New poll: Abortion not a priority among female millennials

women and abortion

Only 11 percent of millennial women identified “preserving access to abortion” as the issue most important to them in 2016, according to a new poll conducted by Langer Research Associates on behalf of ABC News and Refinery29.

The question, from a survey of 566 women younger than 36, did not ask about support or opposition to abortion, and specifically excluded the economy, terrorism, health care, and immigration as optional answers. Abortion tied equal pay, gun rights, and “other,” and came behind economic inequality and student loan debt with 21% each.

It did find that 60% named either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders as their favored presidential candidates, though 47% said they did not find any of the 2016 contenders inspiring.

Notably, the poll also found that 53% of millennial women do not consider themselves to be feminists—34% because they disagree with the goals associated with modern feminism, 49% because they simply disliked the label, and 17% not giving a reason.


This relative lack of passion for the pro-abortion cause is consistent with polling of women in general. The 2016 edition of Marist’s annual abortion survey found that 82% of women oppose elective abortion past the first trimester of pregnancy and 69% oppose taxpayer funding of abortion. Women also believe abortion has a net harmful effect on women by 56% to 31%. In 2014, Gallup found men and women’s abortion views virtually indistinguishable—57-58% wanted it generally illegal and 38-41% generally legal. Past abortion polling has also found no consistent gender gap on the subject.

This survey’s implication that even pro-choice millennial women don’t consider it their top priority is also reinforced by past polling that indicates the issue is more likely to be a deal-breaker for pro-life voters than it is for pro-choicers.

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