Press Releases

Thursday, November 3, 2016

New Poll Shows Virginia Latino/a Voters Support Access to Abortion

Press Release
raeAnn Roca Pickett Phone: 202-621-1409 Email:

Poll comes on the heels of recent decision in Virginia to do away with medically unnecessary targeted restrictions of abortion providers

RICHMOND, Va. — The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) in conjunction with PerryUndem Research/Communication released new polling[i] today which found a strong majority of Virginia Latino/a voters believe abortion should be legal, affordable and covered by health insurance, no matter the source of coverage. Virginia Latino/a voters also believe accessing abortion should not be difficult in terms of travel and logistics. This poll closely mirrors recent findings regarding attitudes nationally across racial and ethnic groups and reconfirms findings from a similar national poll NLIRH released earlier this year.

“It’s time to finally put to rest myths and stereotypes that our community is too conservative to support abortion access. This study goes a long way in affirming that Latino/a voters’ views on abortion are much more nuanced and strongly demonstrate support and compassion for people seeking abortion care,” said Jessica González-Rojas, executive director of NLIRH.

“NLIRH and PerryUndem have now studied Latino/a voters’ opinions on abortion nationally, and in Florida and Virginia,” said Tresa Undem, partner with PerryUndem Research/Communication, the nonpartisan research firm who conducted the survey. “The results are the same across the board: majorities of Latino/a voters support a woman’s right to an abortion – at the same levels of the rest of the electorate.”

Virginia Latino/a voters also oppose the nationwide trend of restrictive and medically unnecessary laws at the state level which make it harder for a woman in Virginia to access abortion care and harder for doctors to provide that care. These include current laws in the state of Virginia which make later pregnancy abortions legal only to save the life or medical well-being of the pregnant woman, and requires a person seeking an abortion to undergo an ultrasound at least 24 hours prior to the procedure. 

The state-wide poll comes on the heels of recent decision by the Virginia Board of Health to scrap onerous building restrictions that required all abortion clinics to operate under the same regulations as outpatient surgical centers. The ruling follows the Supreme Court decision in Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt which struck down similar abortion clinic regulations in Texas.

“We need politicians to stop interfering with our personal healthcare decisions so we can advance a vision of Virginia where all people are able to make the best decisions for our health, family and future. NLIRH will keep organizing until women’s healthcare is no longer regulated by extreme anti-choice political agendas,” said Margie Del Castillo, life-long Virginia resident and associate director of community mobilization for NLIRH.

Key findings include:

Support for Roe v. Wade, oppose restrictions

  • Two thirds (68 percent) of Latino/a voters in Virginia do not want to see Roe v. Wade overturned—compared to 67 percent of the Latino/a electorate nationally.
  • Two thirds (67 percent) of Virginia Latino/a voters say the increased restrictions on abortion that have occurred since 2010 are a step in the wrong direction, with only 28 percent saying they are a step in the right direction. This is similar to a national poll released earlier this year that found that 63 percent of voters across all racial and ethnic groups say the restrictions trend is going in the wrong direction.
  • Seven in ten (71 percent) of Virginia Latino/a voters say they tend to pay attention to a candidate's views on abortion.

Support for insurance coverage of abortion

  • Nearly eight in ten (79 percent) of Virginia Latino/a voters agree politicians should not be allowed to deny a woman’s health coverage for abortion just because she’s poor, with 64 percent saying they strongly agree. This mirrors a 2015 national voters poll which found that 86 percent of voters across racial and ethnic groups agree with the statement (68 percent strongly).
  • Seventy-five percent of Virginia Latino/a voters agree that every woman should have coverage for the full range of pregnancy-related care, including abortion, whether she has private or government-funded health coverage, with 53 percent saying they strongly agree.

Compassionate views toward those who have abortions

  • Nine in ten (91 percent) of Virginia Latino/a voters say they would give support to a close friend or family member who had an abortion. Fifty-eight percent say they would provide a lot of support.
  • For a woman who has decided to have an abortion, 92 percent of Virginia Latino/a voters want the experience to be respectful of her decision. This is more than a national poll released earlier this year that found that 82 percent of voters across all racial and ethnic groups want the experience to be respectful of a woman’s decision.

Faith includes support for abortion

  • Most Virginia Latino/a voters are willing to disagree with church leaders on the legality of abortion. Seventy-six percent believe abortion should remain legal regardless of whether church leaders oppose it.
  • More than half of Virginia Latino/a voters (56 percent) agree that “my personal religious values can support a woman making her own decision about abortion.”

Traditional Language and Identities

  • Four in ten (41 percent) Virginia Latino/a voters do not solely subscribe to the traditional pro-life or pro-choice labels on the issue of abortion. Out of the remaining voters, 35 percent identify as pro-choice.
  • Virginia Latino/a voters have nuanced views in support of a woman’s right to abortion, with more than eight in ten (84 percent) agreeing with the statement: “Each woman should have the right to make her own decision on abortion, even if I may disagree with her reasons.”

The poll memo and top lines, Spanish and English questionnaires, and methodology can be found at this link.


The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health is the only national reproductive justice organization dedicated to building Latina power to advance health, dignity, and justice for 26 million Latinas, their families, and communities in the United States through leadership development, community mobilization, policy advocacy, and strategic communications.


[i] The survey was commissioned by the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH), and conducted in Spanish and English by the nonpartisan research firm PerryUndem Research/Communication, of a representative sample of 505 Latino/a Virginia registered voters.