For at least the last four years, polling conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, Lake Partners, Global Strategy Group, and Hart Research, all working independently, has consistently showed that New York voters overwhelmingly support an initiative to strengthen our protections for reproductive rights under state law.
Polling conducted before the 2012 election, presented several questions to 1,000 New York likely voters - including men and women of voting age from all areas of the state, all ethnicities, religions and party affiliations. That poll found that a 74 percent majority of voters support Roe v. Wade, including 55 percent of Republicans. When asked if they think the right to choose is at “serious risk,” 54 percent of voters said yes. This is the highest this number has been in years. Finally, the survey asked voters their opinion of a detailed description of a bill introduced in the New York State Senate last year by Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the Reproductive Health Act.
“There have been a lot of rumors swirling around this bill, so it was important that we explicitly lay out every provision of the bill as it now exists, so voters would understand exactly what it would achieve before determining their level of support or disagreement,” said NARAL Pro-Choice New York President Andrea Miller. “We knew it was important to avoid any spin, to cut through the propaganda so New Yorkers could hear exactly what this bill would accomplish.”
That poll asked:
Now let me read you a longer description of this bill. This bill says that every woman in New York has the right to have an abortion, even if federal law changes. This bill allows early abortions to be performed by licensed, qualified medical providers, such as nurse practitioners, physician’s assistants and licensed midwives. New York law currently bans abortion later in pregnancy even if serious health problems develop. This bill ensures all options, including abortion, are available to protect a woman’s health. This bill guarantees the right to choose or refuse birth control. This bill regulates abortion as a public health and medical practice, rather than as a potential crime.
Having heard this, do you support or oppose this bill?
The results were unequivocal. Seventy percent of New York voters responded that they support this bill, including 51 percent of Republican voters, 63 percent of Catholics, 78 percent of Hispanic voters and 79 percent of black New Yorkers.
Tracking these results against previous polls shows that support has remained stable, and even increased slightly since 2009.
"The bill as it stands right now is very clear on what it would accomplish," said Tracey Brooks, president and CEO of Family Planning Advocates of New York State. "We need to make New York State law fully consistent with federal law, legal precedent and current standards of medical care. We need to regulate abortion in the health code, and we need to ensure that a woman can get the care she needs if her health is in danger. Any attempt to paint this proposal as more extreme or nefarious is just false.”
“Opponents of this bill have resorted to attempting to confuse voters," said New York Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Donna Lieberman. "The poll released today by those who want to restrict abortion access in New York asked misleading and inflammatory questions in an attempt to sway results. Their goal is to convince lawmakers that New Yorkers are anti-choice. But it's just not true, and frankly doesn't pass the laugh test.”
More details on polling, including toplines and crosstabs, available upon request.