Poll: Majority of Mainers support expanding access to abortion later in pregnancy
For Immediate Release: March 2, 2023
Maine voters across party lines, of all ages, gender, income levels and location said they support abortion after 24 weeks at the discretion of medical providers
(Portland, MAINE) – A new poll shows broad support for amending Maine’s abortion laws to allow for the procedure later in pregnancy.
The poll, conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center in February 2023, indicates Mainers trust medical providers and their patients to make decisions about pregnancy and abortion, sentiment in line with how voters in Maine and across the country cast ballots in the November 2022 election.
According to the poll, a majority of Mainers aged 18 and older support abortion access beyond 24 weeks, with 78 percent of respondents aged 18 to 39 indicating strong or some support, 53 percent of respondents aged 35 to 49, and 67 percent of respondents aged 50 and older expressing the same.
Respondents throughout the state affirmed support of abortion later in pregnancy, with 75 percent in Southern Maine reporting support, followed by 69 percent in Northern Maine, 59 percent in Downeast/Coastal Maine and 56 percent in Central Maine.
Highlighting that abortion access throughout pregnancy is important to people of all genders and socioeconomic statuses, 64 percent of men and 68 percent of women respondents support expanding abortion access, as do majorities of respondents of all income levels.
Of respondents who voted in the 2020 election, 96 percent who voted for President Joe Biden support expanded access, 73 percent of those who voted for someone other than President Biden or Donald Trump support the same. Respondents who voted for Trump were outliers, with 29 percent supporting expanded access.
Of respondents who did not vote in 2020, an election held prior to the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v Wade in June 2023, 98 percent said they support expanding abortion access in Maine, an indication of how the Supreme Court ruling has affected all Mainers.
The poll comes as Maine lawmakers prepare to hear key legislative priorities announced in January, including a bill championed by Governor Janet Mills that would allow medical providers authority to help their patients make decisions about pregnancy and abortion care without political interference.
Mills, following the Supreme Court’s ruling in June, signed an executive order protecting providers and people who travel to Maine for care. Last month, she joined a coalition of governors across the country committed to protecting abortion access.
Statement from Nicole Clegg, Acting CEO, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England:
“This survey makes clear what we already know: A majority of Mainers care about protecting and expanding access to abortion, especially in our post-Roe world. And Mainers trust medical providers to help their patients make private medical decisions.
Abortion is a medical procedure, one part of comprehensive sexual and reproductive healthcare. Every pregnancy is different, and it is impossible to legislate the nuances and situations that can arise for every patient.
Roe was a starting point for our nation to begin recognizing the importance of safe, legal abortion. Now, and particularly without those federal protections in place, it is critically important that Maine lawmakers rise to this moment and act to protect patients and providers from politically motivated attacks not grounded in medical science or proper understanding of pregnancy.
Maine voters elected reproductive rights champions who promised to protect and expand access to abortion and related care in Maine, and we look forward to working with legislators in Augusta to accomplish this in the current session.”
Planned Parenthood Maine Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England in Maine. PPNNE has four health centers in Maine and sees more than 12,000 patients a year.