FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 18, 2014
Today, Politico published “NARAL Poll: Most voters against abortion access limits” on a new poll, commissioned by NARAL Pro-Choice America and conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, showing that nearly 70 percent of voters say the government should not restrict access to abortion — with 45 percent of respondents expressing their support for access despite their personal moral objection.
NARAL Pro-Choice America even went to Kansas, to test their results in a red state, and confirmed that 7 in 10 Kansans also support access to abortion without government limits. According to the survey, this position crosses party lines and geographic area, seeing majorities of Democratic, Independent and Republican voters support abortion rights in the West, Midwest and the South.
Read the Politico piece at Politico.com and below:
NARAL poll: Most voters against abortion access limits
By Jennifer Haberkorn
8/18/14 5:02 AM EDT
Nearly 70 percent of registered voters say the government should not restrict access to abortion, according to a new national poll that a prominent abortion-rights group says should discourage politicians from trying to limit access to the procedure.
In a poll that NARAL Pro-Choice America plans to release Monday, more than one in five voters — 23 percent — said they believe abortion is morally acceptable and should be legal. Forty-five percent said that while they are personally against abortion, they don’t believe the government should put limits on a woman’s access.
Another quarter of respondents said abortion should be illegal, according to the poll of 800 registered voters that was conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner. The poll did not ask about restricting the procedure based on the stage of a pregnancy or other factors.
NARAL said this was the first time it has asked a question that offered respondents a chance to distinguish between the morality and legality of abortion. That’s an important difference, the organization says, and allows voters to voice their personal objection to the idea of abortion while still expressing their support for access to abortion.
Those voters, NARAL says, have traditionally been underrepresented in polls that only ask whether voters think abortion should be legal in most, all or no cases. Such polls typically show support for abortion to be slightly over 50 percent.
“It is forcing [people] into artificial categories,” GQR pollster Drew Lieberman said. “Almost half the population is in the gray area” — that is, opposing abortion morally but supporting it legally, which he said represents “the pro-choice position.”
With the more nuanced question, the new poll shows 84 percent of Democrats, 66 percent of independents and 53 percent of Republicans saying they don’t support government limits on abortion. NARAL Political Director Erika West said that view isn’t reflected in who is elected to Congress.
“People ask why are we losing ground on reproductive freedom, and it’s because our elected representatives don’t represent our values,” she said, adding that only four in 10 representatives in the House are abortion-rights supporters under NARAL’s definition.
NARAL did the same poll in the Kansas City media market and came up with similar results — seven in 10 voters there support access to abortion without government limits. That’s a sign, they say, that support for abortion access isn’t limited to traditionally Democratic or politically progressive parts of the country.
The poll comes three months ahead of the mid-term elections, in which NARAL and other abortion-rights groups such as Planned Parenthood have already committed to spending millions to support candidates that back access to abortion.