Broad majority of Americans didn’t want Roe v. Wade overturned, polling prior to Supreme Court decision shows


A large majority of Americans did not want to see Roe v. Wade overturned, according to a poll taken before the Supreme Court ruled on Friday that there is no longer a federal constitutional right to abortion.

Here’s a recap of the latest data on public opinion on abortion and how Americans will feel about the decision, from CNN and beyond:

In a CNN poll taken in May immediately after the leak of the Supreme Court’s draft opinion on the case, Americans said, 66% to 34%, that they did not want the Supreme Court to completely overturn the ruling. history from 1973. In CNN’s 1989 poll, the public’s share in favor of a complete overthrow of Roe never exceeded 36%.

Just 17% of Americans polled by CNN said they would be happy to see Roe vs. Wade upset, with 12% saying they would be satisfied, 21% that they would be dissatisfied, 36% that they would be angry. , and 14% that they don’t care. Most Democrats (59%) and nearly half of adults under 35 (48%) said they would be angry. And a 59% majority of Americans said they would support Congress passing legislation establishing a national right to abortion, with just 41% opposed.

In a May CBS/YouGov poll, 63% of Americans said they expected Roe’s cancellation would make access to abortion more difficult for poor women, with 58% saying it would make access to abortion more difficult for women of color. Fewer similar difficulties expected for white women (35%) or wealthy women (19%). And a majority of women (54%) said that, in general, overthrowing Roe would make life worse for most American women.

In the CNN poll, 58% of American adults said that if Roe were overthrown, they would want their state to establish abortion laws that were more permissive than restrictive. About half (51%) said they would like to see their state become a safe haven for women who wanted abortions but couldn’t get them where they lived.

But not everyone knew in advance how their own state would be affected. Among Americans living in states with trigger laws to immediately ban abortion after Roe’s overthrow, only 45% realized that was the case, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll in May. Another 42% living in those states did not know what the impact of the decision would be where they lived.

It’s still too early to know how views on abortion might change as a result of the court’s decision, or to predict how the consequences of the decision might affect the upcoming election. In a May survey, Gallup found little change in longstanding majority opposition to Roe’s overthrow. However, his poll also revealed a change on several other measures. For the first time in Gallup polls since 2001, a narrow majority (52%) said they consider abortion morally acceptable. A similar majority of 53% also said abortion should be legal in most or all circumstances, up from 45% just a year ago — a particularly pronounced shift among Democrats and younger Americans.

There are some early signs that the hit to abortion access could be particularly motivating for pro-abortion advocates. A sizable portion of core Democratic supporters, such as young people and women, said they would be angry at the decision, and several polls this spring found that Democratic voters were more likely than Republican voters to consider abortion as a very relevant issue for this year’s elections. . But it is less clear how this motivation might play out or how much it will alter the overall political landscape.

A May poll by Monmouth University found that 48% of Democrats considered a candidate’s alignment with their views on abortion extremely important to their vote, up from 31% in 2018; among Republicans, the number was 29%, down from 36% four years ago.

A CNN poll conducted immediately before and after the leak of the Supreme Court’s draft opinion on Roe v. Wade found a 7-point rise in Americans who said their views on abortion align more on Democrats than on Republicans. But there was little immediate evidence of a dramatic shift in one of Republicans’ early advantages heading into the midterms. Only about half (49%) of Americans said they had heard even a lot about the proposed ruling at that time, with 51% saying they had heard only a little news or nothing at all.

The ruling could also affect Americans’ views of the Supreme Court. Following the leak of the draft notice, according to a Marquette Law School poll, public approval for the court plummeted from 54% in March to 44% in May. Much of the shift was due to a shift among Democrats: While 49% of Democrats approved of the Supreme Court in March, only 26% felt the same way in May. Marquette’s poll in May also found that 23% of Americans viewed the Supreme Court as “very conservative,” a slight increase from 15% in March.

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