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Most Texans think women will still seek abortions in Texas even if unsafe — CBS News poll

Battle over abortion rights moves to contraceptives
Battle over reproductive rights moves to contraceptives 02:00

Most Texans think abortion should be legal in Texas — Texas women and younger Texans, especially so. But that statewide view in Texas is not quite as high as it is nationally.

So, what might happen next? Three-fourths of Texans think women will continue try to get abortions in Texas, even if the procedure is illegal, and even if it may be unsafe for them to do so. A two-thirds majority believe more children will be neglected if most abortions are illegal. By comparison, only half believe more children will be adopted. 

Texans who say abortion should be mostly illegal do hold more positive outlooks on this front, however, and do expect there to be more adoptions in the state. People who want abortion to be legal have more negative views of what happens next.

Interviews for this poll were conducted mostly before the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade was handed down, but respondents were asked about abortion in Texas and implications if Roe v. Wade were to be overturned; that outcome was, of course, widely anticipated after a draft leaked weeks ago.


Different desires, different views of what's next

Those who want abortion to be illegal have a more positive outlook on public health services: they think more public services will be made available for pregnant women and new parents now. Not so, among those who wanted abortion kept legal. 


Texans who want abortion to be legal think that making it unlawful in Texas will mean women have fewer economic and job opportunities, a view not shared by most abortion opponents.


More than half of Texans would make abortion legal in most cases in their state, while the remainder divide between a third who would make it illegal in most (but not all) cases, and a small percentage who would have it be illegal in all cases. 


When asked specifically about a law banning nearly all abortions in Texas once Roe v. Wade was overturned, most said they'd oppose such a law, and say so at essentially the same rate as the percentage who generally want abortion to be legal in all or most cases.  

Only a small number of Texans have heard "a lot" specifically about the so-called "trigger law" which would make most abortions illegal. More than four in 10 have heard little or nothing about it. Those who want abortion to be mostly legal in Texas have a higher level of knowledge about the "trigger law" than those who think abortion should be mostly illegal. 


How do different groups in Texas feel about abortion?

A majority of both women and men would have abortion be mostly legal in Texas, women especially so.

Within gender, partisanship does matter. Majorities of Republican men and women would have abortion be mostly illegal in Texas, while most Democratic men and women would have it be mostly legal. 


Most Republicans and conservatives say abortion should be mostly illegal in Texas, but Texas Republicans are not completely unified on the matter. While the party's elected officials have pushed for enacting severe restrictions and bans, almost a third of rank-and-file Republicans would have abortion be legal in all or most cases. And among Republicans who say it should be illegal, far more say it should be illegal in most cases (52%) than say it should be illegal in all cases (17%). 

Beyond one's political ideology, religion matters, too. Those describing themselves as evangelicals and those attending religious services frequently are particularly like to say abortion should be illegal.


The factors that we see related to abortion views in Texas — gender, age, political party, religion — are similar to those we see nationally. Overall, the percentage supporting legal abortion is somewhat lower in Texas, compared to the country. This is partly due to the political make-up of the state, which leans more Republican than the country does. 


Some of the groups who would have abortion be mostly legal in Texas include women, younger Texans, Democrats, liberals and moderates. 

Also, 62% of Texas Latinos and three-fourths of Black people in Texas support abortion being mostly legal in Texas. White people are more divided, with political party driving views: most White Democrats want abortion in Texas mostly legal, while most White Republicans do not. 

This CBS News/YouGov survey was conducted with a statewide representative sample of 1,075 U.S. adult residents  in Texas interviewed between June 22-27, 2022. The sample was weighted to be representative of adults statewide according to gender, age, race,education and geographic region based on the U.S. Census Current Population Survey, as well as to 2020 presidential vote. The margin of error is ±4.7 points for the total sample.


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