When polls regarding abortion ask Americans about Roe v. Wade, most people say they want the Supreme Court decision upheld. But when the same polls ask people when they think abortion should be legal, most believe there should be more restrictions than Roe v. Wade actually allows. I’ve summarized these contradictory results before. Today I was reading a 2019 NPR/PBS Marist poll which captured the same phenomenon.
The poll asked: In 1973, the Roe v. Wade decision by the U.S. Supreme Court established the constitutional right for women to legally obtain an abortion. Over time, other laws have expanded or restricted this ruling. Do you think the U.S. Supreme Court today should decide to:
- Overturn Roe v. Wade
- Keep Roe v. Wade but add more restrictions
- Keep Roe v. Wade but reduce some of the restrictions
- Expand Roe v. Wade establishing the right to abortion under any circumstance
- Keep Roe v. Wade the way it is
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- As you’d expect, pro-life people were more likely to say Roe v. Wade should be overturned or further restricted and pro-choice people were more likely to say the opposite.
- Even so, 18% of self-described pro-lifers said Roe v. Wade should be kept as is or strengthened, and 21% of pro-choicers thought it should be further restricted or overturned.
I don’t think most people are aware of that level of detail, which may explain why some of the same people who say they support Roe v. Wade also think abortion shouldn’t be allowed in some of the circumstances Roe v. Wade specifically mandates.
- Abortion should be available to a woman any time she wants one during her entire pregnancy.
- Abortion should be allowed only during the first six months of pregnancy.
- Abortion should be allowed only during the first three months of pregnancy.
- Abortion should be allowed only in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the woman.
- Abortion should be allowed only to save the life of the woman.
- Abortion should never be permitted under any circumstance.
- at conception
- within the first eight weeks of pregnancy
- within the first three months of pregnancy
- between three and six months
- when a fetus is viable and can live outside the womb
- at birth