Speed Reads

the future of Roe

More Americans than not back idea of 15-week abortion ban, WSJ poll finds

More Americans than not are in favor of a 15-week abortion ban, a new Wall Street Journal poll reveals. 

Such a ban out of Mississippi is currently under review at the U.S. Supreme Court, threatening the landmark abortion ruling Roe v. Wade, which safeguards the right to abortion until the point of fetal viability (generally about 22 to 24 weeks).

The Journal's survey did, however, find that "a majority of voters say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, underscoring the complicated views many Americans hold on the issue," the Journal writes.

As for the 15-week ban, 31 percent of voters said they strongly support such a rule, and 17 percent said they were somewhat supportive. Meanwhile, 34 percent said they strongly opposed a 15-week ban, and 10 percent remained somewhat opposed.

At the same time, 55 percent of voters said they wanted abortion to be legal in all or most cases, "while 30 percent said it should be illegal except in cases involving rape, incest or when the life of the mother is in danger." Eleven percent think the procedure should be illegal in any circumstance. 

"There are going to be hardened people on both ends," Republican pollster Tony Fabrizio told the Journal of the abortion debate. "But most people are somewhere in between and a lot of people pick and choose."

For reference, a previous Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report estimated that roughly 95 percent of U.S. abortions in 2019 occurred by 15 weeks, the Journal notes.

The Mississippi court challenge arrives as the abortion landscape transforms nationwide. Arizona and Florida have moved to implement their own 15-week bans, and Texas last year passed a restrictive six-week law. Idaho recently followed Texas' lead.

The Journal surveyed 1,500 voters from March 2-7. Results have a margin of error of 2.5 percentage points. See more results at The Wall Street Journal.