As abortion bans and increased restrictions go into place in many states, many job-seekers who value reproductive rights are reconsidering where they are willing to work.

In August, surveyed 1,000 U.S. job-seekers to understand how abortion policies are impacting their search.

Key findings:

  • 32% of job-seekers will only apply for jobs where abortion is currently and will likely remain legal. This is true for more women than men (33% vs. 31%).
  • Those searching for jobs in health care, education, and life sciences are more likely to keep their search limited to states with legal abortion
  • 27% of job-seekers living in the most restrictive states will only apply for jobs in states where abortion is currently and will likely remain legal
    • 66% of job-seekers in these states are pro-choice

1 in 3 job-seekers won’t apply to jobs in states with abortion bans

Thirty-two percent of job hunters will only apply for opportunities in states where abortion is legal. Eleven percent will only look for jobs in states with abortion bans, and 57% have no preference.

Slightly more women than men say they will only look for a job where abortion rights have remained intact (33% vs. 31%).

There are a multitude of reasons why job-seekers don’t want to be employed in states that have or may soon have abortion bans.

For the majority (70%), this is because they hold the belief that abortion is a fundamental right. Additionally, job-seekers want to ensure access to abortion for themselves and others (57%), and they don’t want to give economic support to a state that bans abortion (44%).

Women in particular want to ensure abortion access with 63% selecting this answer compared to 49% of men.

Twenty-five percent of respondents said they happen to live in a state where abortion is legal and would not relocate due to personal or financial reasons.

Hiring in health care and education may be more challenging in restrictive states

Those seeking jobs in particular industries, including health care, education, and life sciences, were more likely to only be willing to apply to jobs in states where abortion is currently and will likely remain legal.

Forty-two percent of people looking for jobs in health care, 41% in education, and 50% in life sciences won’t look outside states where abortion is legal and will likely remain so.

It’s possible that these industries may have trouble filling positions in states with restrictive abortion policies.

Higher pay, better benefits wouldn’t change some job-seekers’ minds

When asked how likely they would be to accept an ‘ideal job offer’ from a company in a state that currently bans or may soon ban abortion, 49% of respondents who are only looking in states where abortion is legal said they would be unlikely to do so.

For a quarter of job-seekers limiting their search to states where abortion is legal, nothing could sweeten the pot enough to get them to accept a job in a state that bans abortion.

The remaining three-quarters, however, say better benefits, higher pay, a promotion, or job security could potentially convince them to work for a company in a state with an abortion ban.

All respondents who identify as pro-life who for various reasons are limiting their search to states with legalized abortion say they could be incentivized to look to states with abortion bans. This is compared to 73% of respondents who identify as pro-choice.

The recent decision to overturn Roe in several states is having an impact in all aspects of hiring in the workplace according to career strategist and job search coach Stacie Haller.

“Remote work has made it easier for employees to choose where they live and work, and there is no doubt that the overturning of Roe v. Wade is affecting job choices and limiting searches,” says Haller.

“Many companies in states were abortion rights are being lost are still being cautious about their stance but realize how they respond will affect the ability to attract and retain employees. Some are instituting policies such as paying people to go out of state for abortion services.”

A quarter of job-seekers who reside in most abortion-restrictive states want to work elsewhere

Not all job-seekers who are currently located in states that have the most restrictive abortion policies, including Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky, and South Dakota, are willing to stick around.

Twenty-seven percent of job-seekers in most restrictive states say they will only apply for jobs in states where abortion is currently and will likely remain legal.


All data found within this report derives from a survey commissioned by and conducted online by survey platform Pollfish. In total, 1,000 Americans were surveyed.

Appropriate respondents were found via employment status demographic criteria and a screening question. To take the survey respondents had to answer that they are currently looking for work.

This survey was conducted on August 9, 2022. All respondents were asked to answer all questions truthfully and to the best of their abilities. For full survey data, please email [email protected].