This new polling affirms the policy changes needed for Rhode Island patients to access the abortion care they need and deserve.
On Sunday, the Providence Journal released key highlights of new polling data, proving that a majority of Rhode Island voters support the policy changes needed for abortion to be more accessible in the Ocean State. With a 38-point margin, the Providence Journal reports that 66% say they support the Equality in Abortion Coverage Act (EACA). This critical policy would provide coverage for abortion in the state’s Medicaid program and remove bans on abortion coverage for state employees. The percentage of voters who strongly support the EACA (50%) is more than double that of voters in strong opposition (19%).
This polling sends a clear message that the majority of Rhode Island voters believe that medical decisions should be private and made between a patient and their health care provider — not by politicians. In this post-Roe reality, with abortion bans currently in 16 states across the nation, patients seeking abortion care must have equitable access to the care they need and deserve, free from barriers, judgment, and stigma.
70% of Rhode Island voters believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases.
A majority of voters across gender, race, and age lines believe abortion should be legal in most cases, as do 62% of Independents and 57% of Catholics.
66% of Rhode Island voters support the Equality in Abortion Coverage Act (EACA). Support for the EACA leads with a 38-point margin (66% support / 28% oppose / 5% undecided), with half (50%) of respondents strongly supporting the legislation after an initial description. The EACA garners broad support across demographics, including nearly two-thirds of Independents (62% support / 32% oppose).
72% agree that Rhode Islanders with health insurance through Medicaid or the state should receive the same coverage for abortion services as those insured by private health insurers.
The individual components of the EACA also generate strong support. Almost 70% of voters support providing coverage for abortion in the state’s Medicaid program (69% support / 27% oppose) and removing bans on abortion coverage for state employees (69% support / 26% oppose).
Opinions of the EACA are firm in support and not easily moved by opposing messages. After voters hear messages against the EACA, they continue to support it by a 34-point margin (65% support / 31% oppose / 4% undecided), with strong support (51%) more than doubling strong opposition (22%).
Statement from Amanda Skinner, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southern New England:
“The data are clear — Rhode Islanders trust women – our family members, our neighbors, our friends – to make the decisions that are best for them without political interference. They believe that people in their communities deserve privacy in their medical decisions, including abortion, and the resources to make those decisions. Politicians should not be able to deny coverage for health care services they object to. Period.” “Policies like the Equality in Abortion Coverage Act will create more opportunity for all Rhode Islanders to determine their own lives and futures, regardless of their income. It’s time for Rhode Island to ensure that patients can access safe, legal abortion without financial barriers.”
These results demonstrate Rhode Island voters want to see more state-level protections to advance reproductive rights and build on the progress made after codifying a person’s right to abortion in the Reproductive Privacy Act in 2019. Because the legal right to abortion is meaningless without access, the need for the EACA is even more critical. In comparison, 16 other states, including Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Maine, cover abortion through Medicaid. Planned Parenthood of Southern New England is a proud member of the Rhode Island Coalition for Reproductive Freedom which has been advocating with thousands of supporters across the Ocean State to remove barriers to care and to ensure that access to abortion is equitable for all.
These findings are based on the results of a combined telephone and text-to-web survey conducted by Impact Research from August 5-11, 2022, among N=603 registered voters in Rhode Island. Seventy-nine percent of all interviews were conducted on cell phones. The results are subject to a margin of error of ±4.0 percentage points. This polling was supported and funded by Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood of Southern New England.
Planned Parenthood of Southern New England (PPSNE) is one of the region’s largest providers of sexual and reproductive health care services. Since 1923, PPSNE has evolved into an organization with 15 health centers in Connecticut and Rhode Island, delivering care to 65,000 patients annually. For nearly 100 years, PPSNE health centers have provided a broad range of services, sexual health education, information, and health counseling. PPSNE’s works towards fulfilling the vision of a just society where sexual and reproductive rights are basic human rights, where health care is equitable and accessible to all, and where each person lives their healthiest life.