On August 9 2023, a popular thread on Reddit’s r/politics addressed the topic of abortion rights, claiming that voters had favored them in every single election since the June 2022 Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade:
“Hmm… It’s almost like the majority wants those rights[.]”
“The majority of Americans are pro-choice and have been for a long time. Overturning Roe, with a bit of luck, will be the current GOPs swan song.”
“Which is also why conservatives are trying to ban it at the federal level, both implicitly (like banning abortion drugs) and explicitly.”
“Turns out Americans like having basic human rights. Put universal healthcare to a vote and see what happens[.]”
In June 2022, the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson decision supplanted the long-standing Roe v. Wade decision. In August 2022, a “decisive statewide vote in favor of abortion rights” in Kansas survived a recount, and the state of West Virginia then scrambled to avoid a vote in favor of abortion rights that same month.
On August 17 2022, we examined a claim that the state of Louisiana had been withholding funding for floods in New Orleans due to a disagreement over abortion — effectively leveraging resilience targeting for political gain.
By late August 2022, Republican candidates were hastily amending their websites to remove references to abortion — presumably due to widespread, full-throated public support for access to abortion rights:
In [an August 2022] tweet shared to Imgur, reporter Jonathan Cohn said that Michigan Republican Tom Barrett had concealed his position on abortion by changing his website in August 2022, not long after a Kansas referendum demonstrated overwhelming voter support for abortion rights.
In the preceding days, Arizona Senate candidate Blake Masters was also accused of “scrubbing” his website of evidence he supported restricting access to abortion….
State laws were not the only abortion-related matters at issue amid political fallout post-Dobbs. In March 2023, a large controversy occurred after a Texas judge attempted to conceal a hearing related to “a November 2022 lawsuit filed to overturn the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s authorization of the use of ‘abortion pills’ like mifepristone.”
Details of the hearing quickly spread online. Later in March 2023, an attempt to restrict abortion in Wyoming failed, due to an overriding Obama-era provision:
A popular March 2023 post to Reddit’s r/LeopardsAteMyFace asserted that a proposed “abortion ban” in Wyoming was “blocked” due to an “Obamacare-era amendment” added to the state’s constitution in 2012. Several organizations covered hearings and decisions around the proposed legislation in Wyoming, and confirmed that Judge Melissa Owens cited the 2012 amendment in her ruling.
A month before Dobbs was handed down, we examined a claim that in the past few decades, the percentage of Americans who believe that abortion should be completely illegal has never risen above 25 percent, concluding:
Based on the underlying Gallup data, the claim was accurate. From April 1975 through May 2021, the percent of Americans who selected “illegal in all circumstances” peaked at 22 percent, and never reached or exceeded 25 percent; that figure dipped as low as 13 percent in 1993 and 1994.
As for the August 9 2023 r/politics post, it linked to an NBC News article published on the same date. That article referenced a vote in the state of Ohio, reporting that abortion rights were favored in seven out of seven votes or referendums:
Abortion has been on the ballot in seven states since that landmark court decision [Dobbs] one year ago [in June 2022] and in each instance, in red states and blue states, anti-abortion advocates have lost.
In some instances, voters have approved state constitutional amendments protecting abortion rights. In others, they’ve rejected measures that would weaken protections or make explicit in the state constitution that abortion rights are not protected.
On August 8 2023, obstetrician-gynecologist and science communicator Danielle Jones (“Mama Doctor Jones”) published a video titled “Life After Abortion Access | Post-Roe v Wade America.” In it, Jones addressed medical falsehoods, described how Dobbs had hindered the practice of obstetrics, and provided a comprehensive rundown of abortion access in the United States as of August 2023.
A popular August 9 2023 r/politics post asserted that abortion rights “won in every election” since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June 2022. We reported on several of the state-level elections or referendums at the time they occurred, and in May 2022, examined an accurate claim that “the percentage of Americans who believe that abortion should be completely illegal has never risen above 25” percent. According to NBC News, seven states voted on abortion post-Dobbs, and all seven voted in favor of reproductive rights and access to abortion.