On behalf of Planned Parenthood Texas, Change Research conducted surveys from September 13 to 21, 2022 of Republican and lean Republican women statewide and Hispanic women from South Texas in order to understand how these groups feel about abortion and how the state is handling the issue.
An overwhelming majority of South Texas Hispanic women believe abortion should be legal. The myth South Texas Hispanic women are conservative on abortion because of higher rates of Catholicism must be retired. Fifty-six percent of the South Texas Hispanic women surveyed reported they are Catholic, but three-in-four (74%) support abortion rights in all or most cases. In fact, South Texas Hispanic women who are Catholic are more likely than all South Texas Hispanic women to support abortion rights as 80% say abortion should be legal in all or most cases.
Abortion is also fracturing the GOP, as one-in-three Republican women support the right to an abortion in all or most cases. Only 12% align with the agenda of Republican lawmakers to make abortion illegal in all cases without exception. The divide in opinions on abortion rights among Republican women is produced by a divide between Evangelical and secular Republicans: 26% of Republican women who oppose abortion are Evangelical (versus 13% of those who support abortion) while 25% of Republican women who support abortion rights are not religious.
Abortion rights are a voting issue for many of these women: 63% of South Texas Hispanic women and 14% of Republican women say they will support candidates who support abortion rights in November. Critically, 96% of these South Texas Hispanic women and 77% of these GOP women are more motivated to vote as a result of Dobbs.
The GOP women who support abortion rights are noticeably different from their abortion opponent counterparts. They are less partisan (40% strong GOP v. 70% for abortion opponents), less likely to be seniors (34% versus 44%), and more likely to be non-religious (25% v. 7%). Though they are less likely to be Evangelical (13% versus 26%), they are not less likely to be Catholic. The South Texas Hispanic Women who believe abortion should be illegal are also more likely to be Republicans (58% v 7%), more likely to be over 50 (71% v. 51%), less likely to be non-religious (9% v. 20%), and more likely to be Evangelical (20% v. 3%) compared to their pro-abortion rights counterparts. Interestingly, Catholics make up a greater share of South Texas Hispanic women who think abortion should be legal, while Evangelicals are unified in opposition to abortion.
In the wake of Dobbs, protecting abortion rights is now a top issue of importance for South Texas Hispanic women, along with safety from gun violence. Presently, 9% of GOP women rate protecting abortion rights as a top issue of importance. That number is higher for the roughly one-in-three GOP women who believe that abortion should be legal (22%)
Majorities of GOP women and South Texas Hispanic women disapprove of each anti-abortion measure passed and proposed by Texas GOP politicians tested in this survey. They are particularly opposed to life sentences for doctors that perform an abortion to save a woman’s life or in a case of rape or incest, as well as efforts to outlaw some forms of contraception.VIEW FULL PRESS RELEASE. VIEW FULL MEMO.