Most Americans in a new poll disapprove of Texas' abortion law ahead of the first lawsuits filed to challenge it.
A Monmouth University poll released Monday found majorities of respondents disagree with the Supreme Court's decision to allow the law to take effect and with key provisions of the law. The law, called Senate Bill 8, bans abortions after as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, which is before many women know they are pregnant. The law makes no exceptions for cases of rape or incest.
The law is not enforced by the government. Instead, it allows private citizens to file lawsuits against abortion providers or anyone who helps a woman get an abortion outside that time limit. Those who file lawsuits and win are eligible to receive $10,000.
The poll, which was conducted Sept. 9-13, was released the same day that two lawsuits were filed against a Texas doctor who said he performed an abortion in violation of the new law. The suits are believed to be the first filed under the new law and seek to challenge its legality.
The poll included 802 adults and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
The Monmouth University poll found that 54% of respondents disagree with the U.S. Supreme Court's Sept. 1 vote to allow the law to take effect while it was facing challenges in lower courts. Meanwhile, 39% said they agree with decision, and 6% said they don't know.
Opinions on the decision largely broke down along party lines. Seventy-three percent of Democrats surveyed said they disagree with the decision while 31% of Republicans said the same. An additional 22% of Democrats said they agree with the decision, while 62% of Republicans said the same.
The poll found stronger majorities disapprove of how the law is enforced.
Seventy percent said they disapprove of "having private citizens use lawsuits to enforce this law instead of having government prosecutors handle these cases," while 22% said they approve. Eighty-one percent said they disapprove of "giving $10,000 to private citizens who successfully file abortion lawsuits," while 14% approve.
Overall, the poll found a majority of respondents think abortion should be legal, including 33% who said it should be "always legal" and 29% who said it should be legal with "some limitations." An additional 24% said it should be "illegal with exceptions," and 11% said it should be "always illegal."