The Pro-Life Support & Nuanced Abortion Views of Millennials and Gen Z
Limits on Abortion & Taxpayer Funding Supported; Reversing Roe Acceptable;
Voting on Abortion Policy Embraced
January 2021

Ahead of a coming national discussion on taxpayer funded abortion in the Biden administration, Students for Life of America’s Institute for Pro-Life Advancement has released a national poll commissioned in January of 2021 measuring how the newest voters, Millennials and Gen Z (ages 18-34), view some of the cutting-edge policy discussions most timely in the debate over abortion. This demographic is widely reported as being almost entirely in support of abortion as it is allowed through Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton – through all 9 months, for any reason whatsoever, and sometimes with taxpayer funding. As an organization dedicated to mobilizing Millennials and Gen Z, we’ve been frustrated by the sweeping statements made about our views on the human rights issue of the day. And as the age range most targeted for abortion, the views of Millennials an Gen Z on an industry that has ended the lives of one-quarter of their generation are extremely relevant.

 

In our wide-ranging national poll that looked at a number of policy initiatives, Millennials and Gen Z voters expressed a nuanced view of abortion in which taxpayer funding was not popular, limits on abortion supported and reversing Roe v. Wade acceptable.

 

Methodology: 

This online quantitative research was conducted between January 7 – 11, 2021 among 800 registered voters age 18 – 34. Respondents self-identified themselves as 30% Republican, 36% Democrat, and 34% Independent. Margin of error: ± 3.46%

 

Top Findings Include:

 

Almost 7 out of 10 Millennials and Gen Z want to VOTE on abortion-related policy. 

 

More than 7 out of 10 expressed support for limits on abortion. 

 

Almost 5 in 10 do not support forcing all Americans, regardless of their beliefs, to pay for abortions. Fewer supported that coercion. 

 

Looking at the big picture of Supreme Court-legalized abortion, almost 6 out of 10 oppose Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton when they learn they allows for abortion through all 9 months.

 

Educating this generation on Roe pays off. The number of respondents opposing Roe and Doe nearly doubled after learning more about what the law allows.

 

In fact, MORE Millennials and Gen Z directly supported reversing Roe and sending abortion policy to the states and voters than opposed it. 

 

Less than 2 out of 10 want unlimited abortion through all 9 months, which Roe allows. Heartbeat bills have support. Almost HALF supported banning abortion after a heartbeat detected (usually at 3 weeks) – 47% to 38%. 6 out of 10 believe doctors should check for a heartbeat before performing or offering an abortion.

 

Preventing abusive people and partners from anonymously getting Chemical Abortion Pills that they slip to pregnant mothers without their consent got great agreement. By a margin of 55% to 23%, Millennials and Gen Z supported in-person purchase (instead of on-line sales) to stop abusers. 

 

There is good news for politicians protecting women from deadly on-line/phone app distribution of Chemical Abortion Pills. More than half said they would vote for a legislator who supported in-person doctor visits to receive Chemical Abortion Pills. (52% to 25%).

 

The Hyde Amendment has Gen Z and Millennial Support. By a margin off 45% to 38%, Millennials and Gen Z believe that taxpayer funding for abortion should be limited to Rape, Incest and when the Mother’s Life is in danger.

 

These taxpayers do not want their money used to pay for abortions, whether in the US (48%) or worldwide (53%). Those outnumber those who favor taxpayers footing the bill for all abortion.

 

Overview:

 

Much of the debate over abortion policy involves politicians and abortion apologists making a case for what this generation wants or needs when it comes to abortion. As a national organization serving more than 1,250 groups in all 50 states, SFLA wanted to dig deeper into the views of Millennials and Generation Z who are directly targeted for abortion and whose views are routinely described as all in for abortion as Roe allows – through all 9 months, for any reason at all and sometimes with taxpayer funding. 

 

But is that what the vast majority really want? A closer look reveals a generation much more nuanced than Twitter and Planned Parenthood might lead Americans to believe, who even support many pro-life positions. 

 

On Politics: Millennials and Gen Z
Open to New Ways of Engaging on Abortion:  

 

1. Almost 7 out of 10 Millennials and Gen Z want to VOTE on abortion-related policy.

 

2. More than 7 out of 10 expressed support for limits on abortion. 

 

3. More than 4 in 10 supported reversing Roe to allow the issue to return to the states where voters could engage. 

 

4. In fact, MORE supported reversing Roe than opposed it. (44% to 36%)

 

5. Less than 2 out of 10  want unlimited abortion through all 9 months. (19%)

 

6. Heartbeat legislation has support. Almost HALF supported banning abortion after a heartbeat detected (usually at 3 weeks) – 47% to 38%.

 

7. 6 out of 10 believe doctors should check for a heartbeat before performing or offering abortion.

 

Far from seeing abortion policy as untouchable, locked from public discourse by a 50-year-old Supreme Court ruling made by 7 men, Millennials and Gen Z expressed an interest in direct engagement on the issue. Less than 2 out of 10 expressed support for the kind of abortion extremism that Roe allows today in the United States – available through all 9 months, for any reason at all and sometimes with taxpayer funding. 

 

Their more nuanced abortion views broke out many exceptions to the heavy-handed position that Planned Parenthood and the abortion lobby pursues. 

Consider this question:
Which of the following statements describes your own position on the issue of abortion? The answers varied:

 

19% - Abortion should be allowed at any time during a woman’s pregnancy and for any reason

19% - Abortion should be legal only in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother 

15% - Abortion should be legal for any reason, but not after five months of pregnancy when the fetus is viable and can feel pain 

15% - Abortion should be prohibited in all circumstances 

14% - Abortion should be legal for any reason, but not after the first three months of pregnancy

8% - Abortion should be legal only to save the life of the mother

9% - Unsure/Depends 

2% - Refuse

 

Far from seeing abortion as an absolute, this generation considered a number of options and even policy that has been excoriated by the mainstream media. 

 

One example is Heartbeat Legislation that as a general rule works to limit abortion after a baby’s heartbeat is detected. This type of legislation has been so controversial that all of Hollywood attempted to shut down the state of Georgia, where many film and TV productions take place, for daring to consider it (although they were very silent on the forced abortions and genocide of the Chinese government against the Uighurs in a region in which Hollywood also loved to use for their productions or other nation’s with known track records of human rights violations). 

 

Students for Life took on the subject directly in a series of questions, which included asking Millennials to consider this important reality: “Whether on a battlefield or in an emergency room, the detection of a human heartbeat gives medical professionals confirmation of life to provide critical care. The human fetal heart begins to beat 21 days after conception, at 3 weeks gestation. Knowing this do you support or oppose abortion being banned after a heartbeat is detected? 

 

Millennials and Gen Z by 47% to 38% supported such a ban, and by a larger margin, 60% to 25%, supported requiring doctors to check for a heartbeat before offering to commit an abortion. 

 

On their Pocketbook: Millennials and Gen Z don’t want to pay for abortion at home or abroad.

8. The Hyde Amendment has Gen Z and Millennial support. (45% to 38% believe that taxpayer funding for abortion should be limited to Rape, Incest and when the Mother’s Life is in danger.) 

 

9. Almost 5 in 10 do not support forcing all Americans, regardless of their beliefs, to pay for abortions. (36% were okay with it, fewer than many expect.) 

 

10. More than 5 in 10 did not want to Americans to be forced to pay for abortions worldwide. 

 

11. Said another way, these taxpayers do not want their money used to pay for abortions, whether in the US (48%) or worldwide (53%).

 

About half of Millennials and Gen Z did not want to mix their tax monies with abortion and did not want to force people to pay for abortion against their personal convictions. More than half did not want to pay for abortions worldwide, which is significant as the Biden Administration is committed to ending the Mexico City Policy developed by President Ronald Reagan to prevent scarce taxpayer resources set aside for healthcare around the world from being used to promote or pay for abortions. While the abortion lobby calls this the “Global Gag Rule,” because they can’t promote or pay for abortion, they are free to do so without taxpayer funds, which should be allocated for life-affirming care. 

 

The abortion lobby ran a high-profile campaign for the Biden-Harris Administration, and since the election has been extremely vocal about what to see some return on their investment. 

 

“The budget is a key opportunity to indicate how this administration would prioritize these programs that have been woefully underfunded for a long time,” said Jacqueline Ayers, vice president of government relations and public policy at Planned Parenthood, in Newsweek recently.  

 

The self-interest of abortion vendors isn’t reason enough for more abortion funding, though an all-out war over the money has been promised by abortion-loving politicians. 

 

As SFLA President Kristan Hawkins wrote at the Washington Times: “Meanwhile on Capitol Hill, ‘Democrats promise Biden-era abortion showdown over Hyde Amendment,’ which currently limits taxpayer funding of U.S. abortions to those from rape, incest or when the mother’s life is in danger. Biden supported the Hyde Amendment for decades, as did most politicians. Perhaps because they could read polls.   

 

As journalist William Saletan reports, ‘In every poll, a plurality of Americans opposes public funding of abortions. In every poll but one, that plurality is a majority.’ It’s clear more forced abortion funding is unlikely to become popular after Inauguration Day.”

 

That trend continues, as even Millennials and Gen Z are not inclined to personally pay for all abortions.

 

On Policy: Roe v. Wade does not have Unquestioned Support.

 

12.  When they learn about what Roe v. Wade actually does, Millennial and Gen Z oppose it. Looking at the big picture, 57% to 30% oppose Roe when they learn it allows for abortion through all 9 months. This is an increase of 6 percent, as a 2019 SFLA poll found that 51% supported reversing Roe when they learned about its extremism.

 

13. Reasons for abortion matter for this demographic. For example, more than three-in-five (62%) oppose sex-selected abortion.

 

14. Almost half (46%), opposed using Roe to justify taxpayer funding of abortion or to offset the expenses of abortion vendors.

 

15. Education Counts: The number of respondents opposing Roe and Doe nearly doubled after learning more about what the law allows (22% to 42%) 

 

16. After learning more about Roe, those who said they supported it dropped from 41 % to 38 %.

 

17. More than 4 in 10 supported overturning Roe to allow the issue to return to the states where voters could engage. 

 

18. More supported overturning Roe than opposed it. (44% to 36%)

 

19. Millennials and Gen Z were slightly less likely to vote for candidate who supported using tax dollars to pay for U.S. abortions, for any reason at all. 

 

Any other business set up to end the lives of people based on their sex or prejudices about their mental or physical abilities and that disproportionally ended the lives of minority children would be under criminal investigation, stripped of taxpayer funding and treated as a national shame … unless that business is abortion. Rather than talking about the racist genesis of the abortion industry or the racist realities of their business today (according to employees), a predatory abortion conglomerate hides behind one thing … the law. 

 

Killing lives, even viable babies, before they take their first breath is “acceptable” because Roe says so. But Roe is deeply flawed and destined to collapse, something that legal experts (both pro-life and pro-abortion) have been saying since 1973, when Roe v. Wade entered the legal landscape, as SFLA President Kristan Hawkins wrote in the Washington Times

 

She observed: “A 1973 Yale Law School article, titled ‘The Wages of Crying Wolf: A Comment on Roe v. Wade, has cutting things to say about the abortion case from abortion supporter and legal luminary John Hart Ely. Mocking the Supreme Court’s choice for viability as a ‘magic moment’ that offers certain rights without explaining their thinking, Mr. Ely goes on to write that in fact, ‘It has never been held or even asserted that the state interest needed to justify forcing a person to refrain from an activity, whether or not that activity is constitutionally protected, must implicate either the life or the constitutional rights of another person. Dogs are not ‘persons in the whole sense’ nor have they constitutional rights, but that does not mean that the state cannot prohibit killing them.’ 

 

Roe is bad because it is bad constitutional law,’ Mr. Ely observes, ‘or rather because it is not constitutional law and gives almost no sense of an obligation to try to be.’”

 

However, with so much riding on Roe to justify their deadly business, Planned Parenthood and company has invested significant energy in convincing the public that Roe is popular and cannot be touch, claiming that 77 percent of the American people oppose overturning Roe

 

That’s until they read the fine print of what Roe allows. 

 

BEFORE learning more in our SFLA survey about what Roe actually does, 41% said they supported it compared to 22% who opposed and 34% were not sure at all. That’s a far cry for the huge numbers the number one abortion vendor chain in the nation claims, and from a demographic usually believed to support them whole heartedly. 

 

On learning that Roe allows for abortion through all nine months, immediately there was a shift, with 57% saying they opposed Roe, compared to 30% that supported it. Looking further, 62% opposed sex selection abortions, 58% opposed abortions if the child is feared to be transgender; and 46% opposed Roe being used to justify taxpayer funding (slightly fewer favored that funding). 

 

Again, in severe contrast to Planned Parenthood’s claims of nearly 80% support for Roe, consider the response to this question: If the Supreme Court would reverse their Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions, the question of whether or not abortion should be permitted and in what circumstances would be determined by legislators and voter in each state. Do you support or oppose reversing Roe and Doe and bring the abortion decision back to the individual states? 

 

Importantly and powerfully, more Millennials and Gen Z supported reversing Roe and sending abortion as an issue back to the states (44% for reversing and 36% against with 18% undecided.) This is a direct and clear contradiction to the claims of abortion vendors who try to use the U.S. Constitution as a fig leaf covering their predatory business while never fully explaining what legal abortion really means.  

 

It’s important for the Pro-Life movement to educate voters on what support for Roe really means. The number of respondents opposing Roe and Doe nearly doubled after learning more about what the law allows (22% to 42%)

 

On Partisanship: This is not a one-party Demographic committed to a single agenda and their faith affiliations are varied.

 

20.  Less than half (46%) identified as Democrats, while 35% leaned Republican, and 12% were uncommitted to a party. 

 

21.   While a little more than half voted for Biden, Trump got the votes of 3 out of 10 with the rest going elsewhere. 

 

22.  Millennials and Gen Z had large margins in most question showing that they are still reachable on many issues. Undecided on almost all questions ranged from 10-20 percent. 

 

23.  The issues most on their minds were the Coronavirus and jobs, practical concerns affecting them economically and socially. 

 

24.  About 1 in 4 said they were unaffiliated with any faith. 

 

25.  Other faith identifications included: 29% Catholic; 15% Protestant; 12% Atheist/Agnostic; 10% other; 3% Jewish; 3% Muslim and 1% Mormon. 

Like many Americans at this time in our nation’s history, Millennials and Gen Z who occupy many entry level positions and are often in school (though not as much lately) said concerns about the economy and Coronavirus topped their list. While little more than half said President Joe Biden got their vote, former President Trump got the votes of 3 out 10, with a sizeable percentage of Other. Party affiliation did not dominate completely in any one direction, and neither did religion.  Many express a religious preference, but 1 in 4 said they were unaffiliated with any faith. 

 

On the whole, Millennials and Gen Z seem less connected, less committed and open to options. 

 

At Students for Life of America, this reality means an emphasis on relationships, education, opportunity for activism and engagement, and community. With fewer concrete connections, Millennials and Gen Z are a people in search of a community and with an activist mindset, interested in getting involved.

 

On Free Speech Under Attack:

 

26.  Millennials and Gen Z were pretty equally split on whether their own speech had been suppressed (41% YES, 42% NO).

 

27.   But more than 6 in 10 (66% to 20%) that schools should protect students’ free speech rights. 

 

28.  By a margin of 65% to 18%, Millennials and Gen Z supported protections for pro-life students’ free speech. In comparison, 67% to 18% supported protections for the free speech rights of LGBTQ students. 

 

In what almost is a Red State vs. Blue State reality, Millennials and Gen Z both recognized that there are issues with free speech in America, but not all said they were experiencing them. They were almost evenly split on whether they believed that they were not able to speak freely about controversial subjects at school, with 41 percent saying Yes, they felt that pressure to stay silent and 42 percent saying NO, they could speak. 

 

Breaking down the free speech rights of Americans based on issue or identification, Millennials and Gen Z were generally very supportive of people being able to share their point of view. One key question: Pro-life students often face threats of violence, actual violence, and suppression of their free speech rights on college campuses. Do you agree or disagree that colleges and universities be required to protect students’ free speech rights even if they are anti-abortion? The poll found that 65 percent agreed with 18 percent opposed. 

 

This finding should encourage pro-life students and give courage to administrators who often hear from the squeaky wheel of the dissatisfied minority on campuses who want to suppress those who do not share a pro-abortion viewpoint. Such support for student free speech should also be considered by a Biden Administration that may be tempted to do away with the executive order protecting free speech on campuses. Just because the former administration signed an executive order doesn’t make it a bad idea. And unlike abortion, which never appears in the U.S. Constitution, the First Amendment makes this both legal and necessary for our democracy. 

 

On Chemical Abortion, Education is key to building support
for life-saving policies. 

 

29. A physical exam is an important safeguard for women sold chemical abortion pills, now 40% of the abortion market. By a small margin, Millennials and Gen Z support requiring life-saving exams before a Chemical Abortion. (44% to 39%) 

 

30. Learning about the risks to future fertility if women don’t have their blood type checked for Rh Negative status did not change their viewpoint on requiring exams for Chemical Abortion. (38% were still okay with dropping the exam.) 

 

31. Learning that Chemical Abortions are more dangerous later in pregnancy, Millennials and Gen Z were slightly more likely to support an exam. (38% to 35%)

 

32. Learning that there can be complications to a Chemical Abortion if it didn’t fully complete moved Millennials and Gen Z the most. Almost half (45%) supported a follow-up exam after a Chemical Abortion, compared to 30% who opposed. 

 

33. Preventing abusive people and partners from anonymously getting Chemical Abortion Pills that they slip to pregnant mothers without their consent got the greatest agreement. By a margin of 55% to 23%, Millennials and Gen Z supported in-person purchase to stop abuse. 

 

34. Legislators backing Chemical Abortion Pill regulation got good news: by a margin of 52% to 25%, Millennials and Gen Z said they were more likely to vote for a legislator who supported Chemical Abortion Pill regulation after they learned more about it.

 

Now 40% of all abortion, Chemical Abortion Pills have been the sleeper cell of the life-ending abortion industry, quietly growing in strength and deadly outcomes. Chemical Abortions are more dangerous for women than surgical abortions, failing to end a pregnancy about 5 percent of the time, requiring surgical intervention to prevent deadly infection. Women are 4 times more likely to experience complications from Chemical Abortions than from surgical abortions. According to the FDA, “Cramping and vaginal bleeding are expected effects of the treatment regimen.  In some cases, very heavy vaginal bleeding will need to be stopped by a surgical procedure … Other common side effects of the treatment regimen include nausea, weakness, fever/chills, vomiting, headache, diarrhea, and dizziness in the first day or two after taking the two medicines.”

 

And that’s when the drugs are “working.” Women have died when taking Chemical Abortion Pills later in pregnancy or when experiencing an ectopic pregnancy (when the baby does not implant in the mother’s womb, but elsewhere in the body). 

 

For women’s own safety, a physical exam should take place before being sold deadly Chemical Abortion Pills to determine how far along the mother is, where the baby has implanted and what the mother’s blood type is. About 15 percent of the population has Rh Negative blood, and if a woman with Rh Negative blood does not receive a shot of Rhogam following any exchange of blood (through abortion, birth or miscarriage) she may never be able to carry a child again because of deadly antibodies that can form in her blood. In fact, abortion can ruin a woman’s chance at a family. And after a Chemical Abortion, a woman needs a follow up exam, to ensure that dead human remains and tissue do not remain in her womb causing infection, which can lead to death. 

 

Another danger of Chemical Abortion Pills comes from abusers, who slip the deadly drugs to women without their knowledge or consent. 

 

Uncaring about the realities of the life-ending drugs they sell, abortion vendors have been pushing for “No Test” abortions that skip pregnancy tests, blood tests, and an ultrasound to determine how far along in pregnancy a woman is and where the baby has implanted. That saves time and money for abortionist but puts women in harm’s way. During the COVID crisis, the abortion cartel went to court all across the country, pushing for the health and safety standards for the Chemical Abortion Pills to be dropped, so that the pills could be easily distributed on-line. 

 

Planned Parenthood is all in for Chemical Abortion Pills. During the Covid-19 crisis, Planned Parenthood announced that it would have the capacity to do “telehealth services” in all 50 states meaning that every phone can become an abortion vendor, capable of distributing Chemical Abortion Pills … if the FDA regulations fall without being replaced with high medical standards at the state level, and 96 percent of 18 to 29-year old’s have cell phones (and the other 4 percent can probably borrow one.) 

 

With all that in mind, Students for Life of America has been working over the last 3 years to raise awareness about the dangers of Chemical Abortion Pills, fighting to keep them off college campuses and against the abortion industry’s attack on health and safety standards set up to protect women. 

 

Our poll found that there is a lot of room for growth in educating Millennials and Gen Z about the dangers of Chemical Abortion Pills that are widely marketed as an easy option for ending preborn life. 

 

More Millennials and Gen Z than not supported maintaining the health and safety standards, with the largest margin (45% to 30%) supporting a follow up exam to prevent infection. But it was their concern about stopping abusers that caught their attention. More than half (55%) opposed on-line or phone app purchase of the drugs anonymously to stop abusers from getting their hands on them to slip to mothers without their knowledge or consent. And by a 52% to 25% margin, they said they supported legislators who support laws requiring in-person visits, after learning about the need for such examination. 

 

To hear more about women’s stories who have suffered Chemical Abortions and the facts on these deadly pills, go to ThisisChemicalAbortion.com

Poll released January 26, 2021

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