Majority of Americans oppose overturning Roe v. Wade amid GOP attacks, poll finds


The Washington Post-ABC News poll also found that only a small fraction of Americans back the Texas abortion ban currently before the Supreme Court.

As the Supreme Court prepares to decide the fate of Roe v. Wade a new survey shows very few Americans back GOP efforts to overturn abortion rights.

The Washington Post-ABC News poll, released Tuesday, found that 60% of American adults want to see the 1973 ruling guaranteeing the right to obtain an abortion upheld, while just 27% of American adults want to see the high court overturn it.

Even Republicans were closely divided on the question: 42% wanted to see Roe kept, 45% want to see the case overturned.

By a similar 65%-29% supermajority, the survey found Americans want the Supreme Court to reject a Texas state law that bans abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy and empowers ordinary individuals to enforce it by bringing civil lawsuits.

It also found 75% of Americans believe the question of whether to have an abortion should be left up to "the woman and her doctor," while 20% said it should be "regulated by law." (The question's phrasing did not include gender minorities who also sometimes become pregnant and face similar decisions.)

The poll comes as the decidedly conservative-leaning Supreme Court considers the constitutionality of the Texas law and prepares to hear a different challenge to Roe on Dec. 1, Mississippi's ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Republican lawmakers around the country are pushing to enact similar abortion bans in several other states if a majority of justices indicate they will allow them to do so.

In July, 228 Republicans in Congress — 44 of the 50 GOP senators and 184 of the 213 House Republicans — backed a brief urging the Supreme Court to overturn Roe entirely and "release its vise grip on abortion politics." Both Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy were among the signers.

On Sept. 24, the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives passed the Women's Health Protection Act, 218-211, with every Republican and Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) voting no. That legislation would codify the Supreme Court's precedents, ensuring abortion rights up to the point where a fetus is viable outside the uterus.

"These are far-left policies that run counter to the will of the majority of Americans," Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN), who chairs the National Republican Congressional Committee, falsely claimed at the time.

But with even supposedly "pro-choice" Maine Republican Susan Collins opposed, there is little chance Democrats will be able to get the necessary 60 votes to get the bill through the Senate.

Tuesday's poll is consistent with a September Fox News survey, which found 65% of registered voters want Roe upheld and 28% do not. In that poll, even 53% of Republicans said they would keep the abortion rights precedent.

Democratic nominees favoring abortion rights have received the most votes in seven of the last eight presidential elections. But six of the nine justices currently sitting on the Supreme Court were appointed by anti-abortion Republican presidents — including three appointed by Donald Trump.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.