Last week, a poll from the University of Houston and Texas Southern University found strong support among Texans for the Texas heartbeat bill.
The poll surveyed more than 2,000 Texas residents during October, asking about both abortion policy and policies dealing with gender identity in athletics. Respondents were asked whether they support banning abortion after a “fetal heartbeat” is detectable, with an exception in cases when a mother’s life is at risk. It found that among Texans stating an opinion, most (55 percent) were in favor of the legislation.
What is especially interesting is that the bill enjoys strong support across a wide range of demographics. A majority of men, women, and Independents expressed support for the bill. Even more interest, among Latinos who responded to the survey, 58 percent expressed support for the heartbeat bill, higher than the population as a whole. This result is consistent with a number of recent surveys finding that Latinos are increasingly supportive of pro-life legislation.
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This poll adds to a body of research demonstrating that heartbeat laws have significant support in conservative states. This summer, a poll of likely voters in Missouri found that 56 percent agreed that the “Missouri state government should prohibit abortion after 8 weeks of pregnancy.” Two polls of registered voters in Texas sponsored by The University of Texas and the Texas Tribune found plurality support for the Texas heartbeat bill.
Monday’s Supreme Court hearing on the Texas bill certainly increased the salience of life issues. And, unsurprisingly, most major media outlets have been quick to cite misleading polls purporting to show that pro-life laws are unpopular. But pro-lifers should not be discouraged. This most recent poll illustrates that laws providing legal protection to unborn children remain popular in many conservative parts of the country.
LifeNews Note: Michael J. New is a Research Associate at the Busch School of Business at The Catholic University of America and is an associate scholar at the Charlotte Lozier Institute. Follow him on Twitter @Michael_J_New