New Poll Shows that Public Supports Preserving Access to Abortion

A new poll from Pew Research shows significant public support for safe, legal, abortion. The findings show that roughly 7 in 10 Americans oppose overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court case recognizing the right to abortion. Public opinion on abortion has remained relatively steady over the decades since the ruling, but this new data shows the highest amount of public support in years (up from 63 percent four years ago). This widespread opposition to overturning Roe contrasts with remarks from incoming Administration officials, including Vice President-Elect Mike Pence who has stated that he would like to see Roe returned to the “ash heap of history.” To the contrary, the majority of voters oppose overturning Roe—even those generally thought to be against abortion, such as Catholics (61%), Protestants (63%), and Republicans (53%). While feelings about abortion are more nuanced than the pro-choice/pro-life labels suggest, the newest data show that most people ultimately believe the legal right to abortion should be upheld and that decisions about abortion should be kept between a woman and her provider.
Most people don’t talk about their support for abortion. On the other hand, those who want to limit access to abortion can be very vocal.  After all, the President-elect has expressed support for overturning Roe v. Wade, and Republicans in Congress are determined to defund Planned Parenthood clinics that provide significant care for millions of men and women, simply because they provide abortions. But, this data show that, when it comes to upholding a woman’s legal right to abortion, Americans share more common ground than many politicians would lead the public to believe.
So it looks like most Americans are on the same page—Abortion is a woman’s legal right and it must remain safe, legal, and accessible. Attempts to shame and stigmatize women for having abortions have instead inspired a very positive movement to show that abortion is a normal part of life and it is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s time to get the message to the incoming Administration that the public supports legal abortion and will fight to preserve it.