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New Poll Shows Americans’ Opinions on 15-Week Abortion Bans

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

The law at the center of the Supreme Court case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is a 15-week abortion ban in Mississippi. After a draft opinion from the case was leaked to Politico this week showing the Justices overturning Roe v. Wade, a major news network published a poll on Americans’ opinions on 15-week abortion restrictions.

The Fox News poll found that many Americans favor banning abortion after 15 weeks. This comes after a Fox poll found that more than six in 10 registered voters believed the Supreme Court should uphold Roe

When asked how they would feel if such a law were passed in their state, just over half of voters favor it (54 percent) while 41 percent are opposed. 

Voters were also asked how they felt about a similar ban (with medical exceptions) on abortion after only six weeks, which is the new standard in Texas. Voters split on this policy: 50% favor vs. 46% oppose.

The nine-week difference in the Mississippi and Texas laws appears consequential to voters. Some key groups like independents (+9), suburban women (+10), and moms (+11) are more likely to support a 15-week ban over a 6-week one, while others such as Hispanic voters (-8) and those who worship regularly (-5) are less likely.

Overall, sentiments on Roe have held mostly steady since 2018, when Fox first asked the question. On average, more than 60% (between 57% and 65%) say the case should remain the law of the land.  The new poll finds 27% think the case should be overturned.

In the findings, overall, 44 percent of respondents said abortion should remain legal all (27 percent) or most (17 percent) of the time while 54 percent of respondents think abortion should be illegal all (11 percent) or most (43 percent) of the time. 

“The ‘legal’ number is a record low and it’s also the first time the portion saying "illegal’ has been above 50% on a Fox News poll,” the write-up stated. “Of the four positions, the largest share, 43%, thinks abortion should be illegal except in certain circumstances, such as rape, incest, and to save the mother’s life.”

The poll was conducted from April 28 to May 1 under left-leaning Beacon Research and right-leaning Shaw & Company Research.

"Americans’ opinions on abortion are more nuanced than is often assumed," Daron Shaw from Shaw & Company Research told Fox. "Sixty percent think abortion should be legal, but with restrictions. The question is where to draw the line." 

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