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Abortion Attitudes Relevant for a Post-Roe America

Thu, September 15, 2:00 to 3:30pm, TBA


In June 2022, it is likely that the US Supreme Court will rule to functionally, if not officially, overturn Roe v. Wade creating a brand new political and policy environment where conservative states will have a dramatically freer hand to impose substantial restrictions on legal abortion. Political scientists have created substantial knowledge about the antecedents and correlates of abortion attitudes, but virtually all of this research is based upon very general support or opposition for legal abortion (e.g., “should abortion be legal in all/most/a few/no circumstances.” As of this summer, though, it is quite likely that more specific and nuanced policy views on regulating abortion at the state level will be highly relevant. Unfortunately there are almost no political datasets that allow us to explore what Americans think about state variations in abortion access. A prominent exception is the 2019 Pew American Trends Panel, which asks respondents not only general abortion attitudes and attitudes about Roe v. Wade, but also questions directly relevant to the post-Roe landscape such as how hard it is to get an abortion where the respondent lives and whether it should be easier or harder to obtain an legal abortion where they live. Additionally, using this data set we will be able to examine how the lived experiences of Americans shape their abortion attitudes including whether they or anyone they know has had an abortion, as well as whether or not they have children. Overall, our analyses promise to provide a more complete picture of political attitudes on abortion, and the determinants of those attitudes, an understanding that is highly relevant in a post-Roe era in which states begin to dramatically restrict abortion access.