How People in NJ Feel About Abortion Laws in Latest Poll
More than 6 in 10 New Jerseyans describe themselves as pro-choice on the issue of abortion, a number that has increased over the past decade, according to a new Monmouth University Poll.
The poll was conducted by telephone from Jan. 5 to 9 with 809 New Jersey adults.
What were some key stats from the poll?
As the landscape has changed around what is going on with abortion laws and last year’s Supreme Court decision which overturned Roe v. Wade ending the national right to abortion, New Jerseyans have buckled down on their pro-choice views, poll director Patrick Murray said.
Overall, the number who describe themselves as pro-choice has gone up 8 points in the past 10 years from 54% to 62%. But that increase has not been universal.
He said while the proportion of Democrats who call themselves pro-choice has grown significantly from 63% in 2013 to 83% now, the number of Republicans who say the same has actually fallen from 45% to 34%.
At the same time, more Republicans in New Jersey support legal access to abortion in some way, shape, or form, even if it’s with limitations, more so than Republicans nationally, Murray said.
Overall, the poll found that 36% of New Jerseyans said their position on abortion policy is that it should always be legal and another 39% said it should be legal with some limitations. Only 3% said abortion should always be illegal.
About 50% of Republicans said that abortion should be legal, which is 12 points higher than Republicans nationally. That’s the reason why New Jersey’s support for abortion is somewhat higher than it is nationally, he added.
It’s because Democrats and Independents in New Jersey are similar to those around the country. But Murray said Republicans in the Garden State are slightly more supportive of having some legal access to abortion than Republicans across the country.
Was there a big difference among genders?
Interestingly, New Jersey abortion opinion does not display significant gender differences, according to the poll. For example, 79% of women and 71% of men in the state support legal access to abortion. The comparable national results show a much wider gender gap (73% women and 59% men in June 2022).
The poll also looked at where New Jersey’s abortion laws are and where they should go.
“54% say they shouldn’t change the abortion laws at all, and about a quarter say that they should but that quarter is basically divided in half. Some think it should be strengthened. Some think they should be weakened. Very few New Jerseyans believe that the laws for access to abortion here in the state will be weakened at all in the next 10 years or so,” Murray said.
But what’s interesting is despite the sense that New Jersey’s laws are here to stay, a majority of New Jerseyans (73%) think it would be a good idea to put abortion access and protections into the Constitution, just in case.
What were the takeaways from this poll?
There were two key takeaways from this poll, Murray said.
“We find that support for abortion in Jersey has increased over the past 10 years. It’s slightly higher than it is nationally because of Republican support here in New Jersey,” he said.
Also, even though New Jerseyans pretty much feel that abortion laws and access to abortion here are set, a majority still feel it might be a good idea if those laws were put into the state Constitution.