ABC Poll: Large Majority Supports Keeping Roe v Wade

ABC Poll: Large Majority Supports Keeping Roe v Wade a graphic illustration of a baby, the american flag and the scales of justice (Dreamstime)

By Brian Freeman | Tuesday, 16 November 2021 12:41 PM

A solid majority of Americans support maintaining Roe v. Wade, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll released Tuesday.

Sixty percent of Americans say the Supreme Court should uphold Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that established a woman's right to an abortion, while only 27% said it should be overturned.

The survey comes as Roe v. Wade faces the strongest possibility in recent years of being overturned, with the court's hearing this term of a case challenging abortion restrictions in a Mississippi law.

Other results from the poll include:

  • 58% oppose state laws that make it more difficult for abortion clinics to operate, while 36% back the laws.
  • The Texas law that empowers citizens to sue those providing or assisting with abortions is even more unpopular, with two-thirds saying the Supreme Court should reject it, including nearly a third of those who otherwise back additional state restrictions.
  • 75% say the decision if a woman can have an abortion should be left to her and her doctor, and not regulated by law.
  • A majority backs keeping Roe even in the 26 states where abortion bans or severe restrictions are anticipated if the ruling was overturned.
  • Support for retaining Roe runs especially high among liberals (87%), Democrats (82%), those under 30 and Blacks (both 71%). Backing for keeping Roe is also 71% among women under 40, compared with 54% among men that age. Among all women, 64% support Roe, while among all men it is 56%.
  • Preference for Roe to be overturned peaks at 70% among those identifying themselves as strong conservatives, but falls to 38% among those who are somewhat conservative.
  • It is backed, by contrast, by nearly all strong liberals and 79% of those who are somewhat liberal. Among evangelical white Protestants, 58% support overturning Roe, while 30% favor upholding it.
  • 83% of Democrats oppose state restrictions making it harder for abortion clinics to operate, while 62% of Republicans support them. Among independents, 61% opposed such restrictions.
  • 81% of women say the decision whether or not a woman can have an abortion should be left to the woman and her doctor, compared with 69% of men. Among blacks, 91% say the decision should be left to the woman and her doctor, compared with about seven in 10 whites and Hispanics alike.
  • Even narrow majorities of Republicans (53%) and conservatives (52%) say the decision should be between a woman and her doctor, while evangelical white Protestants divide on the question 49-47%.

The poll was conducted by landline and cellular telephone between Nov. 7-10, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,001 adults. Results have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, including the design effect. Partisan divisions in the full sample are 27-26-37%, Democrats-Republicans-independents.