New Research Highlights Overwhelming Support for Abortion Rights and Access in Massachusetts, Including Among Catholics

NIRH Contact: Marisa Rodriguez
E: [email protected]
C: 956.607.9952

The National Institute for Reproductive Health Action Fund (NIRH Action Fund) and NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts announce new research showing voters favor policies that advance reproductive freedom in the Bay State

Amid a hostile federal landscape, reproductive rights organizations call on Massachusetts legislators to lead the way and roll back medically unjustified abortion laws

Massachusetts – On the heels of Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court, the National Institute for Reproductive Health Action Fund (NIRH Action Fund) and NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts released new research today that confirms that more than 8 in 10 voters – including among those who identify as Catholic – believe that if a woman has decided to have an abortion, it should be safe, legal, affordable, and available in her community without shame or pressure.  Moreover, an overwhelming majority (roughly three-quarters) support elected officials in the Commonwealth enacting a range of laws that would protect and enhance abortion rights and access amid a federal landscape that is increasingly hostile toward reproductive freedom.

The statewide survey of nearly 2,000 registered voters, conducted by MassINC between September 28 and October 3, 2018, also found that 8 in 10 Massachusetts voters want Roe v. Wade to be upheld. And at least 80 percent of voters, including Catholics, agree that “we need to pass laws that respect, support, and empower women – ensuring that everyone has access to respectful, quality, and affordable reproductive healthcare, including abortion.”

“While the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court threatens the future of reproductive freedom in our country, Massachusetts voters are counting on their legislators to proactively enact legislation and make their state a true bulwark against the harmful Trump administration,” said Andrea Miller, President of the National Institute for Reproductive Health Action Fund. “With laws against abortion still on the books in the Bay State, NIRH Action Fund and NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts call on state legislators to replace these outdated, medically unwarranted statutes with meaningful legislation that preserve a woman’s right to access abortion, and this research shows that voters will overwhelmingly support such actions.”

“This poll makes clear that Bay Staters overwhelmingly believe that reproductive freedom is a Massachusetts value. Our state has an opportunity to lead the nation by repealing anti-choice laws and expanding access to abortion care for those who need it. The findings underscore that our work is far from over and that Massachusetts voters will support efforts to strengthen access to reproductive healthcare for women throughout our state,” said Rebecca Hart Holder, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts.

“Massachusetts voters, including Catholic voters, want Roe v. Wade preserved and support a state law guaranteeing the legal right to an abortion,” said Steve Koczela, President of The MassINC Polling Group, who conducted the poll. “They also believe that a woman who has decided to have an abortion should be able to receive affordable services in a safe, supportive, and respectful environment.”

When asked about specific types of laws and policies that can protect abortion rights and enhance access:

  • 78 percent of all voters (and 72 percent of Catholics) support a state law to guarantee a legal right to abortion.
  • 76 percent of all voters (and 75 percent of Catholics) support adding an exception to the ban on abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy to protect a woman’s health or in cases where there is a grave fetal anomaly.
  • 77 percent of all voters (and 70 percent of Catholics) support ensuring MassHealth continue to offer low-income patients access to abortion services.
  • 74 percent of all voters (and 70 percent of Catholics) support requiring all health insurers to cover the cost of abortion services.

Earlier this year, the Massachusetts legislature took a positive step forward with the passage of S.2260, which repealed archaic pre-Roe Massachusetts statutes that dated back as far as the 1800s. With a number of laws that restrict reproductive freedom still on the books in Massachusetts and this research demonstrating the strong support of reproductive freedom among Massachusetts residents, NIRH Action Fund and NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts call on state legislators to enact proactive policies that support women and their reproductive health elevating Massachusetts as a beacon for women’s health rights and justice.


About NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts: NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts is the leading grassroots pro-choice advocacy organization in the Commonwealth, and works to protect every woman’s right to access the full range of reproductive health options, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts is the state affiliate of NARAL Pro-Choice America.

About the National Institute for Reproductive Health: The National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) builds power at the state and local levels to change public policy, galvanize public support, and normalize women’s decisions about abortion and contraception. Using a partnership model, NIRH provides state and local advocates with strategic guidance, hands-on support, and funding to create national change from the ground up. The NIRH Action Fund engages in non-partisan issue advocacy and electoral engagement to advance reproductive health, rights, and justice in states and cities across the country. In 2018, NIRH and the NIRH Action Fund are working with state and local advocates to advance reproductive freedom in 23 states; to date, NIRH and the NIRH Action Fund have partnered with more than 150 reproductive health, rights, and justice organizations in 39 states and 56 localities across the country.