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Vox populi

New poll finds Americans oppose striking down Roe v. Wade by a 2-to-1 margin

Americans are opposed to the Supreme Court overturning the landmark 1973 abortion case Roe v. Wade by "a roughly 2-to-1" margin in a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, the Post reports. The court has already decided to strike down Roe, according to a draft majority opinion published Monday night by Politico. When the Post-ABC poll was conducted last week, 54 percent said Roe should be upheld, 28 said it should be overturned, and 18 percent had no opinion. 

When asked more broadly about access to abortion, more people had opinions. A 58 percent majority said abortion would be legal in "most cases" or "all cases" — slightly above the 55 percent average going back to 1995, and mostly in line with 60 percent in a 2019 Post-ABC poll — while 37 percent wanted it illegal in most or all cases. 

Seventy percent of respondents said the decision over getting an abortion should be left to a woman and her doctor, versus 24 percent who said it would be regulated by law. A 57 percent majority opposed their state banning abortion in the first 15 weeks of pregnancy and 58 percent opposed limits during the first six weeks of pregnancy, but only 40 percent of the people in six states that recently limited abortions were aware of these changes, while 38 percent said, incorrectly, that their state had not enacted abortion restrictions in the past year.

"Ask Americans whether Roe should be overruled, and the answer seems pretty straightforward: Polls consistently find that a majority think the Supreme Court should keep the ruling in place," Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux writes at FiveThirtyEight. "But Americans' views on abortion are hardly clear-cut," and "what I found when I dug into the issue" is "that many Americans just don't like talking or thinking about abortion" and "want the country to find a quiet middle ground," especially as "the debate keeps getting more heated and extreme."

The Post-ABC poll surveyed 1,004 adults nationwide on cellphones and landlines April 24 to 28, and its overall margin of error is ± 3.5 percentage points.