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Indiana Public Opinion Research on Reproductive Health

Attitudes Toward People & Organizations

  • A majority (58 percent) are favorable toward Planned Parenthood, including about one-third (31 percent) who are very favorable toward the organization. Intensity in favorability toward the organization is strongest among Democrats (56 percent very favorable), African Americans (54 percent), pro-choice voters (53 percent), voters in Indianapolis (42 percent), and unmarried women (40 percent).
  • About a third (34%) are unfavorable toward Planned Parenthood, with 24% who are very unfavorable. Only Republicans (-35), anti-choice (-33), and those who often attend religious services (-1) are net negative toward Planned Parenthood.
  • Indiana voters respond similarly to Right to Life with a majority who feel favorable (54 percent favorable, 32 percent very favorable). A fifth (19%) are unfavorable, with 11% who are very unfavorable. Over a quarter are unfamiliar (19% no opinion, 8% never heard).
  • President Trump and U.S. Congress both have net-negative favorability among Indiana voters and the Indiana state Legislature enjoys net-positive favorability.

Planned Parenthood

  • A solid majority of voters believe Planned Parenthood is best described as: confidential, preventative, informative, caring, and for everyone. At least half also see Planned Parenthood strong, trustworthy, and too political. A plurality find Planned Parenthood to be too focused on abortion, expert, and high quality. Few see Planned Parenthood as biased (44 percent say no, does not describe) or low-quality (56 percent say no).
  • Women, Millennials, Democrats, pro-choice voters, and African Americans are most likely to describe the organization in positive terms.
  • However, there are weak points among Boomers (55-73 years old), conflicted voters and Independents – they describe Planned Parenthood as being too political, biased, and too focused on abortion.
  • Regression analysis shows key demographics and traits predict to favorable or unfavorable views of Planned Parenthood.
    • Demographics and traits that predict favorability of Planned Parenthood: Pro-choice, Democrat, and thinking Planned Parenthood is caring, for everyone, and high-quality.
    • Demographics and traits that predict unfavorable views of Planned Parenthood: Attend church often and thinking Planned Parenthood is biased.
  • The strongest statements among all voters – including Independents and conflicted voters – are related to reproductive rights and women’s health care, focus on comprehensive sex education, women’s freedom to plan, access to birth control, and how reproductive health care is important for economic well-being and stability.
    • We should require sex education that covers healthy relationships and communication skills – 89% agree, 76% strongly agree
    • Women should have the freedom to plan if and when to have children – 88% agree, 75% strongly agree
    • Students should be taught methods of avoiding pregnancy in addition to abstinence in sex education – 87% agree, 72% strongly agree
    • Birth control is part of healthcare overall – 85% agree, 69% strongly agree
    • Reproductive health care is basic health care and having access to it is important for economic well-being and stability – 86% agree, 67% strongly agree
    • We should require sex education that covers delaying sex and information about birth control and STIs – 90% agree, 66% strongly agree

Attitudes Toward Abortion, Sex Ed, & Birth Control

  • Fifty percent of Indiana voters identify themselves as being pro-choice with 28% believe abortion should be legal and generally available and subject to only limited regulation, 22% who believe regulation of abortion is necessary, although it should remain legal in many circumstances. Forty-nine percent are anti-choice, with 35% who believe abortion should be legal only in the most extreme cases, and 13% who believe all abortion should be made illegal.
    • The subgroups most likely to be pro-choice in their stance include Millennials (23-38 years old), Democrats, voters in Indianapolis, and African Americans.
    • The subgroups most likely to be conflicted in their stance include men, older voters, members of the Silent generation (74-91 years old), Independents, and those in the Central region of the state.
    • The subgroups most likely to be anti-choice in their stance include Republicans, and those in the Central and Southern regions of the state.
    • Though a majority of voters are conflicted in their views of abortion, nearly three quarters (72 percent) believe it is important that women in Indiana have access to all of the reproductive health care options available, including abortion. Across party, 92% of Democrats, 78% of Independents, and 52% of Republicans believe it is important.
  • An even stronger majority of voters believe it is important for there to be access to birth control for everyone who wants it or need it (85 percent important, 72 percent very important) – this belief is a core value. Across party, 96% of Democrats, 90% of Independents, and 77% of Republicans believe it is important.
  • Sex ed is also a core value for Indiana voters across subgroups. Nine-in-ten (90%) support teaching medically accurate, age-appropriate, comprehensive sex education in the public schools, which would include information about abstinence, birth control, and sexually transmitted diseases. Two-thirds (68%) strongly support this.
    • Noting that sex ed would include information about abstinence in addition to birth control and sexually transmitted diseases bolsters support among anti-choice, conflicted, Independent, and Republican voters.

Indiana Legislature

  • A majority of voters (55 percent) believe their state Legislature does not spend enough time on legislation that supports Indiana families, like helping low-income families get access to the assistance they need, paid leave for families, and ending maternal mortality.
  • About one third (34 percent) believe the Legislature spends too much time focusing on the issue of abortion.
    • About two-in-five (39 percent) think the state Legislature is putting too many restrictions on abortion, especially Democrats, Indianapolis voters, African Americans, younger women, and Millennials. One quarter of voters don’t think there is enough restrictions, bolstered by Republicans (47 percent), anti-choice voters (45 percent), and Gen X’ers (39-54 year olds) (32 percent).
  • A plurality of voters in the state are less likely to vote for a candidate who voted to restrict access to abortion – 49 percent are less likely vs. 30 percent more likely.
    • Pro-choice women (70%), Democrats (63%), pro-choice men (56%), and African Americans (52%) are most likely to say they would be much less likely to vote for this candidate.
    • Only Republican and anti-choice voters are net more likely to vote for this candidate.

 

Indiana Legislative Actions

  • A law that would bring about criminal charges against someone who has a miscarriage and a law that allows pharmacists to deny patients access to health care based on their religious beliefs cause the most doubts among voters. Trigger laws or bans because of gender, race, or disability also cause serious doubts among voters.
    • A law that would allow local law enforcement to bring criminal charges against someone who has a miscarriage – 88% raises doubts, 80% serious doubts
    • A law that allows pharmacists to deny patients access to health care based on their religious beliefs – 85% raises doubts, 72% serious doubts
    • A law that would immediately ban abortion, even in cases of rape or incest, if Roe v. Wade is overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court – 75% raises doubts, 61% serious doubts
  • When the trigger laws that would ban abortion highlights how even cases of rape or incest will be banned, the level of serious doubts raised among voters increases across subgroups – including Republicans and anti-choice voters – but only marginally increases serious doubts among Boomer and Silent voters.
  • The second tier of bills focused on requirements for counseling to include information on the potential for reversing medical abortion, banning safe, legal methods of abortion after the 14th week of pregnancy, and a law that blocks students from taking sexuality education courses unless their parents opt them in all raise doubts among voters, but not as much as the top tier (ranging from 60% to 75% raises doubts)


The information provided was gathered by a telephone poll of 500 registered voters and was conducted by Lake Research Partners in 2019. The poll was commissioned by Planned Parenthood Advocates of Indiana and Kentucky.

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