A new poll has found that, when informed about details of the law, most adults support the Texas Heartbeat Act. The information is particularly important, as the Supreme Court hears oral arguments regarding the law today.
The Houston Chronicle reported that the poll, commissioned by the Hobby School of Public Affairs at the University of Houston and the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University, showed very drastic changes when respondents learned the specifics of the Texas law.
When respondents were specifically told that the Texas law involves abortion after a preborn child’s heartbeat can be detected, with the only exception being to save the mother’s life, the numbers showed significant support for the law: 55% of respondents said they supported the Texas Heartbeat Act, while 45% opposed it. Most demographics continued to show strong support for the law, including among whites (55%), Latinos (58%), men (59%), women (52%), Baby Boomers (65%), Gen X (55%), Independents (55%), and Republicans (74%). Half of Gen Z respondents supported the Texas Heartbeat Act, at an even 50%.
Before learning the specifics of the Heartbeat Act, however, 69% of respondents had originally claimed the Texas law was too restrictive, and 46% supported legal abortion in most or all cases immediately after six weeks, with 23% saying it should only be legal in cases of rape, incest, or when the mother’s life is at risk.
2,067 people were interviewed for the poll in October, with a potential margin of error of plus or minus 2.2.
Mark Jones, a political science professor at Rice University and one of the researchers for the poll, told the Houston Chronicle that this poll shows that media outrage over the Texas Heartbeat Act is not accurate.
“What we’re seeing is that it’s probably not as damaging an issue for Republicans as it’s sometimes portrayed,” he said. “There’s a group of Texans that wants to see an exception for rape and incest, but if they can’t get that, they still are going to support the legislation.”
The Supreme Court kept the Texas Heartbeat Act in place while it hears Whole Woman’s Health et al. v. Jackson et al., rejecting a request from the Biden administration to block the Heartbeat Act right away. This ruling was celebrated by Live Action president and founder Lila Rose in a statement to the Daily Caller News Foundation. “The Supreme Court’s decision to allow the law to stay in effect until an expedited hearing will be held on November 1 is a victory for life,” she said. “I am optimistic that the Court will uphold this life saving law, and eliminate the horror of Roe from our public life once and for all after they hear Dobbs v. Jackson on December 1.”
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