Hoosier Survey finds more Indiana residents support abortion rights

Topic: College of Sciences and Humanities

December 12, 2012

On Dec. 11, WISH-TV and the Bowen Center for Public Affairs at Ball State University unveiled more of the 2012 WISH-TV/Ball State University Hoosier Survey results. The fifth annual Hoosier Survey identifies Indiana residents' top priorities for state government action during the upcoming legislative session and garners their opinions on popular social issues throughout the state.

On the topic of the legal status of abortions, the survey showed more Hoosiers think abortion should be legal in all (22 percent) or most (30.2 percent) cases; while approximately 15 percent of respondents said abortions should be illegal in all cases, and 25 percent said it should be illegal in most cases. When specific conditions are cited, however, support for the legality of abortion rises. Overwhelming majorities support the right to abortion in cases of rape and incest (75 percent) or when the mother's life (83 percent) or health (76 percent) is in danger.

Affordable health care remains one of Hoosiers' top priorities. Sixty-one percent of survey respondents said this item should be addressed on the 2013 legislative agenda. The survey results show opinions are almost evenly divided on the Affordable Care Act with 43.6 percent of respondents in favor of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As with last year's survey, the results indicate that regardless of one's stance on the ACA, there is overwhelming support for most of the legislation's provisions, including banning discrimination based on pre-existing conditions (89.9 percent) and the insurance mandate (63.5 percent).

At least half of Hoosiers (50 percent) would prefer to let the federal and state government work together to create Indiana's health insurance exchange, or marketplace, where individuals can compare insurance rates and coverage options. The future health insurance exchange will help individuals who must purchase individual health insurance under the new insurance mandate. Only six percent of survey respondents favored allowing the federal government to handle Indiana's insurance exchange alone.

When it came to assessing government services, similar to last year, Hoosiers have not noticed a dramatic difference in service delivery ranging from road maintenance to emergency responders. Small improvements were, however, noted in all categories except schools where those reporting that service had worsened since last year (20 percent) edged out residents that have seen improvements (19 percent), within the survey's margin of error. The largest percentage of Hoosier residents reporting public school conditions are worsening came from the state's northern counties.

The Hoosier Survey was conducted for WISH-TV and the Bowen Center for Public Affairs by Princeton Research Associates International (PSRAI) from Nov. 12–24. PSRAI surveyed 602 Hoosier adults by landline and cell phone, chosen randomly, yielding a margin of sampling error of +/- 4.5 percent. In addition to providing statewide results, some findings also were broken down by region.

The Bowen Center for Public Affairs partnered with Ball State's Global Health Institute again this year to look at opinions about recent health care legislation and the delivery of health care services in Indiana.

The entirety of the 2012 Hoosier Survey results will be reported by the Bowen Center for Public Affairs at the 21st Bingham Greenebaum Doll Legislative Conference on Dec. 13 at the Indiana Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis. For more information about the Hoosier Survey or the Bowen Center for Public Affairs, visit www.bsu.edu/bowencenter or call 765-285-8982.

About WISH-TV

Since 1954, WISH-TV has continued to set the standard for television excellence in central Indiana. WISH-TV has been honored as Television Station of the Year by the Indiana Broadcasters Association and Outstanding News Operation, Best Newscast and Best Website by the Indiana Associated Press Broadcast Association.  24-Hour News 8 provides around the clock news, weather and information through its television newscasts and WISHTV.com digital platforms. WISH-TV, a CBS affiliate, is a LIN Media station serving more than 1.5 million households (estimate according to Indianapolis Nielsen Station Index).  LIN Media (TVL) is a local multimedia company that operates or services 43 television stations and seven digital channels in 23 U.S. markets, along with a diverse portfolio of websites, apps and mobile products that make it more convenient to access its unique and relevant content on multiple screens.

About the Bowen Center for Public Affairs

Founded in 2007, the Bowen Center for Public Affairs at Ball State University empowers people who want to participate in their communities. The Bowen Center for Public Affairs offers expert and practical viewpoints on the operation of local and state governments.

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