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Half of Americans oppose overturning Roe v. Wade: poll


Half of American voters oppose overturning the 1973 landmark abortion ruling Roe v. Wade — compared to 28% who believe it should be struck down, according to a new poll released Wednesday.

The survey by Politico, conducted after Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion overturning the abortion ruling was leaked, found that 50 percent did not agree with the decision, while 22% of voters were undecided or had no opinion. ​

Among Democrats, 68% said Roe v. Wade should stand, while 52% of independents and 51% of Republicans agreed. ​

In the 98-page majority opinion obtained by Politico, Alito wrote that Roe v. Wade was “egregiously wrong from the start” and concluded that it should be struck down to allow states to make their own decisions about restricting abortion rights. 

Most Americans – 47% – believe abortion should be legal across the US, compared to 19% who think state governments should be able to legislate restrictions and 21% who say abortion should just be illegal. 

A police officer watches pro-life and pro-choice supporters demonstrating.
Pro-choice and pro-life activists clash during a protest.
Over half of those polled hope the Supreme Court Justices support Roe v. Wade.
Morning Consult + Politico
Pro-choice protest.
Most Americans believe abortion should be legal across the US.
Jacquelyn Martin/AP

But Americans appear to favor restrictions to abortion rights – only 25% say it should be “legal in all cases,” 31% say it should be “legal in most cases” and 24% believe it should be “illegal in all cases.”

Asked in the wake of the draft decision being released whether they support term limits for the justices, 66% say they “strongly” or “somewhat” approve, while 21% say they “strongly” or “somewhat disapprove.”

Most Americans also back expanding the number of justices on the court from its current nine – 45% say they “strongly” or “somewhat” approve, compared to 36% who “strongly” or “somewhat” disapprove.

People demonstrate for abortion rights.
25 percent of Americans surveyed say abortion should be “legal in all cases.”
Jon Shapley/Houston Chronicle via AP
16 percent of Americans have no confidence in the Supreme Court.
Morning Consult + Politico
Abortion-rights activists and supporters protest.
68 percent of Democrats, 52 percent of independents, and 51 percent of Republicans said Roe v. Wade should stand.
Jessica Christian/San Francisco Chronicle via AP

Americans also overwhelmingly support the justices being bound by a code of ethics. ​Seventy-three percent “strongly” or “somewhat” approve, to 11% who ​”strongly” or “somewhat” disapprove.

The poll surveyed 1,955 registered voters and has a plus/minus 2 percentage points margin of error.



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