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Half of Texas registered voters oppose the state’s abortion ‘trigger law’

Protest photo.jfif
Azul Sordo
/
KERA
Protesters march through downtown Fort Worth during a pro-choice rally June 25.

A new survey from the University of Houston’s Hobby School of Public Affairs also found that more than three in four respondents, or 77 %, favored an abortion policy that was less severe than the state law.

About half of registered voters in Texas oppose abortion restrictions that will become state law later this year, according to the results of a poll released Tuesday by the Hobby School of Public Affairs at the University of Houston.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last month to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling paved the way for Texas’ House bill 1280 to go into effect. The law makes it a second-degree felony “for a person who knowingly performs, induces, or attempts an abortion” according to the bill analysis. The penalty increases to a first-degree infraction “if the unborn child dies as a result of the offense.”

The law is set to go into effect 30 days after the Supreme Court issues a formal judgement after the ruling, which could come later this summer.

The legislation does not include an exception for rape or incest; the only exception is if a pregnancy would kill or severely injure the person carrying the child. Though roughly half of the respondents oppose the law’s provisions, about 46 % support the legislation, the poll found.

“The divide followed partisan lines, 80% of respondents who identify as Democrats oppose the new restrictions, with 76% strongly opposing. And 76% who identify as Republicans support the new restrictions, with 44% strongly supporting,” Mark P. Jones, the senior research associate at the UH Hobby School, said in a statement.

The poll was conducted between June 27 and July 7 (the Supreme Court’s decision was handed down on June 24) and included 1,169 respondents who are registered to vote in Texas.

Results also showed more than three in four respondents, or 77 %, favored an abortion policy that was less severe than the state law.

“The preferred policy of 10% of the population is that abortion never be permitted [and] of 13% that abortion only be permitted if the woman’s life is in danger (this will be the law in Texas later this summer),” the study notes.

It also found another large majority, about 72%, favor an abortion policy in Texas that is less permissive than what was established under Roe v. Wade.

“The preferred policy of 28% of the population is that abortion be permitted for any reason through 24 weeks, and after only if the woman’s life is in danger (the standard established by Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey); of 5% that abortion be permitted for any reason through 20 weeks, and after only if the woman’s life is in danger; of 5% that abortion be permitted for any reason through 15 weeks, and after only if the woman’s life is in danger (the Mississippi law which was the subject of the Dobbs case); and 7% that abortion be permitted for any reason through 6 weeks, and after only if the woman’s life is in danger,” the poll found.

That divide was also largely among partisan lines — 73% of Texas Republicans prefer one of the three most restrictive policies, while 75% of Texas Democrats favor one of the four most liberal abortion policies.

Additionally, the poll asked about voters’ opinions on out-of-state travel to obtain an abortion and how to fund that travel.

A small majority, about 56%, said they believed most people who want an abortion will still be able to travel to another state to obtain the procedure, compared with 31% who believed that wouldn’t be possible in the future.

About 51% of Texans said they support allowing Texas-based organizations to seek and receive money and other contributions to fund trips to receive an abortion outside of Texas, while 37% oppose that.

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Got a tip? Email Julián Aguilar at jaguilar@kera.org.You can follow Julián on Twitter @nachoaguilar.