Watch CBS News

CBS News poll: 2 years after Roe's overturn, majorities have concerns about more risk to pregnant women

Abortion becomes major campaign issue
2 years after Roe reversal, abortion becomes major campaign issue 03:02

Two years after the Dobbs decision overturning the federal right to an abortion, its impact is being felt beyond the matter of whether abortion should be legal or not. There is a widespread view nationwide that pregnant women may be more at risk and reproductive care more difficult to access in states that have passed new restrictions on abortion since Roe v. Wade was overturned. 

Majorities across gender, age, and racial groups express concern, with women and younger people particularly so. 

These concerns find far more resonance with Democrats than Republicans, but four in 10 Republicans are concerned about pregnant women being more at risk in states where abortion is mostly illegal. 

So how will all of this factor into the presidential election

President Biden leads former President Donald Trump substantially among voters who say the issue of abortion will be a major factor in their vote, but the former president leads among voters who prioritize the economy and inflation — and there are more of those voters. So, right now, Mr. Biden's lead on the issue keeps him running about even with Trump overall. 

And the Republicans who express concern about more risk to pregnant women are still voting for Trump over Biden in big numbers. 


It's not just those living in mostly Democratic-led states who have concerns about the impact of more restrictive measures that some states have put in place. It's been largely Republican-led states that have passed some of the most restrictive measures on abortion access, and majorities living in those states are concerned.

These concerns are related to overall views on the legality of abortion. People who think abortion should be mostly legal express more concern than those who think abortion should be mostly illegal. 

Two years after the Dobbs decision, most Americans continue to favor abortion being legal in all or most cases. 


Abortion and the presidential campaign

Abortion does not rank as high in voters' minds as issues like the economy, the border and democracy. 


As we saw in the 2022 midterm elections, it is a more important issue for Democrats than Republicans, women more than men, and younger voters more than older voters. 


And while these groups are backing Biden over Trump, they are not as likely to say they will definitely vote as groups such as Republicans and older voters who are backing Trump. 


On abortion access: what do voters think they will get?

The Biden campaign may have some work to do getting out its message on abortion. In his State of the Union address this year, President Biden pledged to restore Roe v. Wade as the law of the land.

Only about half of registered voters think he will try to pass a law legalizing abortion nationwide, and that number isn't any higher among those who support the legality of abortion. 


And voters overall are more apt to think Trump will leave abortion laws for the states to decide, rather than try and pass a nationwide ban. Fewer than half of voters who are in favor of abortion being legal think Trump will try and make abortion illegal nationwide — something the Biden campaign has said Trump will attempt to do.

Currently, most Republicans say if Trump wins, he will leave the matter of abortion to the states. 


Anthony Salvanto and Fred Backus contributed to this report. 

This CBS News/YouGov survey was conducted with a nationally representative sample of 2,460 U.S. adults interviewed between June 17-21, 2024. The survey included an oversample of adults age 18-29 for a total of 743 adults in that age group.  The final sample as reported was weighted to be representative of adults nationwide according to gender, age, race, and education based on the U.S. Census American Community Survey and Current Population Survey, as well as to 2020 presidential vote. The margin of error for the total sample is ±2.8 points. The margin of error for the sample of adults 18-29 is ±5.2 points.

CBS News Poll by on Scribd
View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.