University of Houston: Texans Still Sharply Divided on New Abortion Law, UH Survey Finds

As a signal of the intense abortion debate continuing to simmer in Texas, a new survey from the University of Houston Hobby School of Public Affairs found just four percentage points separating the issue’s two extremes – 50% of survey participants opposed the state’s strict new abortion law and 46% supported it.

More than three-quarters (77%) of respondents in the Texas Policy & Politics 2022: Abortion Policy survey said the new Texas restrictions will go too far once in effect. Yet almost as many (72%) did not approve of the leniency of the prior standards established by Roe v. Wade (1973).

The same survey, however, did find common ground with overwhelming support among respondents for eight proposed policies designed to help pregnant women, babies and young children.

“Most Texans recognize that lawmakers need to address access to resources and a range of programs for pregnant women, and their babies and children, especially in the wake of these new restrictions. Abortion will remain a divisive issue impacting public policy, health care, equality and the criminal justice system,” said Renée Cross, executive director of the UH Hobby School of Public Affairs.

Texas’ change in abortion law advanced after the U.S. Supreme Court’s 6-3 Dobbs decision on June 24 overturned Roe v. Wade, leaving each state to establish its own policy. Texas was one of 13 states with previously enacted trigger laws written to automatically ban or severely restrict abortions once Roe v. Wade was abolished.

The Texas trigger law, State House Bill 1280, contains one of the country’s most restrictive abortion regulations and will soon outlaw almost all abortions in the state – except when the woman’s life is in danger or to prevent substantial impairment.