More Republicans than ever support abortion rights, new poll finds

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Fox News' survey found the highest-ever levels of overall support for Roe v. Wade.

A Fox News poll conducted Sept. 12-15 found that even most Republican voters want to keep the Roe v. Wade precedent protecting abortion rights nationally — the first time for such a result since the network began polling the question. The survey, released Thursday, recorded its highest-ever overall levels of support for the Supreme Court's 1973 ruling.

When asked "Do you think the Supreme Court should overturn Roe v. Wade or let it stand?" 65% of registered voters said they want to keep the ruling and 28% said they do not. This was an increase of four points in support since the network last polled the issue in October 2020.

That support includes majorities of Republicans (53% keep, 40% overturn), Democrats (77%-17%), independents (64%-25%), and even people who say they voted for former President Donald Trump (52%-39%).

The poll was taken days after the Supreme Court announced it would allow a Texas law to go into effect that bans abortions after just six weeks. The unsigned 5-4 decision came without a hearing and effectively ignored the court's precedents guaranteeing the right to choose until a fetus is viable outside the uterus.

Democrats in the House of Representatives plan to hold a vote Friday on the Women's Health Protection Act of 2021, a bill that would codify Roe and prevent states from eroding abortion rights.

But despite the views of most of their own party's voters, the vast majority of congressional Republicans signed on to a brief in July urging the Supreme Court to overturn Roe.

Other recent surveys have also found growing support for abortion rights.

An April Pew Research Center poll found 59% of adults believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while 39% believe it should not, indicating one of the highest levels of support since 1995.

In June, a record 47% of adults told Gallup that they believe abortion is morally acceptable, compared to 46% who believe it is morally wrong.

The Fox News survey did show that voters remain about evenly divided on abortion. But it also found the issue matters more to Democrats than to Republicans, with 68% of Democrats calling it a concern and 59% of Republicans saying it is not.

Pro-choice Democratic nominees have won the popular vote in seven of the last eight presidential elections. However, six of the nine justices currently sitting on the Supreme Court were appointed by anti-abortion Republican presidents.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.