Dobbs

About two in five (41%) Americans agree that Dobbs decision was correct. Agreement with the ruling is split along party lines, with seven in ten (69%) Republicans in favor of it. Only 19% of Democrats and 43% of independents agree with Dobbs.

Most Americans (62%) say they believe Dobbs decision was based more on politics than the law. Republicans (39%) are less likely to have this opinion than Democrats (86%) or independents (66%).

Nearly half of Americans disapprove (49%) of how their state lawmakers handled abortion in their state over the last year, with 47% of Democrats, 50% of Republicans, and 49% of independents expressing their discontent.

The majority of Americans (69%) support their state using a ballot measure or voter referendum to decide state-level abortion rights rather than letting state legislators decide. Support is consistent across party lines, with 76% of Democrats, 72% of independents, and 65% of Republicans being in favor of state-wide ballot measures.

If such a ballot measure was held, over half (54%) of Americans would vote in favor of abortion legality at the state level, and 27% would vote against abortion. Most Democrats (81%) would vote in favor of abortion, while Republicans are more likely to vote against it.

Abortion is banned in at least 12 states

As of January, 12 states are enforcing a near-total ban on abortion with very limited exceptions. In five of these states, the ban is being challenged in court but remains in effect, according to the data collected by Guttmacher Institute.

In two states, North Dakota and Wisconsin, abortion care is no longer available even though a ban is not being enforced yet.

Arizona and Florida ban abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, while Utah enforced an 18-week ban. Georgia allows abortion until six weeks of pregnancy. All bans are currently being challenged in state courts.

In Indiana, Wyoming, and Ohio, abortion bans have been blocked from enforcement.

Better access to medication abortion

Since the Dobbs ruling, demand for medical abortion pills from third countries has increased in the U.S. While medication abortion is generally considered safe, taking unregulated pills may pose serious health risks.

To make abortion more accessible, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allowed retail pharmacies to sell mifepristone, the first pill used in a two-drug medication abortion regimen. However, patients still need a prescription to obtain the abortion pill.

The FDA also changed the label of Plan B, also known as a morning-after pill or emergency contraceptive pill, by removing wording about fertilization and implantation. Scientific evidence suggests that the drug prevents pregnancy by acting on ovulation, which occurs before implantation.

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