DALLAS — More than half of Texans do not support the state’s recently passed abortion law, which effectively bans abortions after six weeks of pregnancy and is the most restrictive in the nation, according to a new Spectrum News/Ipsos poll. 

What You Need To Know

  • 55% of Texans surveyed oppose the new abortion law that went into effect Sept. 1

  • A new Spectrum News/Ipsos poll shows only 1 in 3 Texans supports the law’s provision allowing private citizens to sue those who help a woman get an abortion

  • Reaction to the abortion law, like many laws and mandates passed this year in Texas, has deep partisan divides

The Texas law, known as Senate Bill 8, or SB8, went into effect on Sept. 1 this year and was immediately challenged in the courts. The U.S. Supreme Court took up a case in early November in which Texas abortion providers and the U.S. Dept. of Justice were suing the state to try to put a stop to the law.

The court has not ruled on that case yet, but on Dec. 1, the nine U.S. Supreme Court justices will consider a challenge against a Mississippi abortion law that ultimately could decide whether Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that declared women have a constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy, is upheld or reversed.

The Spectrum News/Ipsos poll showed that 27%, or nearly one in four Texans, think the U.S. Supreme Court should overturn Roe v. Wade. When asked if the highest court in the nation should rule to ban abortions, 44% in the polls aid no, but a surprising 27% said they did not know. 

The Texas law prohibits abortions in the state after the first sign of fetal cardiac activity, which is usually in the sixth week of pregnancy when most women don’t realize they are pregnant. The law makes medical exceptions to the ban only in the cases when the woman's life is in danger. 

When asked if how much they supported or opposed the new law, 55% of Texans surveyed said they either strongly opposed or somewhat opposed the law, the Spectrum News/Ipsos poll released Wednesday said. Forty-two percent of those surveyed said they either strongly supported or somewhat supported the new law.

The poll was conducted from Nov. 16 to 26 with around 2,000 interviews from a representative sample of Texas' population. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.8 percentage points. 

Texas voters were asked about their attitudes towards various laws and mandates that went into effect recently in the state, including the abortion law. 

The law’s controversial mechanism of enforcement allows private citizens to sue anyone who aids or abets a woman to obtain an abortion after six weeks. A successful lawsuit could award the plaintiff at least $10,000. 

When asked if they supported this provision in the law, only one in three Texans said they did, while nearly two-thirds were against it, the poll showed.

Like other controversial laws and state mandates that passed this year either during the 87th Texas Legislature or by Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order, Texans’ reaction to the abortion law was driven by deep partisan divides. 

On the abortion ban, 79% of registered voters who identify as Republicans said they supported Texas’ new abortion law, while 14% of Democrats and 31% of independents said they did. 

Democrats in the survey overwhelmingly opposed the abortion law, with 85% saying they were against it, compared to 21% of Republicans against the law and 65% of Independent voters in Texas, the poll said. 

Democrats and independents were the driving force behind the two-thirds of Texans surveyed who said they were against the method of enforcing the abortion law. Ninety percent of those surveyed who identified as Democrats were against the enforcement mechanism, compared to 36% of Republicans and 75% Independents. 

Of the 34% of Texans surveyed who supported the provision allowing private citizens to sue those who helped women get abortions, only 10% of those who identified as Democrats in the poll said they did, while 64% of Republicans and 20% of independents supported it.