A majority of American voters believe that abortion should not be a crime punishable with fines or prison times, according to a recent study conducted by the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy.
The study, conducted between Sept. 16 and Sept. 26 of this year, found that out of 2,604 registered voters, only 14 percent believed in criminalizing abortion at all stages of pregnancy. Additionally, Seven-in-ten Democratic voters surveyed, and almost two-thirds of independent voters said that they believed that abortion should not be criminalized.
Out of Republican voters, three in four indicated that they do not believe in the criminalization of abortion before fetal viability, with 42 percent of Republicans opposed to any criminalization of abortion at all.
The vast majority of Republicans, 77 percent, according to the survey, oppose criminalization before fetal viability, which is between 22-24 weeks in gestational age, with 35 percent are in favor of criminalization only after fetal viability.
“When asked to consider what role, if any, the government should play in trying to reduce the number of abortions, overwhelming bipartisan majorities favor trying to reduce unintended pregnancies,” said Steven Kull, director of the Program for Public Consultation at the University of Maryland and a primary investigator for the survey, in a statement on Monday. “Overall, there is majority resistance to criminalizing abortions, and even among Republicans and evangelicals, clear majorities do not support criminalizing pre-viability abortions.”
Over three-in-four respondents to the survey believe that the government should require public schools to educate students on birth control, according to the survey.
A large majority of respondents, well over three-in-four, indicated in favor of government subsidization of birth control by providing funds for health care clinics to provide birth control at a lower cost, or no cost, to women. This includes seven-in-ten Republicans and nine-in-ten Democrats.
Sixteen U.S. States, including Alabama, have implemented laws criminalizing abortions at any point in a woman’s pregnancy after the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which ended the constitutional right to an abortion established under Roe v. Wade.