- May 29, 2001
A majority of Iowans — 60% — say abortion should be legal in most or all cases, at a time when the state's Republican lawmakers have new freedom to restrict the procedure.
That finding is from a new Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll, which also shows that just over a third of Iowans, 34%, say abortion should be illegal in most or all cases. Six percent aren't sure.
The 60% support for legal abortion is a new high-water mark in the Iowa Poll. In 2008, 48% of Iowans thought abortion should be legal in most or all cases. Last September, that number was 57%.
The new poll, conducted July 10-13 by Selzer & Co., comes weeks after a pair of court decisions removed some constitutional protections for abortion in Iowa. In June, both the Iowa and the U.S. supreme courts reversed previous decisions that established constitutional rights for abortion.
Abortion is still legal in Iowa, although a new 24-hour waiting period went into effect earlier this month.
The poll measured the opinions of 811 Iowans. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points. Questions asked of 597 likely voters have a margin of error of plus or minus 4 points.
The poll shows an apparent disconnect between Gov. Kim Reynolds, a Republican, and other anti-abortion political leaders and majorities of Iowans, who oppose two major efforts to restrict abortion. However, either a majority or plurality of Republicans, the governor's base, support those two efforts: reinstating the so-called fetal heartbeat law, and amending the Iowa Constitution to say it does not recognize a right to an abortion.
Both ideas face opposition from most Iowans.
The 60% support for legal abortion is a new high in the Iowa Poll. In 2008, 48% of Iowans thought abortion should be legal in most or all cases.