Nearly 65 per cent of Americans do not want to overturn Roe v Wade, new poll finds

Republicans are pushing for increasingly restrictive bans on abortion and contraceptive, despite public disapproval

Graig Graziosi
Monday 09 May 2022 21:02 BST
Related video: What the US Supreme Court leak means for Roe v Wade and abortion rights in America
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A new CBS poll has found that more than half of the US public opposes the overturning of Roe v Wade, suggesting the leaked Supreme Court draft decision aiming to strike down the landmark ruling would undermine the desires of most Americans.

According to the CBS poll, 64 per cent of Americans want the Supreme Court to keep Roe v Wade in tact. Only 36 per cent said they wanted to see the law overturned.

Last week, Politico reported on a leaked draft decision suggesting the Supreme Court was aiming to overturn the law later this year. Five of the nine Supreme Court justices agreed with the decision authoried by Justice Samuel Alito.

Three of the justices who agreed — Justices Bret Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett, and Neil Gorsuch — told Congress that they would uphold Roe v Wade as a precedent during their confirmation hearings, leading to calls from the public and some lawmakers that the justices lied under oath.

The news of the likely overturning of Roe v Wade set off protests across the country, including still-continuing protests outside the home of Mr Kavanaugh.

Joe Biden said he would fight to ensure that Roe v Wade is not overturned, but there may be little ha can do at this point. Democratic Senators Krysten Sinema and Joe Manchin have already indicated their refusal to support the elimination of the filibuster, which would be necessary for Democrats to force the ruling to be codified into law.

Nearly half of the US states have trigger laws in place to ban most if not all abortions as soon as Roe v Wade is overturned. Further frustrating pro-choice advocates and women across the country are plans by Republican lawmakers to use the ruling as a springboard to push for a federal abortion ban.

Several states already have restrictive abortion laws, and others have moved recently to enact their own. Last month, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law banning most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. That law is modeled off of a similar law in Mississippi, which is the basis of the Supreme Court case that appears likely to spell the end of Roe v Wade.

Oklahoma's legislature also approved a bill prohibiting abortions after six weeks of pregnancy based on a similar law in Texas. The Texas law also allows individuals to report anyone who performs, seeks, or "aids and abets" an abortion, offering a $10,000 bounty for successful prosecution.

Some states, like Missouri, are attempting to find ways to penalise people who leave the state to seek abortions in liberal areas where abortion rights are upheld.

Though not yet signed into law, several current and prospective Republican lawmakers are also attempting to push even more draconian laws to further force women into parenthood. Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennesee called Griswod v Connecticut – which guarantees legal access to birth control – "legally unsound," suggesting it should be challenged and sent to the Supreme Court.

Blake Masters, who is running for a Senate seat in Arizona, also said recently he supported banning contraception, including condoms. Some Republicans in Idaho have similarly stated their interest in banning IUDs and Plan B pills.

Other states, like California and Colorado, have pledged to ensure that abortion rights will always be in-tact within their borders, though it is unclear what that would mean if Republicans successfully pass a national ban on abortion following the 2022 midterm elections.

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