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December 16, 2021
Brandon Richards, Director of Communications
[email protected]

Californians are Paying Close Attention to the Potential Loss of the Constitutional Right to Abortion and Feel Strongly that Abortion Should be Legal and Accessible to Anyone Who Needs It

SACRAMENTO—Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California (PPAC) released a new poll conducted on the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court hearing Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization – a landmark case many believe will overturn or severely gut the constitutional right to abortion established in 1973’s Roe v Wade. The poll finds that voters in California are paying very close attention to the potential loss of the constitutional right to abortion and feel strongly that the right to an abortion should be legal and accessible to anyone who needs it. Furthermore, it finds voters in California will hold elected officials accountable, and reward candidates who fight to protect abortion access.

“Not only is talking about protecting access to abortion a winning issue on the campaign trail, but Californians expect their elected officials to take action once they are in office – they are proud of our state’s leadership as a Reproductive Freedom state and want to see it continue,” said Jodi Hicks, President and CEO Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California. “2022 is perhaps the most consequential year for protecting the constitutional right to abortion and the need to expand access. Californians feel the urgency, Planned Parenthood feels the urgency, and we hope our policymakers feel the urgency as well.”

When it comes to the current events around abortion, the poll finds that 89% of likely voters have heard about the Mississippi case heard at the Supreme Court on December 1st, with over one-third saying they’ve heard a lot about the case. And when it comes to the possible outcome from the Supreme Court, over two-thirds of likely voters in California say they would not like to see the Supreme Court overturn Roe v Wade—the vast majority of voters saying they will be “angry”, “disappointed” or “fearful” if Roe v Wade is weakened or overturned. Finally, Californians are “proud” that California will serve as a “refuge for women from other states.”

The survey also found that voters and surge voters – voters who have not regularly voted in midterm elections – feel similarly in their strong support for protecting abortion rights and support for elected officials who will fight for abortion rights.

Key findings include:

  • Over three-quarters of surge voters – and 62% of all likely voters – say they prefer a candidate who will support expanding reproductive freedom and legal access to abortion, over someone who supports significant restrictions on abortion access.
  • About three-quarters of surge voters – and 60% of all likely voters – say they are much more likely to support a candidate for office who supports new protections safeguarding the right to an abortion and expanding access.
    • Only 9% say they would prefer a candidate who opposes access to abortion and wants to restrict access.
  • A majority of the surge voters, a group critical to Democratic majorities in 2022, say they are more likely to vote in 2022 because of the attacks on abortion access in states outside of California.

The message from voters is clear: likely voters and surge voters in California do not want to see Roe v Wade overturned and will reward elected officials who fight to protect abortion access in California and expand reproductive freedom nationwide.

This support for action from California leaders to safeguard access to abortion comes one week after the California Future of Abortion Council released a report outlining 45 recommendations policymakers can implement to better prepare California as the threat to abortion rights and access continues to grow, including the possibility that the constitutional right to abortion may be taken from millions of people across the country.

The poll was conducted for Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California by David Binder Research (DBR) between December 4th and 8th, 2021. The memo with results and methodology is here.




Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California (PPAC) is the state public policy office representing California’s seven separately incorporated Planned Parenthood affiliates. Through advocacy and electoral action, PPAC promotes sound public policy in areas of sexual and reproductive health care and sex education.