Poll: 64 Percent of Americans Want to Keep Roe vs. Wade

Pro-abortion demonstrators in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., in 2016. (Gary Cameron/Reuters)

A majority of Americans want the landmark 1973 abortion case Roe vs. Wade to stay in place, according to a Gallup poll published Thursday.

About two-thirds (64 percent) of those polled support the Supreme Court case that legalized abortion in America. The support has jumped 11 percentage points from 2012, when only 53 percent supported letting the decision stand.

About 28 percent support overturning the case, 1 percent less than in 2012. Another 9 percent said they have no opinion on the matter. Predictably, the differences fall mostly along party lines, with slightly over half of Republicans supporting overturning Roe, and only 13 percent of Democrats backing the move.

It is worth noting, too, that a number of surveys have found that a majority of Americans believe overturning Roe would ban abortion at the national level, an inaccurate understanding of what the ruling would accomplish. When Americans are informed that such a ruling would likely return questions of abortion policy to the states, the percentage supporting Roe decreases.

Abortion supporters have sounded the alarm after President Trump announced Brett Kavanaugh as his nominee to replace retiring Supreme Court justice Anthony Kennedy. Kavanaugh said in 2009 that he would uphold Roe “faithfully and fully,” but those in favor of keeping abortion legal doubt he would vote to keep the decision in place should it be reconsidered by the Supreme Court.

Americans are split on whether a court nominee’s position on abortion is a reason to reject him or not. About 49 percent say the nominee’s views are a reason to reject him, while 46 percent say such a rejection is not justified. This latest poll was conducted July 2 to 8 and surveyed 1,291 adults shortly before the Supreme Court pick was announced.

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