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Majority Of Young Women Open To Getting An Illegal Abortion, Poll Discovers

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Demonstrators Attend Nationwide Protest In Support Of Abortion Rights A demonstrator holds a sign during a national walk out in support of abortion rights at the University of Washington's Red Square in Seattle, Washington, U.S., on Thursday, May 5, 2022. For decades the fight to end abortion in America has been waged over Roe v. Wade. With the Supreme Court poised to overturn the landmark decision that legalized a woman's right to choose, the fight to stop abortion is going to become a fight about a pill. Photographer: Chona Kasinger/Bloomberg via Getty Images Bloomberg / Contributor
Photographer: Chona Kasinger/Bloomberg/Contributor via Getty Images

The majority of American women would obtain abortions if they had an unwanted pregnancy, even if abortion becomes illegal, a poll released Tuesday reveals.

In a Generation Lab flash poll provided to Axios, women between the ages of 18 and 29 were asked what they would do if “abortion were illegal and you had an unwanted or unplanned pregnancy.” A majority — 56% — would “find an abortion provider” even if they were “not state-sanctioned,” while 10% would “attempt to end the pregnancy at home.” Just 34% would “have the baby.”

The findings align with data from the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, which shows that most women seek abortions for reasons apart from physical health risks or circumstances of conception, such as rape and incest. Instead, most women cite career ambitions, desire to continue education, or financial issues. More recent data from the Guttmacher Institute show that women are most likely to have abortions in their twenties — the same demographic covered by the Generation Lab survey.

The poll also asked men about any changes in their sexual conduct that may emerge from the end of abortion. Forty-five percent of men said they would take “additional precautions like using physical contraceptives more often if abortion were illegal,” Axios reported, while 43% said “they would not change anything.” Eleven percent indicated they “would be more likely to get a vasectomy.”

Nearly half of the respondents said “abortion should be legal in all cases,” and only 8% said it “should be illegal in all cases,” Axios reported.

Meanwhile, a plurality of respondents — 46% — had a “mostly unfavorable” view of the Supreme Court, and 22% indicated a “very unfavorable” view. Twenty-eight percent said they had a “mostly favorable” view, while 4% said they have a “very favorable” view.

The poll was taken in the days after Politico published Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s draft majority opinion overturning Roe v. Wade — the 1973 ruling that purported to find a right to privacy in the Fourteenth Amendment that permits abortion. Alito wrote in his opinion that “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start” and “we hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled.”

In light of the Supreme Court’s current leanings, Democratic members of Congress on Wednesday attempted to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would have legalized abortion through all nine months of pregnancy. The measure failed in the Senate by a vote of 51 to 49, falling short of the 60 votes required to get past the filibuster.

Notably, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) was the lone Democrat to vote against the Women’s Health Protection Act. “The bill we have today to vote on, the Women’s Health Protection Act, and I respect people who support it — but make no mistake, it is not Roe v. Wade codification,” Manchin told reporters. “It expands abortion. And with that, that’s not where we are today. We should not be dividing this country further than we’re already divided.”

Conservative-leaning states are currently trying to enact new laws surrounding abortion. For example, the Abolition of Abortion in Louisiana Act, which acknowledges “the sanctity of innocent human life, created in the image of God, which should be equally protected from fertilization to natural death” is scheduled for a vote in the Louisiana House on Thursday.

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