November poll: Only 29% of Vermonters support unrestricted abortion

December 12, 2019 – for immediate release. For more information contact Guy Page, editor of Vermont Water Cooler, at 802-505-0448, pagecommunicationsvt@gmail.com

Less than a third of Vermonters support unrestricted abortion through all nine months of pregnancy, according to a November, 2019 Vermont Water Cooler survey.

Proposal 5 approved in 2019 by the Vermont Legislature would amend the Vermont Constitution to say  “That an individual’s right to personal reproductive autonomy is central to the liberty and dignity to determine one’s own life course and shall not be denied or infringed unless justified by a compelling State interest achieved by the least restrictive means.” Prop 5 is broadly interpreted to provide constitutional support for unrestricted abortion for all ages and at all stages and conditions of pregnancy.

The process of amending Vermont’s Constitution is complex. Following the November, 2020 election, the proposal must be voted on again by the new 2021-22 Legislature and, if approved a second time, would then go to Vermonters in a statewide referendum in November, 2022.

The survey results include:

  • 29% of respondents would “preserve the absolute right to an abortion for all nine months of pregnancy.”
  • 19% believed “there should be no right to an abortion at any point during pregnancy.”
  • 52% favored preserving some rights, but stopped short of an absolute right – for example, they would limit abortions during third trimester, or past the point of fetal viability outside of the womb. 

The survey also found that only 49% of Vermonters were aware of this constitutional amendment, while a slim majority of 51% were unaware. Our general conclusion is that the Amendment (Prop 5) is out of touch with where Vermonters really stand on the issue of abortion, and that the Legislature is not doing a good job of communicating to the public what they are up to.

For more information, see November, 2019 Vermont Water Cooler poll results.

Vermont Water Cooler is your daily one-stop-shop for Vermont’s top news headlines from Vermont’s top news sources. The Vermont Water Cooler team developed this survey to help inform policy makers and others about what Vermonters really think about abortion rights. The poll was conducted by IVR phone call to landline telephones November 12-13, 2019. The survey population of 17,001 households was randomly selected from Vermont’s registered voter list and garnered 366 responses. Survey responses were then weighed for age and gender, using a ranking method to compensate for oversampling in either of these demographics.