Jun 7, 2019

Poll: More Americans support Roe v. Wade now than in past 4 decades

In this image, a line of mostly women protestors hold pro-abortion signs.

Planned Parenthood staff and pro-abortion protestors on May 31, 2019 in St Louis, Missouri. Photo: Michael Thomas/Getty Images

77% of Americans say the Supreme Court should uphold Roe v. Wade in some form, according to an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll released on Tuesday.

Why it matters: This is one of the highest recorded shows of support for Roe v. Wade in more than four decades. Gallup reports that the previous highest recorded peak in that time was in 1997, when 61% of Americans believed abortions should be legal only under certain circumstances.

  • The Pew Research Center says support for legalizing abortion in all or most cases has not risen above 60% since 1995.

Details: 61% of NPR survey respondents said they favored some limitation on abortion such as during the first three months of pregnancy (23%); only in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the woman (29%); or only to save the life of the woman (9%).

  • The average support for legal abortion in cases of rape or incest is 79%, according to Gallup.
  • NPR's poll showed that Republican women— at 62% — were the only majority to oppose abortion at any time during pregnancy in cases of rape or incest.
  • 26% of Americans want to see Roe v. Wade remain in place, with more restrictions added, per NPR's poll.

The big picture: The most restrictive abortion laws in generations are currently spreading across America's red states, while other states are pushing protections for abortion rights and internationally recognized brands threaten to forge a financial stake in the abortion debate.

Meanwhile: Health organizations say abortion should be available as needed for reproductive health.

Between the lines: All interviews for the NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll were conducted in English, which could limit demographics included in the survey.

  • Interviews for this survey of 944 adults were conducted via landlines and mobile phones. Results are statistically significant within ±4.5 percentage points. Interviews were conducted May 31 through June 4, 2019.

Go deeper: Where each state stands if Roe v. Wade is overturned

Go deeper