Poll: Latino/a Opposition to Abortion Rights a ‘Myth’

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Poll: Latino/a Opposition to Abortion Rights a ‘Myth’

Nicole Knight

Poll results suggest Latino/a support for unfettered access to abortion care, with more than half saying that the wave of abortion restrictions enacted since 2010 was "a step in the wrong direction."

A strong majority of Florida’s Latino/a voters support legal abortion care and believe politicians should stay out of a person’s decision to end a pregnancy, according to polling released Thursday.

Eight out of ten Latino/a voters surveyed agreed with the statement: “Each woman should have the right to make her own decision on abortion, even if I may disagree with her reasons.” And 85 percent agreed that “a woman should be able to make her own personal decisions about abortion without politicians interfering.”

The poll was commissioned by the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH), which advocates for reproductive justice, and conducted by PerryUndem Research/Communication.

Two-thirds of voters surveyed agreed that abortion care should remain legal, and three in four supported private and government-funded insurance coverage of abortion care.

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The polling comes two days after the Florida Supreme Court heard arguments on whether to permanently block a 24-hour forced waiting period for abortion care. This follows a recent Florida district court decision to block a law defunding Planned Parenthood and other health-care providers.

“This study affirms that Latino/a voters’ views on abortion are much more nuanced and strongly demonstrate support and compassion for a person seeking abortion care,” Jessica González-Rojas, executive director of NLIRH, said in a statement.

The survey of 608 Latino/a voters registered in Florida was conducted by telephone and online between August 26 and September 21 in English and Spanish. The results suggest support for unfettered access to abortion care, with more than half of Latino/a voters polled saying that the wave of abortion restrictions enacted in mostly GOP-majority legislatures since 2010 represent “a step in the wrong direction.”

Nearly seven in ten said they pay attention to a candidate’s views on abortion.

Seventy-five percent said politicians shouldn’t deny someone coverage for abortion care because she has a low income. Florida follows the Hyde Amendment, which restricts public insurance coverage of abortion care to certain circumstances.

national poll from NLIRH released in February found similarly strong support for abortion care among Latino/a voters nationwide, suggesting there is little grounds for the popular GOP talking point that the population opposes abortion care access.

“I think the most pro-life group in America is the Hispanic community,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) claimed last year in an interview with NPR.

Earlier polls have suggested weaker support for abortion care among Latino/a. A 2013 study by Pew Research Center found 40 percent of Latino adults supported legal abortion in all or most cases, with 53 percent saying it should be illegal in most or all cases. The results for the general public are reversed.

But NLIHR’s national poll from February, which was also conducted by PerryUndem, found that the views of registered Latino/a voters on keeping Roe v. Wade match the opinions of the general electorate. Sixty-seven percent of both groups say they do not want to see Roe v. Wade overturned.

“For many years, myths common in the media have suggested that Latino/a voters hold conservative views on abortion,” notes the executive summary of the new poll. “Mounting evidence, including the data presented in this study, proves this assumption wrong.”

“It’s time to finally put to rest myths and stereotypes that our community is too conservative to support abortion access,” González-Rojas said in a statement.