A majority of Americans disapprove of President Joe Biden’s handling of national abortion policy, according to a recently released poll.
The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research released a new poll Wednesday that asked U.S. adults about their opinions on current affairs.
The poll, conducted by The AP and NORC Center between June 22-26, surveyed 1,220 adults, with a margin of error of +/- 3.9 percentage points.
Respondents were asked to weigh in on Biden's job performance and his handling of abortion policy. The Democratic president, who is running for re-election next year, has an approval rating of 41%, while 58% disapprove of his job performance.
On the issue of abortion policy, which has gained a renewed focus in American politics following the overturning of Roe v. Wade last year, Biden’s approval rating on that issue strongly mirrors his overall approval rating. Thirty-nine percent of those surveyed indicated that they approved of his handling of abortion policy, while 58% expressed disapproval.
The poll also asked Americans for their thoughts on abortion policy and compared their responses to the findings of a survey conducted immediately following the reversal of Roe in June 2022 via the decision Thomas Dobbs, et. al. v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
This year, a majority of Americans (60%) thought Congress should “pass a law guaranteeing access to legal abortion nationwide.” The same percentage of Americans said the same thing last year, while a slightly lower share of Americans opposed such a law this year (38%) compared to last year (39%).
Similarly, the overwhelming majority of those surveyed (75%) told pollsters they supported a hypothetical law in their state that would allow women to obtain abortions if “the child would be born with a life-threatening illness.” Last year, 77% expressed support for such a law. Opposition to such laws remained nearly steady at 21%, slightly down from 22% last year.
Additionally, support for abortion if “the person’s own health is seriously endangered by the pregnancy” was measured at 86% and 89% in 2023 and 2022, respectively. Laws permitting abortion in cases of rape or incest received 84% support in 2023 and 86% support in 2022.
However, when asked if a woman should be able to obtain an abortion if she did “not want to be pregnant for any reason,” 54% thought their state should pass a law allowing elective abortions. That figure has not budged since 2022, while opposition to elective abortions dropped slightly from 44% to 43%.
While the overwhelming majority of the American public supported legal abortions in the first six weeks of pregnancy in both 2023 (73%) and 2022 (74%), Americans were much more divided on laws permitting abortions in the first 15 weeks of pregnancy. Fifty-one percent of Americans favored laws allowing abortions in the first 15 weeks of pregnancy in 2023, a drop from the 53% who felt that way in 2022.
The poll measured a high level of opposition to allowing abortions 24 weeks into a pregnancy in both 2023 (68%) and 2022 (65%). When asked if they thought it was “too easy or too difficult” for women in their communities to obtain abortion, a plurality of respondents (39%) characterized access to abortion as “too difficult” compared to 32% who classified it as “about right” and 24% who thought it was “too easy.”
Majorities of those surveyed believed that access to prenatal care (56%) and family planning services and birth control (54%) in their communities was “about right.” Twenty-eight percent of Americans characterized access to both prenatal care and family planning services and birth control as “too difficult” while much smaller shares of respondents saw access to prenatal care (11%) and family planning services and birth control (14%) as “too easy.”
The latest AP-NORC survey comes as several states have taken action to restrict the legality of abortion following the Dobbs decision.
According to data compiled by the pro-life group Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, 15 states have laws banning all or most abortions throughout all nine months of pregnancy, while three additional states have near-total abortion bans tied up in litigation.
Georgia has a law banning abortions within the first six weeks of pregnancy in effect while similar measures in Ohio and South Carolina are currently in court. Nebraska and North Carolina ban abortion after 12 weeks gestation, while Florida prohibits abortions after 15 weeks gestation. The pro-life organization summarizes the abortion laws in the remaining states as providing “few or no protections” for unborn babies.
Last month, Rasmussen Reports published findings that showed a slight majority of U.S. voters (52%) now approved of the Dobbs decision, while 44% still disapproved.
Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org