Almost 70 per cent of Americans back abortion rights, polling finds, amid fears Supreme Court will vote down Roe vs Wade

Opinion polling suggests strong opposition to Republican efforts

Gino Spocchia
Tuesday 03 May 2022 14:50 BST
Roe v Wade protesters speak out about Supreme Court plan to drop abortion law

Polling suggests most Americans support keeping abortion rights enshrined by Roe v Wade despite new concerns that the Supreme Court will overturn the landmark ruling.

A poll as recently as January 2022 found 69 per cent of Americans backing Roe and abortion rights enshrined by it, with as few as 30 per cent agreeing that Roe should be annulled, as SSRS polling found for CNN.

On Monday night, a “first draft” of an opinion ruling on a Mississippi anti-abortion law suggested the court could overturn Roe however, which it allegedly viewed as being “egregiously wrong from the start”.

The draft goes on to argue that there is no constitutional right to abortion services in the United States and that individual states should have the ability to pass constraints on abortions.

A decision on the issue is expected within the coming weeks, with the current Supreme Court term coming to an end in July.

“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” the document leaked to Politico said, in reference to a 1992 case that reaffirmed Roe but allowed for states to pass their own laws on abortions.

“It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives,” it continued, with a signature from conservative justice Samuel Alito.

Mississippi’s law passed in 2018, and seeks to bans abortions after 15 weeks of becoming pregnant “except in a medical emergency or in the case of a severe fetal abnormality”.

It is largely viewed as the biggest direct challenge to Roe in years, and comes alongside other recent Republican efforts to restrict access to abortion services.

Poll after poll has shown significant support for Roe and the constitutional right to seek abortion services, with a poll in September 2021 showing 65 per cent of respondents in support of the 1973 law.

The poll, for Fox News, was the highest ever figure for the conservative TV network.

Another poll, this time carried out by YouGov/The Economist in October, found that abortion was ranked as a number one issue for only four per cent of Americans.

That came behind concerns about jobs and the economy, the climate, immigration, and health care.

“I think people are tired [of this issue] and they hate it at election time,” said Tresa Undem, a researcher at PerryUndem, a nonpartisan firm which studies attitudes toward abortion, to FiveThirtyEight about the poll in December.

“They think politicians are pandering for votes,” she added. “It’s kind of like, ‘Yes, abortion is ending a potential life, and yes, women should be able to make a choice. Move on.’”

The Supreme Court has not commented publicly on the Politico leak, which has reignited calls for US President Joe Biden to enshrine abortion rights into law through the Women’s Health Protection Act bill.

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