Majority of Voters Support A Woman’s Right to Choose, National Poll Finds

May 22, 2019 by Dan McCue
Women hold signs during a protest against recently passed abortion ban bills at the Georgia State Capitol building on Tuesday, May 21, 2019, in Atlanta. The Georgia "heartbeat" bill would ban abortion when a fetal heartbeat is detected. (Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images/TNS) **FOR USE WITH THIS STORY ONLY**

A majority of American voters believe the U.S. Supreme Court was right in 1973 when it ruled in Roe v. Wade that women have a constitutionally-protected right to have an abortion, and most also believe the current generation of justices will uphold that ruling.

Those are just some of the findings in the a Quinnipiac University National Poll released Wednesday.

What’s more the poll found 28 percent of voters believe abortion should be legal in all cases, a percentage that matches the highest level of support for access to abortion in all cases since the university first asked the question in 2004.

Another 32 percent say abortion should be legal in most cases.

The poll also found that 27 percent of voters believe abortion should be illegal in most cases, while 8 percent say it should be illegal in all cases, the lowest level of support ever for that position.

Abortion has exploded as an issue this spring as conservatives in several states — Alabama, Georgia and Missouri, among them — have imposed some of the strictest limits on abortions in decades in the hope that a more conservative U.S. Supreme Court will repeal Roe V. Wade and limit women’s abilities to make their own reproductive decisions.

But the latest Quinnipiac University National Poll conducted between May 16 and 20, and has a margin of error of +/- 3.7 percentage points, found the conservatives are out of step with the majority of Americans.

For instance, the pollster found 65 percent of voters agreed with the high court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, and only 27 percent disagreed with the decision.

The only group of people found to disagree with the decision were Republicans, 58 percent of whom said the court had gotten the decision wrong compared to 34 percent who agreed with the court.

By 57 – 29 percent, American voters do not think the Supreme Court is likely to overturn Roe v. Wade in the next few years.

“There is little ambivalence as recent legislation in Alabama, Missouri and other states renews an emotional national debate over abortion,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

“Americans are in agreement on upholding one of the country’s most contentious rulings, and in the nightmarish scenario of rape or incest, party lines fall away in support of allowing abortions,” he said.

An overwhelming number of voters, 82 percent, said that abortion should be legal when pregnancy is caused by rape or incest. Here, Republicans also agree, 68 percent to 25 percent.

Forty-eight percent of voters oppose banning abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detectable, but here a gender difference emerged, with 51 percent of women opposing such a ban compared to 45 percent of men.

Forty percent of voters said the Supreme Court should make it easier for a woman to get an abortion, while 36 percent said the court should make it harder to do so.

On another note, 55 percent of American voters said the Supreme Court is motivated mainly by politics in making its decision, while 38 percent believe it is motivated mainly by the law.

Sixteen percent of respondents say the court is too liberal, while 35 percent say it is too conservative. Thirty-nine percent say the court is “about right,” the pollsters said.

A total 1,078 voters nationwide were surveyed for the latest Quinnipiac University Poll, which was directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D.

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