How the Supreme Court abortion decision compares to public opinion

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(NewsNation) — The American public expected the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, but they may not agree on what happens next in several states, according to a series of NewsNation/DecisionDesk HQ poll results.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday overturned the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case, ending federal Constitutional protections for abortion. It now leaves the decision of whether to restrict abortion access to individual states.

Thirteen states already have plans in place to outlaw abortion, while other states have laws or state constitutional protections in place.

Americans have been clear in saying they favor abortion protections during the last two months of NewsNation polls, which each surveyed more than 1,000 registered voters.

In May, 68% of respondents said they expected Roe v. Wade to be overturned by the court. This came soon after a leaked opinion of the court’s decision showed the court’s intention to remove protections for abortions via the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

But in that same poll, 56% of voters said Roe should not be overturned with only 28% favoring the removal of protections for abortions.

On Thursday, NewsNation released a new poll that revealed more details on voters’ opinions on abortion.

The poll showed two-thirds of the country thinks abortion should be legal in some or all cases, while 33% of respondents feel it should be illegal in some or all cases.

But NewsNation and Decision Desk HQ also asked about specific instances of whether it should be legal to get an abortion:

  • 62% favor abortion in instances when the life of the baby would be endangered
  • 72% favor abortion when the life of the mother would be endangered
  • 75% favor abortion when pregnancy was a result of rape or incest
  • 40% favor abortion when a woman does not want to be pregnant for any other reason

Kiel Williams, a senior data scientist with Decision Desk HQ, said there is “huge” variance in what people mean when they say “I support abortion” or “I am pro-choice,” showing that there is more nuance to the issue than simply just being for or against it.



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