Over half of Americans in new poll say Supreme Court should uphold Roe v. Wade

WASHINGTON – Nearly two-thirds of Americans say the Supreme Court should uphold its decision in the historic Roe v. Wade case that ruled abortion access was a constitutional right, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.

The poll, conducted Nov. 7-10, found 60% of Americans believe Roe should be upheld, versus 27% who believe the high court should overturn that landmark decision.

Three-fourths of Americans, 75%, further said that a person's decision to get an abortion should be between them and their doctors; only 20% said the state should regulate the procedure.

The poll also found only a slight majority of Republicans support overturning Roe outright; 45% of Republicans said they want the ruling overturned versus 42% who said the court should keep the ruling in place. A majority of Democrats in the poll, at 82%, and independents, at 58%, said the court should keep Roe in place.

Women, at 64%, were more likely to support upholding Roe than men, at 56%, though a person's political affiliation was more likely to predict their support for upholding the decision than their gender.

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Anti-abortion activists rally outside the Supreme Court, Monday, Nov. 1, 2021, as arguments are set to begin about abortion by the court, on Capitol Hill in Washington.

The poll's findings come as the Supreme Court hears contentious cases from Texas and Mississippi that attempt to either circumnavigate or outright call on the court to overturn its past ruling. The court heard arguments in the Texas case on Nov. 1 and will take up the Mississippi case on Dec. 1.

The Post-ABC poll found that 65% of the public said the court should strike down the Texas law, while  29% of respondents said the law should be upheld.

The Texas law adopts a novel legal mechanism that makes abortion after six weeks of pregnancy illegal, but bars the state from enforcing the law. Rather, it deputizes individual people to sue anyone suspected of having or abetting an abortion, with the possibility of earning $10,000 in state court.

In 1973, the Supreme Court ruled that a woman has a constitutional right to an abortion, and reaffirmed that decision in 1992's Planned Parenthood v. Casey. In Casey, however, the court allowed states to place some constraints on abortion if they find the fetus is viable, a metric that varies in law.

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Pro-choice rally outside the Supreme Court on Nov. 1, 2021.

Since those rulings, the court has taken a rightward turn as more conservative justices have been appointed to the bench. Republican lawmakers now hope the court's 6-3 conservative majority will reconsider the core constitutional question in Roe when ruling on one of the cases before it.

Mississippi's law is viewed by legal analysts as a direct challenge to Roe. That law bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, a period before the viability standard established by the court, which is generally found to be around 22 to 24 weeks.

The poll surveyed 1,001 adults nationally through cellphone and landline calls. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points

Follow Matthew Brown online @mrbrownsir.