Opposition to Abortion Increases in California
A majority of California voters support an abortion rights referendum scheduled for next month, even though most are against late-term abortion.
A new national telephone and online survey by Rasmussen Reports and the Capitol Resource Institute finds that only 14% of California Likely Voters believe abortion should be legal at any time during pregnancy up to the moment of birth. Thirteen percent (13%) think abortion should be legal up to six months of pregnancy, while 34% say abortion should be legal up to three months of pregnancy. Nineteen percent (19%) believe abortion should only be legal during the first month of pregnancy, while 15% think all abortions should be illegal. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Next month, California voters will decide Proposition 1, which would amend the state constitution: “The state shall not deny or interfere with an individual’s reproductive freedom in their most intimate decisions, which includes their fundamental right to choose to have an abortion.” Fifty-nine percent (59%) of California voters support Proposition 1, including 42% who Strongly Support it. Thirty-three percent (33%) oppose the proposition, including 22% who Strongly Oppose it. In August, 66% of California voters supported Proposition
“The more Californians learn that Proposition 1 would legalize late-term abortion, the more they oppose it,” said Karen England, President of the Capitol Resource Institute. “This isn’t surprising since 79 percent of likely California voters said in an earlier poll that they would not support killing a child up until birth. Gavin Newsom and the radicals in Sacramento have authored one of the most extreme pieces of abortion legislation ever placed on a ballot. My prayer is that the good people of California don't fall into Newsom's trap.”
The survey of 1,216 California Likely Voters was conducted on October 12, 2022 by Rasmussen Reports and Capitol Resource Institute. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
Fifty-five percent (55%) of California voters consider themselves pro-choice, down from 62% in August. Thirty-six percent (36%) now consider themselves pro-life, up from 31% in August.
Much of the shift in Californians’ opinions on abortion occurred among women and independent voters.
Fifty-seven percent (57%) of women voters in California now call themselves pro-choice, down from 65% in August, while 36% of women now call themselves pro-life, up from 27% in August. Forty-four percent (44%) of California women Strongly Support Proposition 1, down from 55% in August, while 22% of women Strongly Oppose Proposition 1, up from 15% in August.
Proposition 1 is supported by 78% of California Democrats, 34% of Republicans and 47% of voters not affiliated with either major party. Fifty-six percent (56%) of Republicans, 16% of Democrats and 43% of unaffiliated voters oppose Proposition 1.
Among unaffiliated voters in California, 31% Strongly Support Proposition 1, down from 38% in August, while 28% of unaffiliated voters now Strongly Oppose Proposition 1, up from 24% in August. Forty-eight percent (48%) of California unaffiliated voters call themselves pro-choice, down from 55% in August.
Among other findings of the Rasmussen Reports/CRI survey:
– Fifty percent (50%) of California voters now believe abortion laws should be determined by state governments, up from 44% in August.
– Support for taxpayer-funded abortion has declined, from 51% in August to 46% now. Thirty-five percent (35%) of California voters Strongly Disapprove of the use of taxpayer money to perform abortions, up from 28% in August.
– Fifty-three percent (53%) of California voters approve of the job Joe Biden is doing as president, including 31% who Strongly Approve. Forty-five percent (45%) disapprove of Biden’s job performance, including 38% who Strongly Disapprove.
– More whites (58%) than black voters (55%) or other minorities (51%) in California describe themselves as pro-choice. Black voters are more likely to disapprove of using taxpayer money for abortions.
– Twenty-nine percent (29%) of California voters believe abortion should be legal under any circumstances, while 18% think abortion should be illegal in all circumstances. A plurality (46%) say abortion should be legal only under certain circumstances. Voters under 40 are more likely than their elders to believe abortion should be legal under any circumstances.
– Fifty-four percent (54%) of California voters disapprove of the sale of fetal tissue like limbs and organs after an abortion, including 38% who Strongly Disapprove.
– A majority (52%) of California voters believe a fetus has a right to life at three months, including 29% who think the right to life begins at conception. Another 15% say the right to life begins at six months, while only 22% think that a fetus does not have a right to life before birth. Another 10% are not sure.
– Seventy-six percent (76%) of California voters say, in deciding how to vote in elections, a candidate’s position on abortion is important, including 49% who say it is Very Important. More pro-choice voters (58%) than pro-life voters (43%) say a candidate’s position on abortion is Very Important.
President Biden’s strongest supporters in California are most likely to approve of late-term abortion. Among California voters who Strongly Approve of Biden’s job performance as president, 21% believe abortion should be legal up to six months, and 24% think abortion should be legal at any time during a pregnancy before the moment of birth. By contrast, among California voters who Strongly Disapprove of Biden’s performance, just five percent (5%) believe abortion should be legal up to six months, and another five percent (5%) think abortion should be legal at any time during a pregnancy before the moment of birth, while 30% say abortion should be illegal.
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The survey of 1,216 California Likely Voters was conducted on October 12, 2022 by Rasmussen Reports and Capitol Resource Institute. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research.
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