Poll: Widening regional divide over abortion laws

Opposition to legal abortion is highest in parts of the South – including Texas, which recently passed sweeping new abortion restrictions. The South Central region is the only one in which opposition to legal abortion has significantly increased since the mid-1990s. By contrast, support for legal abortion remains highest in New England – and the gap between New England and South Central states has widened considerably over the past two decades…

These differences reflect a broader regional divide. New England residents are most likely to favor legalized abortion. Fully 75% say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while 20% say abortions should be illegal in all or most cases. Roughly two-thirds (65%) in the Pacific Coast region, and solid majorities in the Mid-Atlantic (61%) and Mountain West (59%) also favor legal abortion.

At the other end of the spectrum, residents of the South Central states – ranging from Texas and Oklahoma to Alabama to Kentucky – express the least support for abortion. A majority (52%) in these states say that abortion should be illegal in all or most cases, while just 40% say it should be generally legal. There is also substantially more opposition to abortion in Midwestern states than in the country at large. In this region – ranging from Kansas and Missouri to Minnesota and North Dakota –as many say abortion should generally be illegal as say it should generally be legal (47%).