• Press Release

Mike Johnson’s Abortion Policies Are Unpopular with Voters

October 31, 2023


TO: Interested Parties


RE: Mike Johnson’s Abortion Policies are Unpopular with Voters

Last week, every Republican member of Congress supported making Rep. Mike Johnson the Speaker of the House, elevating him as an indisputable leader of the party and standard-bearer for their values. In choosing Johnson as their leader, Republicans made their priorities and the direction of their party clear. Republican attempts to cover up their real views on abortion or mislead voters on their policies are just spin to try to fool voters, not an actual change in their anti-choice positions.

MAGA Mike Johnson is a vocal opponent of reproductive freedom. By elevating Johnson, Republicans in the House tipped their hand on what they’ll do if they are able to take full control of government, and showed who they stand with–and who they stand against. Voters are equally clear: poll after poll shows that Johnson’s positions are incredibly unpopular.

Here’s a closer look at the anti-abortion policies the new Republican Speaker supports, followed by public polling showing exactly how voters feel about MAGA Mike’s agenda.

  • Supporting a Total Federal Abortion Ban with No Exceptions. Johnson cosponsored a bill that would be a total federal abortion ban from conception with no exceptions. This federal abortion ban would supersede any state laws, meaning that abortion would be banned across the country, even in states that have protected abortion rights.
    • In a June 2023 USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll, 80 percent of people surveyed opposed a federal abortion ban, including 65 percent of Republicans and 83 percent of independent voters.
  • Supporting the Dobbs decision and the Overturning of Roe v. Wade. After the Dobbs decision overturned Roe v. Wade, Johnson praised the decision, calling it “a full frontal assault to the law of legalized abortion in our country,” adding, “This was a big one, and we hoped that this would be the case that finally overturned Roe and thankfully, all those prayers for 50 years were answered.” The day the decision was announced, Johnson noted, “So finally today, the majority of the Court has corrected the egregious wrong from 49 years ago, and the importance of today cannot be overstated.” Johnson voted against the Women’s Health Protection Act, legislation that would codify the protections of Roe v. Wade into federal law.
    • In a June 2023 national NBC poll, 61 percent of voters opposed overturning Roe v. Wade and removing the federal protection for abortion. 
  • Limiting Access to Contraception. In addition to his abortion ban legislation that could be used to undermine the right to contraception, Johnson voted against the Right to Contraception Act, which would ensure our right to access birth control.
    • Access to contraception is very popular with the public. In an April 2023 Impact Research poll, 72 percent of those polled supported making the pill available over the counter. Majorities across all demographics – party, ideology, race, gender, age, parental status – support over the counter birth control. In a 2022 Data for Progress poll, 71 percent of likely voters supported requiring insurers to cover the cost of over-the-counter birth control pills. 
  • Punishing Doctors and Providers with Jail Time. Johnson supported efforts to punish abortion providers with years of jail time and hard labor and fines of tens of thousands of dollars.
    • January 2023 poll from Planned Parenthood Federation of America found that 81 percent of people were concerned that doctors and nurses could be charged with a felony for providing an abortion if the patient’s life was at risk and a prosecutor disagrees.
    • In fact, a February 2023 poll found that a majority of Americans favored ensuring that at least some health care professionals in their community provide legal abortions.
  • Defunding Planned Parenthood. Johnson earned his A+ rating from SBA List for his many anti-choice efforts, including cosponsoring a bill to defund Planned Parenthood.
    • 2019 KFF poll showed that nearly seven in 10 voters would like their state to continue to make payments to Planned Parenthood. In 2023, Navigator Research found that two thirds of voters have a favorable view of Planned Parenthood.  

Mike Johnson, and the Republican Party that made him Speaker, is far outside of the mainstream on reproductive rights. As we approach the election and Republicans continue their effort to falsely rebrand their abortion positions, EMILYs List will work full-time to ensure that voters understand what the Republican Party really stands for and what they’ll do if they get control of Congress. 

EMILYs List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, works to elect Democratic pro-choice women up and down the ballot and across the country with a goal of fighting for our rights and our communities. Our work is centered around a fundamental vision: Run. Win. Change the World. EMILYs List has raised $850 million in service to that vision and has helped Democratic women win competitive elections by recruiting and training candidates, supporting and helping build strong campaigns, researching the issues that impact women and families, running one of the largest independent expenditure operations for Democrats, and turning out women voters to the polls. Since our founding in 1985, we have helped elect the country’s first woman as vice president, 175 women to the House, 26 to the Senate, 20 governors, and over 1,500 women to state and local office. More than 40% of the candidates EMILYs List has helped elect to Congress have been women of color. Visit www.emilyslist.org for more information.