One in five women have a personal connection to abortion restrictions: poll

April 5, 2024

Women living in states where abortion is restricted or banned are more likely to report that either they or someone they know had difficulty accessing abortion services, according to a new survey published Friday from health research group KFF. 

Nearly two years after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and eliminated federal constitutional protections for abortion, 14 states have outlawed abortion completely, while 11 states have implemented gestational age restrictions.  

According to the poll, one in seven women of reproductive age (ages 18 to 49) said they or someone they know has had difficulty accessing an abortion due to restrictions in their state since Roe v. Wade was overturned, including one in five who live in a state where abortion is banned.  

Women living in states where abortion is banned were twice as likely to report knowing someone who had difficulty accessing an abortion, compared to women living in states where abortion is limited or completely legal.  

The findings show how abortion views are shaped by geography and highlight personal connections to policy, which advocates say is essential when analyzing the impact of abortion bans.  

Abortion is set to be a key issue in the 2024 election, as Democrats up and down the ballot hope to highlight ways they are expanding access to it, while also showing the threat Republicans represent to those rights. 

The poll found that majorities of women across states — including in those with abortion bans — think abortion should be legal. Two-thirds of women living in states with abortion bans said abortion should be legal in all or most cases. Those numbers rose to 71 percent of women in states where abortion is limited. 

A number of states are also moving forward with ballot initiatives to protect abortion rights. 

The survey was conducted Feb. 20-28, but was released the same week Florida’s Supreme Court said an abortion amendment will be allowed on the November ballot. But the court also upheld the current 15-week abortion ban, which will allow a six-week ban to take effect next month.  

The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points for the 1,316 people polled.