Abortion Bans Are Already Affecting Young Women’s Personal and Professional Plans

Abortion rights protesters at the Tucson Federal Courthouse on July 4, 2022. (Sandy Huffaker / AFP via Getty Images)

A significant portion of young women are already making plans about where they are willing to live and work based on whether abortion is protected or banned in states, according to new Ms. magazine and Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF) polling by Lake Research Partners across the nine battleground states of Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

  • Over half (53 percent) have had their future plans impacted in some way: 44 percent have either considered moving or are making plans to move to a state where abortion is protected; 10 percent already have declined a job in a state where abortions are banned.

Young women voters of all political leanings—and the people close to them—are taking actions to control their reproductive lives, regardless of where they live, such as purchasing or obtaining long-acting birth control, the morning after pill and abortion pills. Taking these actions in response to the overturning of Roe v. Wade crosses party lines for young women.

  • A third of young women Republicans have procured long-acting birth control (33 percent), and a quarter (25 percent) have purchased the morning-after pill.
  • Three quarters (75 percent) of young women Democrats have taken some sort of action.
  • Shockingly, 10 percent say they or someone close to them, or their partner or the partner of someone close to them, already have received sterilization services in response to the Court’s decision.

Abortion and Equal Rights Are Top Drivers of Young Women’s Vote in Battleground States

Among young women voters (under the age of 30) in the battleground states, abortion and women’s rights are the most important and highly motivating issues in determining their vote, according to the Ms. poll.

“Despite constant reports in the media on inflation and rising prices as the top issues in this election, abortion and women’s rights are actually the most important for young women as they head to the ballot box,” said Katherine Spillar, executive editor of Ms.

Among women voters of all ages in the battleground states, abortion and women’s rights are tied with inflation and rising prices in determining their votes.

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U.S. democracy is at a dangerous inflection point—from the demise of abortion rights, to a lack of pay equity and parental leave, to skyrocketing maternal mortality, and attacks on trans health. Left unchecked, these crises will lead to wider gaps in political participation and representation. For 50 years, Ms. has been forging feminist journalism—reporting, rebelling and truth-telling from the front-lines, championing the Equal Rights Amendment, and centering the stories of those most impacted. With all that’s at stake for equality, we are redoubling our commitment for the next 50 years. In turn, we need your help, Support Ms. today with a donation—any amount that is meaningful to you. For as little as $5 each month, you’ll receive the print magazine along with our e-newsletters, action alerts, and invitations to Ms. Studios events and podcasts. We are grateful for your loyalty and ferocity.


Roxanne Szal (or Roxy) is the managing digital editor at Ms. and a producer on the Ms. podcast On the Issues With Michele Goodwin. She is also a mentor editor for The OpEd Project. Before becoming a journalist, she was a Texas public school English teacher. She is based in Austin, Texas. Find her on Twitter @roxyszal.