New poll says Latino/a voters in Texas hold supportive views on abortion, believe health insurance should cover birth control and abortion services
A groundbreaking new survey commissioned by the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH), and conducted by the nonpartisan research firm PerryUndem Research/Communication, found that Latino/a voters in Texas largely hold supportive, nonjudgmental views on abortion, which mirrors recent findings about Latino/a attitudes nationally. This research continues NLIRH’s multi-year investment in understanding Latino/a views on reproductive health issues across the country and in states with large and growing Latino/a populations. Findings were largely consistent across age, gender, and education. A majority of those polled believe that abortion should remain legal and that public and private health insurance should cover reproductive health care — including abortion and birth control. Latinos/as polled also oppose the nationwide trend of new laws at the state level that make it harder for a woman to access abortion care and harder for doctors to provide that care.
“Stereotypes about the Latino/a community and abortion have led some politicians to think that supporting restrictions on abortion will appeal to Latinos,” said Jessica González-Rojas, executive director for the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health. “This research shows how flawed those assumptions are. Even in Texas, Latino voters support a woman’s ability to make her own decisions about pregnancy, parenting, and abortion.
“These revelations come at a critical moment when the health and human rights of Texas women are under attack. Given that nearly 4 in 10 Texas women are Latina, the views of our community on this important issue are more salient than ever.
“Make no mistake: Latino voters in Texas support access to safe, legal, affordable abortion, and these very communities are in fact leading the charge for reproductive justice and the human right to health care.”
NLIRH’s approach to opinion research about abortion — which goes beyond overly simplistic views on legality to gauge feelings related to judgment and support around abortion and a woman’s decision to end a pregnancy — has challenged preconceived notions about Latino/a voters and abortion politics. The organization’s national poll on Latino/a attitudes released in 2011 closely mirrors these Texas findings, and was a watershed moment for challenging myths about Latino/a attitudes.
Key findings include:
A strong majority of Texas Latino/a voters — 78 percent — agree that a woman has a right to make her own personal decisions about abortion without politicians interfering.
Three in four Texas Latino/a voters (75 percent) agree that we should not judge someone who feels they are not ready to be a parent.
The vast majority of Texas Latino/a voters (80 percent) say they would give support to a close friend or family member who had an abortion. Nearly six in ten (58 percent) say they would provide a lot of support.
Most Texas Latino/a voters seem willing to disagree with church leaders on the legality of abortion. Six in ten (60 percent) believe abortion should remain legal regardless of whether church leaders take a stand against it.
A strong majority of Texas Latino/a voters (76 percent) believe birth control to be a part of basic health care and that it should be covered no matter where a woman works. Nearly six in ten (57 percent) believe that every woman should have access to insurance coverage for a full range of reproductive health care, including abortion.
Finally, nearly six in ten Texas Latino/a voters (58 percent) say the increased restrictions on abortion that have occurred over the past three years are a step in the wrong direction. In contrast, only 32 percent say that these restrictions are a step in the right direction.
The poll memo as well as the poll methodology can be found at latinainstitute.org.
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.