AUSTIN, Texas — This story was originally published in the Texas Tribune.
At a time when Texas is poised to outlaw the vast majority of abortions if the nation’s highest court overturns constitutional protections for the procedure, a recent University of Texas at Austin poll shows more Texan voters think access to abortion should be allowed in some form.
Texas would make performing most abortions a felony if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade — a future that looks considerably more likely after a nonbinding draft opinion was leaked from the high court Monday. Constitutional protections for abortion could be struck down as soon as this summer.
The university conducted the poll in April before the court’s document was leaked. The survey found that 78% of respondents believe abortion should be allowed in some form while only 15% said it should be never permitted.
If Roe is overturned, Texas would allow doctors to perform abortions only to save the life of a pregnant person or if that person risked “substantial impairment of major bodily function.”
Around 39% of poll respondents said Texans should always be able to obtain abortions as a matter of personal choice, and 11% of respondents thought abortions should be available for other reasons in addition to rape.
The poll shows that 28% of respondents believe abortions should be available only in cases of rape or incest, or when a person’s life is endangered by their pregnancy. And 7% said they didn’t know.
Texas is one of 13 states with so-called trigger laws that would automatically go into effect to ban abortions if Roe is overturned.
But the state has been under the nation’s most restrictive abortion law, which bans abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy, since September.
This is a developing story; check back for details.