As President-elect Donald Trump sets to take office on Jan. 20, the issue of female reproductive health has retaken the spotlight. But while both Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence openly oppose abortion, the majority of Americans do not.
According to a Pew Research Center poll conducted Nov. 30 through Dec. 5, 69 percent of Americans oppose overturning the 1973 landmark Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade. Furthermore, only 28 percent of respondents support overturning the ruling -- less than 3 in 10 Americans.
The percentage of those supporting Roe v. Wade’s elimination has dropped steadily since 1992. When Pew conducted the survey in August 1992, 34 percent of respondents supported the overturn. In January 2003, that number dropped to 31 percent, and dropped again to 29 percent in January 2013.
"Let me be clear: People who know me well know I'm pro-life, and I don't apologize for it," Pence told the Values Voters Summit in Washington, D.C., in September, notes Mother Jones. "I want to live to see the day that we put the sanctity of life back at the center of American law, and we send Roe v. Wade to the ash heap of history, where it belongs."
And states like Texas are already actively pursuing policies opposed to safe and available abortions, reports The Texas Tribune.
In December, the state stripped Planned Parenthood (the nation’s largest abortion provider) of its Medicaid funding. Texas Health and Human Services Inspector General Stuart Bowen cited the organization for “deviating from accepted standards” in fetal tissue sample sales -- a claim that has been proven false.
But Trump has defended such state actions, noting that women seeking abortions could just travel out of state.
“Trump’s statement that women could go to another state — well, that’s incredibly difficult for many abortion patients, because a typical first trimester abortion costs about $500, and women typically pay out of pocket,” said Elizabeth Nash, senior state issues manager for the Guttmacher Institute, notes The Washington Post. “And if you’re traveling a long distance, you’re talking about taking multiple days off of work, and many women are not working in jobs where they get paid time off.”