NC Voters Want a Reproductive Freedom Constitutional Amendment

September 11, 2023


  • Almost two-thirds of NC voters support a reproductive freedom state constitutional amendment
  • A similar 2-to-1 margin opposes private school vouchers subsidizing religious school tuition
  • Both President Biden and Josh Stein trail Donald Trump and Mark Robinson in head-to-head matchups, but large numbers remain undecided


Almost two in three North Carolina voters (62%) support a reproductive freedom constitutional amendment, explicitly enshrining the right to an abortion in the state constitution. In the new September Carolina Forward Poll, 49% of voters “strongly” supported such a constitutional amendment overall, and majorities of almost every measurable voter group agreed. The showing of strong voter support for reproductive freedom do not come as a major surprise, since the show of massive popular opposition to the 12-week abortion ban that Republican lawmakers rammed through the state legislature in May.

The interest in state-level constitutional amendments to explicitly protect reproductive freedom has risen since the now-infamous Dobbs decision by the U.S. Supreme Court striking down Roe v. Wade. In August, Ohio voters resoundingly defeated a legal bid that was widely seen as part of a Republican anti-choice strategy to prolong that state’s deeply unpopular abortion restrictions.

Repeated polling has consistently shown that a large majority of North Carolina voters support reproductive freedom, including the right to access an abortion. But due to partisan gerrymandering of the North Carolina state legislature, Republican politicians have been successful in pushing new abortion restrictions. Lt. Governor Mark Robinson, the presumptive Republican nominee for Governor in 2024, has made it clear that he intends to ban abortion “for any reason” if he becomes Governor.

The September Carolina Forward Poll also asked about the private school voucher program, which Republican state lawmakers may soon choose to expand as a part of North Carolina’s long-overdue state budget. The proposed expansion of private school vouchers would send hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to unregulated religious schools in a system long criticized for fraud. By a two-to-one margin, voters overwhelmingly oppose the basic concept of the program, which is to subsidize tuition at private religious schools:

Importantly, an outright majority – 53% – of voters overall strongly object to the idea. The intensity of opposition lays bare just how politically fraught expanding the private school voucher program may be for sitting lawmakers. These findings align with previous polling that has shown similar levels of opposition to the proposed program.

In head-to-head matchups of the 2024 Presidential and North Carolina Governor’s race, President Biden and Attorney General Josh Stein trail Donald Trump and Lt. Governor Mark Robinson, respectively, each by 4 points. But 12% of voters say they’re still undecided on the Presidential race, while 20% (or one in five) say they’re still undecided for Governor. With over a year to go before the election, these will be extremely close races, whose numbers will almost certainly tighten.

For the full survey toplines and crosstabs, see the respective links. Part II from September’s Carolina Forward Poll – including questions on climate change, energy choices, Black Lives Matter and housing policy, drops on Wednesday.

Help build progress for North Carolina.
Get in touch
PO Box 452, Carrboro, NC 27510

    Stay updated with us

    Stay Updated

    Receive the latest news from Carolina Forward