In January 2020, Dan Jones & Associates conducted a phone survey on behalf of Planned Parenthood Association of Utah, Alliance for a Better Utah, and the ACLU of Utah. The survey asked questions about sex education, birth control, and abortion. The target audience was the general population aged 18+ across the state of Utah. The results showed that Utahns overwhelming support access to sex education and reproductive health care and do not want more restrictions to abortion care.
The survey was in field from January 23rd through February 9th, 2020. Calls were administered to both landline and cell phone numbers, split 58% to 42%. With a final sample size of 793, the margin of error was +/-3.48%. To ensure adequate representation of the population of Utah, quotas were set by both county and age, proportional to the latest population estimates from the US Census Bureau.
65% of Utahns support medically-accurate sex education curriculum in Utah schools, with 51% favoring “Comprehensive sex education” and 14% favoring “Preventative sex education”.
Support for medically accurate sex education is driven by Utah’s unaffiliated and Democratic voters (75% and 93%, respectively), with 43% of Republicans in support.
By contrast, only 29% of Utahns support an abstinence-centered curriculum, with 21% favoring “Abstinence- based or Abstinence-‘Plus’ sex education” and 8% favoring “Abstinence-only sex education”.
An overwhelming majority of Utahns believe it is important to cover a wide variety of topics in sex education curriculum.
Including sexually transmitted diseases/infections (96%), HIV/AIDS (95%), healthy relationships (95%), consent (91%) and birth control (91%).
80% of Utahns believe it is important to provide state funding for reproductive health services including family planning and birth control for lower income individuals.
68% of Republicans and 96% of Democrats believe it is important to provide reproductive health services funding for lower income individuals.
A third (34%) of Utahns pay for their birth control entirely out-of-pocket.
Even accounting for insurance coverage, a plurality of Utahns are paying for their birth control out-of-pocket.
A majority of Utahns believe individuals under age 18 should have access to confidential health services without parental involvement.
57% of Utahns indicate individuals ought to have access to services such as STD testing, birth control, or pregnancy testing without parental involvement.
Roe v. Wade & Abortion
A majority (52%) of Utahns would vote to uphold Roe v Wade were it up for reconsideration.
Support for Roe v. Wade is highest among Democrats (88%) and unaffiliated voters (61%). By contrast, only 26% of Republicans would vote to uphold Roe.
Without being informed about Utah’s current restrictions on abortion, 30% of Utahns indicate they want Utah’s laws around abortion to be stricter, while 35% said they want the laws to be less strict. The remaining 35% would prefer the laws remain the same.
After being informed about Utah’s current restrictions on abortion (i.e. state-directed counseling, 72-hour waiting period, private and public insurance limitations), 80% of Utahns said the state does not need additional restrictions on abortion.
Of the 30% of Utahns who initially indicated they want stricter laws, about half (47%) changed their mind and said they do not wish for additional restrictions after hearing the list of current restrictions in place.
Among respondents who described themselves as “Conservative” and “Somewhat conservative,” 44% and 49%, respectively, changed their minds and declined to support additional restrictions after learning about the current abortion restrictions in place in Utah.
Utahns cite a wide variety of concerns if Roe v. Wade was repealed and abortion laws became stricter in Utah.
Other common concerns are a negative life outcome for children of mothers who did not want to carry to term (18%), increase in maternal mortality (16%), and more children ending up in state custody (15%).
The number one concern is a potential rise in unsafe, self-induced abortions, with 25% of Utahns mentioning that issue.
A two-thirds majority (65%) of Utahns oppose a law that would require health care providers to read a message written by lawmakers, who lack medical training, before an abortion procedure.