New poll shows a majority support for abortion rights bill in South Dakota

Support for a 2024 ballot amendment that would enshrine abortion rights in the South Dakota Constitution is growing, reflected by a nearly 20-point margin between residents who say they are for the measure and those who oppose it, according to a poll co-sponsored by South Dakota News Watch. Reporter Stu Whitney has more:

The statewide survey showed that 53% of respondents support Constitutional Amendment G, which if passed would reverse a state abortion ban enacted when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. The measure is opposed by 35% of those polled, with 11% undecided.

The results represent a major shift from a News Watch poll conducted in November 2023, when 46% of respondents said they were for the measure and 44% were against it. Perhaps most notable is the fact that 46% of Republicans polled in the most recent survey said they support codifying legal abortion in South Dakota, with 41% opposed and 14% undecided.

The numbers come from a scientific poll of 500 registered voters co-sponsored by South Dakota News Watch and the Chiesman Center for Democracy at the University of South Dakota. The fact that 11% of respondents are still undecided could be a sign that voters have questions about specific impacts of the proposal, said Julia Hellwege, an associate political science professor at USD.