Texas Trends Survey 2021 - Abortion and Transgender Athlete Policies

The Hobby School of Public Affairs at the University of Houston and the Executive Master of Public Administration Program in the Barbara Jordan – Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University are conducting a five-year survey project to study Texas’s changing population, with emphasis on the state’s Black, Latino and Asian residents. In addition to a representative sample of all Texans, the inaugural survey includes an oversample of the former two groups in the first report to allow for an objective and statistically valid report of their diverse opinions and experiences.

The first survey of this five-year project focused on opinions about recently passed legislation during the 2021 regular and special sessions of the Texas Legislature and preferences related to electric vehicles and criminal justice issues. The survey was fielded between October 4 and October 21, 2021 in English and Spanish, with 2,067 YouGov respondents 18 years of age and older, resulting in a confidence interval of +/-2.2. The respondents were matched to a sampling frame on gender, age, race/ethnicity, and education and are representative of the Texas adult population.

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Texas adults were queried about under what conditions abortion should be legal at several stages of pregnancy: immediately after six weeks (the current Texas law before the U.S. Supreme Court), after 15 weeks (the Mississippi law before the U.S. Supreme Court), and after 20 weeks (the Texas law prior to Sept. 2021). Senate Bill 8 (SB 8), the 2021 Texas abortion law, provides no exceptions for either rape or incest, and only permits abortion after six weeks if the mother’s life is at risk. More than two-thirds (69%) of Texans hold the position that the current Texas abortion legislation is too restrictive, with almost half (46%) believing abortion should be legal in most or all cases immediately after six weeks, and close to one fourth (23%) thinking that abortion should be allowed after six weeks only in the event of rape or incest or risk to the mother’s life.

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