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Nearly 8 In 10 Texas Voters Support Legal Abortion In Cases Of Rape Or Incest, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; 63% Of Texans Say Suing Schools Over Mask Mandates Is A Bad Idea

Weeks after Texas enacted one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country that makes no exceptions for cases of rape or incest, registered voters say 77 - 16 percent that abortion should be legal when a pregnancy is caused by rape or incest, according to a Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pea-ack) University Texas poll released today.

That view is shared across party lines. Democrats say 92 - 5 percent, independents say 80 - 14 percent, and Republicans say 66 - 29 percent that abortion should be legal when a pregnancy is caused by rape or incest.

More than 7 in 10 voters (72 - 21 percent) say it's a bad idea to enforce the new abortion law by allowing private citizens to sue anyone they suspect may have helped an abortion take place after a fetal heartbeat is detectable.

On the issue of making abortion illegal after a fetal heartbeat is detectable, which is usually around six weeks of pregnancy, voters are divided. Forty-five percent of Texas voters say abortion should be illegal after a fetal heartbeat is detectable, 43 percent say it should be legal at that point, and 12 percent did not offer an opinion.

"The state imposes an abortion law, and the citizens of Texas find parts of it grossly unacceptable. While split on what should be the legal time frame for aborting a pregnancy, when rape or incest is involved, they side with the mother and say no one has the right to unilaterally, legally punish folks who exercise the right to choose," said Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Tim Malloy.

Voters say 60 - 31 percent that they agree with the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that established a woman's right to an abortion.

Slightly more than half of Texas voters (51 percent) say abortion should be legal in all cases (17 percent) or in most cases (34 percent), while roughly 4 in 10 voters (43 percent) say abortion should be illegal in most cases (32 percent) or illegal in all cases (11 percent).

More than 4 in 10 voters in the state (45 percent) say it is too difficult for a woman to get an abortion in Texas, while 32 percent say it's too easy.


Another law enacted in Texas at the start of September allows people to carry handguns without a license or without having to go through training.

Roughly two-thirds (67 percent) of voters, including 58 percent of gun owners, say allowing anyone 21 years of age or older to carry handguns without a license or training makes Texas less safe, while 26 percent say it makes Texas safer.

Half of voters (50 percent) say it's too easy to carry a handgun in Texas, while 44 percent say it's about right, and 4 percent say it's too difficult.

"Open carry weapons in the hands of gun novices is a formula for big trouble, say voters in a state concerned that lax gun laws could turn back the clock to the gunslinging wild west," added Malloy.


The following questions regarding COVID-19 include the views of adults in Texas, not just registered voters.

Adults in Texas think 47 - 38 percent that Governor Abbott is hurting rather than helping efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Texas, with 15 percent not offering an opinion.

More than 6 in 10 Texans (64 - 26 percent) think the recent rise in COVID-19 deaths in Texas was preventable.


A majority of Texans (63 - 29 percent) think it's a bad idea that Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing school districts that are requiring masks for students.

There are divisions along party lines. Democrats say 92 - 7 percent and independents say 65 - 27 percent that it's a bad idea, while Republicans say 52 - 42 percent that it's a good idea.

A majority of Texans say 60 - 35 percent that they support requiring students, teachers, and staff to wear masks in schools.

"'Drop the lawsuits against the school districts and mask up those students,' say Texans, who join a chorus of Americans who believe protecting their kids is paramount and letting their school administrators follow the science is the right thing to do," added Malloy.

About two-thirds of Texans (64 percent) think local officials should be able to require masks in indoor public spaces if they believe it's necessary, while 31 percent do not.

More than half of Texans (53 - 41 percent) support requiring everyone to wear masks while in indoor public spaces.

A majority of Texans (60 percent) say they consider the issue of wearing masks to be primarily about public health, while 33 percent say they consider the issue of wearing masks to be about personal freedom.


Texans support, 57 - 36 percent, requiring healthcare workers to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

Texans support, 54 - 40 percent, requiring teachers to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

Texans are split on businesses requiring their employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, as 45 percent support it while 47 percent oppose it.

Seventy percent of Texans say they either received a COVID-19 vaccine or plan to get one, while 23 percent say they do not plan to get one.

1,020 Texas adults were surveyed from September 24th - 27th, including 863 Texas registered voters. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points for adults and +/- 3.3 percentage points for registered voters.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Doug Schwartz, Ph.D. since 1994, conducts independent, non-partisan national and state polls on politics and issues. Surveys adhere to industry best practices and are based on random samples of adults using random digit dialing with live interviewers calling landlines and cell phones.

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