57% say abortion should be legal in most or all cases



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A majority of Iowans say abortion should be legal, an increase of 8 percentage points since 2020, according to a new Des Moines Register / Mediacom Iowa poll.

Fifty-seven percent of Iowans say abortion should be legal in most or all cases, while 38% say abortion should be illegal in most or all cases, and 5% are not. sure. The last time the question was asked, in a March 2020 Iowa poll, 49% said abortion should be legal in all or most cases and 45% said it should be illegal. in all or most cases.

The latest survey of 805 Iowa adults was conducted Sept. 12-15 by Selzer & Co. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Support for legal abortion breaks down into 20% of Iowans who say it should be legal in all cases, while 36% say it should be legal in most cases. Meanwhile, the opposition is made up of 25% who say abortion should be illegal in most cases and 13% who say it should be illegal in all cases.

“I just believe it’s a woman’s right,” said Kathy Cunningham, a 58-year-old Democratic interviewee in Des Moines. “And a lot of circumstances are extraordinary circumstances. It is not in black and white.

Following:Abortions in Iowa soared 14% in 2020, after jumping 25% the year before, new state data shows

Cunningham, who works for Des Moines public schools, said she worries about abortion rights being taken away and feels men are “trying to control women again” with restrictive laws on abortion.

“I feel like we are going backwards instead of moving forward,” she said.

Anti-abortion activists have recently won a series of legal and legislative victories. In Texas, lawmakers passed a law effectively banning abortions after fetal heart activity is detected, about six weeks after a pregnancy begins, and often before women know they are pregnant. Private citizens are tasked with enforcing the ban through civil suits – a mechanism designed to help the law avoid being struck down by a court for unconstitutionality.

In early September, the United States Supreme Court refused to block this law.

Following:The Biden administration is suing Texas for its abortion ban. And after? Will the Supreme Court deal with it?

In December, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case challenging Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban. Republican elected officials across the country have filed briefs in the case, asking the court to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that legalized abortion nationwide. This includes Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and Iowa Republicans in Congress: American Senses Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst and U.S. Representatives Ashley Hinson, Mariannette Miller-Meeks, and Randy Feenstra.

In the Iowa Legislature, Republican lawmakers have passed numerous restrictions on abortion and are working to pass a constitutional amendment stating that the Iowa Constitution does not guarantee the right to abortion. This is an attempt to overturn a 2018 Iowa Supreme Court ruling that protected abortion rights in the state.

Susan Venem, a 67-year-old Republican respondent from Jesup, said she believes abortion should be illegal in most cases.

“A baby is a baby,” she said. “When he has a heartbeat, he’s alive.”

Following:Iowa legislature approves anti-abortion constitutional amendment. The legislature must pass it again before it goes to voters.

Venem, a retired debt collector, said she understands the exceptions for cases where childbirth could take a woman’s life, or when a pregnancy is the result of rape.

“But if you choose to get pregnant, you have a responsibility to take care of this child,” she said. “Some people shouldn’t be parents, but that doesn’t mean baby doesn’t have the right to live.”

While 88% of Democrats say abortion should be legal in most or all cases, only 30% of Republicans agree. Sixty-five percent of unaffiliated voters support abortion in most or all cases.

There is also a gender divide, with 63% of women saying abortion should be legal, compared to 49% of men. And there is a geographic divide: 66% of city dwellers and 67% of suburbanites say abortion should be legal, while only 46% of those living in rural areas agree.

Four in five Iowans who have no religious affiliation say abortion should be legal, compared to 52% of Catholics, 49% of Protestants and 31% of Evangelicals.

About this survey

The Iowa poll, conducted September 12-15, 2021, for the Des Moines Register and Mediacom by Selzer & Co. of Des Moines, is based on telephone interviews with 805 Iowans aged 18 or older. Quantel Research investigators contacted households with randomly selected landline and cell phone numbers provided by Dynata. Interviews were administered in English. Responses were adjusted by age, sex, and congressional district to reflect the general population based on recent estimates from the American Community Survey.

Questions based on the sample of 805 Iowa adults have a maximum margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. Questions based on the sub-sample of 620 likely voters in the 2022 midterm elections have a maximum margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points. This means that if this survey were repeated using the same questions and the same methodology, 19 times out of 20, the results would not vary from the actual population value by plus or minus 3.5 percentage points or 3.9 points. percentage, respectively. Results based on smaller samples of respondents, for example by sex or age, have a greater margin of error.

Republication of copyright Iowa Poll without credit to Des Moines Register and Mediacom is prohibited.

Stephen Gruber-Miller covers the Iowa Statehouse and politics for the registry. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or by phone at 515-284-8169. Follow him on Twitter at @sgrubermiller.



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