Survey: Majority of Americans say abortion pills should be legal

Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios

As the status of abortion pills in the U.S. remains influx, a majority of Americans say they believe such medication should be legal, a Pew Research Center survey found.

What they found: 53% of adults believe medical abortionthe use of a prescription pill or a series of pills to end a pregnancy — should be allowed in their states.

Meanwhile, about 22% say it should be illegal, as another 24% say they aren’t sure, according to the survey.

The big picture: Medication abortion accounts for more than half (53%) of abortions in the U.S., per the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization that supports abortion rights.

  • But a federal judge in Texas last week moved to force the Food and Drug Administration to pull its approval of a drug widely used in medication abortion, throwing its availability into doubt.

There is a wide partisan divide in views on abortion pills — as is the case with opinions on abortion overall — though there are also ideological gaps within the parties.

  • A majority of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents (73%) say medication abortion should be legal in their state.
  • Fewer than half as many Republicans and GOP leaners (35%) say the same.

By the numbers: Younger adults and women are more likely to believe medication abortion should be allowed in their state, the survey found.

  • Two-thirds of adults under 30 say abortion pills should be legal, compared with half of adults 30 and older.
  • 71% of women under 30 say it should be legal, while just 12% say it should not. Meanwhile, about half of women 30 and older say medication abortion should be legal.
  • Six in 10 men under 30 say medication abortion should be legal in their state, compared with half of those 30 and older.

Details: The survey of more than 5,000 U.S. adults was conducted from March 27 to April 2 in the days before the court rulings on medication abortion in Texas and Washington state.

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