New Poll: Young People Very Concerned about Supreme Court Decision to Strike Down Abortion ProtectionsSupreme Court decision to end federal right to abortion deeply clashes with opinion of young people
June 30, 2022
(Washington, DC) – Today, URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity released new polling data showing that young people overwhelmingly support the right to abortion, are very concerned about the Supreme Court striking down Roe v. Wade, and want abortion access to be expanded and protected.
URGE, a Reproductive Justice organization led by Millennial and Gen Z advocates and organizers of color, partnered with leading millennial- and BIPoC- owned polling firm HIT Strategies to field a national survey of young people (18-34 years old) to evaluate knowledge, opinion, and engagement with current policy issues, abortion access, and the Supreme Court case on abortion rights. The poll was conducted in May 2022, after the draft decision on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health leaked showing the Supreme Court’s plan to overturn Roe v Wade and dismantle federal protections for the right to abortion.
“The poll affirms what we hear every day from URGE members: young people widely support abortion access and don’t want politicians interfering in these decisions. Yet here we are,” said Kimberly Inez McGuire (she/her/ella), Executive Director of URGE. “I see this polling as a warning to those who want to police, control, and punish our bodies and decisions – young people are paying attention and they are ready to take action.”
“According to the survey, protecting access to abortions is important to young people, no matter their race, ideology, or region,” said Ashley Aylward (she/her) of HIT Strategies. “Fighting to protect abortion access represents a major opportunity for policymakers to engage with Millennials and Gen Z, who not only make up the most diverse age bracket in the US, but also collectively represent the generational shifts in thinking we have been witnessing in public opinion research.”
Several of the specific findings from the poll include:
- Young people are paying attention: 69% said they had heard of the original Roe v. Wade decision, and of those, 84% said they had heard “a lot” or “some” about the current Supreme Court challenge to it.
- 74% of young people said protecting abortion access was an important issue to them. 73% of young Black people, 75% of Latinx young people, 77% of Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) young people, and 90% of LGBTQ+ young people said protecting abortion access was important to them.
- When given a list of 13 high-profile issue areas and asked to rank the most important, “abortion access” was ranked second after “inflation/cost of living.”
- 76% of young people were concerned that the Supreme Court was planning to strike down the federal right to abortion, with 43% indicating they were “very concerned.”
- 82% of young people are concerned about the harm further restricting abortion will have on low-income people and people of color.
- 62% of young people are planning to vote in the fall election and 66% said abortion access is important to their decision to go vote.
“This polling emphasizes how detached the Supreme Court’s ruling is from the general public’s opinion on abortion. Even a percentage of people who oppose abortion recognize that the state should not play a role in a person’s reproductive decisions,” said Teannae Owens (she/her), an URGE student board member who recently graduated from UC Santa Barbara. “Further, this polling reiterates how abortion is a racial and LGBTQ+ issue. People from those communities particularly recognize how interconnected the fight for abortion is with all other fights for liberation.”
This online survey was fielded from May 7 – 30, 2022 and included a representative sample of 800 respondents, ages 18-34 nationwide. It also oversampled Black, Latinx, Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI), and LGBTQ young people so we could derive statistically significant findings from these communities. The overall survey Margin of Error is +/- 3.5%.
URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity envisions a liberated world where we can live with justice, love freely, express our gender and sexuality, and define and create families of our choosing. To achieve our vision of liberation, URGE builds power and sustains a young people’s movement for reproductive justice by centering the leadership of young people of color who are women, queer, trans, nonbinary, and people of low income. As a state-driven national organization, URGE organizes our communities, provides a political home for young people, advocates for meaningful policy change, and shifts culture, working in states where the challenges and opportunities are greatest.