Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Majority Says Supreme Court Should Uphold Roe v. Wade ABC News Poll Finds

At ABC News, "With Supreme Court poised to reverse Roe, most Americans support abortion rights: POLL":

Majorities also reject six- and 15- week abortion bans.

Amid reports of a draft Supreme Court opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade, an ABC News/Washington Post poll finds that majorities of Americans support upholding Roe, say abortion should be legal in all or most cases and -- by a wide margin -- see abortion as a decision to be made by a woman and her doctor, not by lawmakers.

The national survey was completed last week, in advance of a report by Politico Monday night that a proposed first draft of an opinion, apparently by Justice Samuel Alito, called for reversing Roe in a case challenging Mississippi's ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

In this poll, by contrast, 57% of Americans oppose a ban after 15 weeks; 58% say abortion should be legal in all or most cases; and 54% say the court should uphold Roe, compared with 28% who say the ruling should be overturned.

Support for upholding Roe is 6 percentage points lower than it was in an ABC/Post poll last November. Preference for reversing it is essentially unchanged; instead, more in this survey express no opinion, 18%.

Moving the question outside a legal framework, 7 in 10 say the decision whether or not a woman can have an abortion should be left to the woman and her doctor; this also is down from November, by 5 points. Twenty-four percent instead say abortion should be regulated by law. Even among those who say abortion should be illegal in all or most cases, a substantial share, 41%, also say it should be left to the woman and her doctor. Trends are not consistent. 
While support for abortion rights is down slightly in the two items noted above, it's higher than previously (up 12 points from 2011) "when the woman cannot afford to have a child," and unchanged in other measures. 
Legal or illegal?

Basic views on whether or not abortion should be legal have been more or less stable in polling going back 27 years. The 58% who say it should be legal in all or most cases is very near the average, 56%, in nearly three dozen ABC/Post polls since mid-1995, ranging from 49% to 60%. This includes 26% who now say it should be legal in all cases, exceeding the average, 21%; and 33% who say it should be legal in most cases.

Thirty-seven percent in this poll, produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates, instead say abortion should be illegal in most cases (21%) or all cases (16%). That's less than the long-term average, 42%, with a range from 36% to 48%. (Five percent have no opinion on this question.)


Considering specific circumstances, substantial majorities say abortion should be legal when the woman's physical health is endangered (82%), when the pregnancy was caused by rape or incest (79%) and when there's evidence of serious birth defects (67%).

The public divides on another circumstance: When the woman cannot afford to have a child, 48% say abortion should be legal, 45% illegal. Support for legal abortion in this case is its highest in six polls dating back to 1996.

On another front, the poll finds most Americans are unaware of new abortion restrictions in their states. In the 22 states that have passed abortion restrictions since 2020, just 30% of residents are aware that this has occurred; more, 44%, think not, with 26% unsure. An open question is how people who favor legal abortion may react if and when they learn their state has taken a different tack...

Still more.