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Nearly two-thirds of South Carolina voters oppose a statewide abortion ban

COLUMBIA, S.C. — As South Carolina legislators reconvene to consider a total abortion ban in the wake of the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wadenew polling released today shows that such a ban is wildly unpopular with voters in the state.

According to the poll, conducted July 1-2 by Public Policy Polling, nearly two-thirds of South Carolina voters want abortion to be legal and accessible in their state. Nearly 70% believe the decision to have an abortion should be left to a woman and her doctor — not state lawmakers —  and 60% oppose charging a doctor who provides abortion with a felony.

Despite that consensus, the House Ad Hoc Committee on Abortion will hold a special hearing today at noon to consider whether to fully ban abortion in South Carolina. And in the Senate, legislators have already introduced S.B. 1373, which would completely ban abortion, criminalize health care providers, and make it illegal to help a person get an abortion in another state.

Yet the new poll finds broad support for abortion rights in South Carolina, where most voters believe people should be able to make their own health care decisions without political interference. According to the survey, among South Carolina voters:  

  • Two-thirds (61%) believe abortion should be legal. Just 8% say that abortion should be illegal in all cases.
  • 63% say it is important that women in their state have access to all reproductive health care options, including abortion.
  • Three in four (75%) agree that women should have the right to make their own personal health care decisions.
  • 69% believe the decision whether or not to have an abortion should be left to a woman and her doctor, as opposed to state lawmakers.
  • 91% agree that doctors should be able to help their patients experiencing pregnancy complications and miscarriages without fear of being prosecuted under an abortion ban.
  • 59% think South Carolina state lawmakers spend too much time focusing on abortion, and 60% say they don’t spend enough time on legislation to support South Carolina families.

“Another abortion ban will do nothing to help South Carolina families thrive — instead, the cruelty is the point,” said Jenny Black, president of Planned Parenthood Votes! South Atlantic. “Not only is it unconscionable that our lawmakers are hellbent on banning essential health care – in a state with dangerously high rates of maternal and infant mortality, particularly among Black women and babies – it’s also in direct opposition to what most voters want. Make no mistake: Planned Parenthood Votes! South Atlantic supporters will not forget, and we will hold them accountable.”

“Most Americans want to keep abortion legal and accessible, and South Carolinians are no exception. But today, lawmakers have insisted on pushing a cruel and reckless agenda that is wildly out of touch with the vast majority of their constituents,” said Alexis McGill Johnson, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund. “Now more than ever, voters want leaders who will prioritize policies that actually improve their lives: affordable housing, childcare, paid leave, and yes, health care that includes abortion access. We will remember that in this moment of great uncertainty, politicians have chosen to attack our fundamental freedom — our basic humanity — rather than take action to improve the lives of the people they purport to represent.” 

While state representatives consider whether to ban or protect abortion in South Carolina today, abortion rights supporters are rallying outside the Blatt Building where Planned Parenthood Votes! South Atlantic is hosting a “people’s hearing” to give more South Carolinians an opportunity to testify.

A memo of the new polling is available here.


Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational, advocacy, and limited electoral activity, including grassroots organizing, legislative advocacy, and voter education.