Local News Coverage Proven to Move Voters on Issue of Abortion Access

A local news article localizing and contextualizing a prominent national issue —access to abortion—written for Americans who are not regular news consumers, successfully changed the minds of those who saw the piece.

When the Supreme Court legalized abortion in Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that protected women’s right to abortion, it put on hold a 1931 Michigan law that criminalized abortion, even in cases of rape or incest.

If Roe v. Wade is overturned, abortion could be criminalized again in Michigan in all cases except when a woman’s life is endangered.

Would you support or oppose re-criminalizing abortion in Michigan if Roe v Wade is overturned?

Using difference-in-difference analysis, we compared the change in opposition to re-criminalizing abortion over time in the control and treatment groups — using movement in the control group to isolate general effects and as a reference for the treatment group. As demonstrated by the graph below, the increase in net opposition to the question rose by five points in the treatment condition, four points above the control group.

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