A Pew Research poll found that Asian Americans have the highest percentage of adults who support legal abortion.
As the United States awaits a pivotal Supreme Court decision that may restrict or even completely overturn the right to legal abortion, data from May 2021 shows about 6 in 10 Americans support legal abortion.
That number is higher among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs), with data showing that 68% of Asian American adults believe abortion should be legal in “all or most” cases, compared to 57% of white adults, 58% of Hispanic adults and 67% of Black adults.
The poll shows that support for legal abortion among American adults varies widely by political party, religious affiliation, ethnicity and education.
Asian Americans and reproductive rights
According to the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF), harmful Asian American sterotypes have previously been used to justify abortion bans. Supporters of sex-selective abortion bans, for example, have perpetuated stigmatizing beliefs that Asians and Asian Americans value male children more than female children and thus should not be granted access to abortion care. Sex-selective abortion ban laws are currently in effect in 14 states.
Asian American women have previously been targeted by anti-abortion activists in highly publicized cases such as those of Purvi Patel and Bei Bei Shuai. And in many cases, access to abortion can be further limited because of immigration status and language barriers.
Limited data exists surrounding Asian Americans and abortion
The CDC publishes yearly data on abortion rates, but the breakdown for ethnicity is limited to white, Black, Hispanic and “Other.” Comprehensive data about Asian Americans and abortion has been difficult to access.
The Center for American Progress suggests that one-third of pregnancies by AAPIs may end in abortion. AAPIs are also the only ethnic group for which abortion rates have not declined in the past 15 years. Studies conducted in New York City, however, found lower rates, estimating that just 1 in 5 pregnancies among Asian Americans ends in abortion.
Featured Image via Gayatri Malhotra