Two-thirds of Americans want abortion rights to remain in place, poll finds

Findings underscore unpopularity of Supreme Court’s likely decision

Valedictorian uses her speech to rail against Texas abortion laws

Nearly seven in 10 Americans are calling for the US Supreme Court to keep America’s abortion rights protections in place as the high court appears on the verge of striking them down.

A new poll from the Wall Street Journal and NORC at the University of Chicago found that 68 per cent of Americans believe that the Supreme Court should leave Roe v Wade intact, while only three in 10 (30 per cent) said it should be struck down. The findings back other similar surveys from CBS News and CNN.

And they underscore the political upheaval that could occur if Roe is struck down by the Supreme Court later this term, which a draft opinion of the court leaked several weeks ago to Politico suggests the justices are planning.

Democrats are hoping that anger at Republicans over attempts at the state level to roll back abortion rights in the face of a likely overturn of Roe, as well as frustration over inaction on gun violence, will propel their base to the polls in November, when the party’s voters are more apt to stay home.

Some abortion rights supporters, however, have been frustrated with Democrats for not, as they see it, taking the threat of abortion rights being rolled back seriously. Many have called for Joe Biden to put more pressure on the Senate to codify abortion rights into law.

Protests erupted around the country when news of the draft opinion was first released, and the immediate backlash was so strong that the Senate and some court watchers feared for the safety of the justices and their families.

Abortion rights have been enshrined with protection at the federal level for decades thanks to the Roe v Wade ruling establishing the practice as a protected medical procedure. That soon could be at an end, with lawsuits from Mississippi and other states directly challenging the precedent’s future.

“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” reads the draft opinion, leaked in early May, referring to both Roe v Wade and a subsequent ruling in Planned Parenthood v Casey.

“It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives,” the document, apparently authored by Justice Samuel Alito, continued.

The Wall Street Journal/NORC poll surveyed 1,071 adults between 6-17 May, with a margin of error of 4 per cent.

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