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New Poll Shows How Many Americans Want Abortion Legal Up Until Birth

AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghef

A new poll published this week offers insight into how Americans view the Supreme Court’s historic ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned the landmark case Roe v. Wade. The findings show Americans’ understanding of Roe and how they think abortion should be legislated going forward.

Townhall covered how several states have passed "trigger" laws intended to protect unborn lives after Roe fell. Some of the states are running into legal challenges already over the laws. In addition, some abortion providers are packing their bags and moving to states with less restrictive laws.

In the Harvard CAPS/Harris poll  findings, 55 percent of voters said they oppose the Supreme Court’s decisions to overturn Roe. This is compared to 45 percent of respondents who support the Court’s decision.

Roe legalized abortion in all 50 states in 1973. Now, each state will decide their own laws on the issue.

The poll delved into specific abortion restrictions. Broken down, 10 percent of respondents said that their state should allow abortion up to 9 months of pregnancy. Eighteen percent said 23 weeks. Twenty-three percent said 15 weeks. Twelve percent said up to six weeks. The largest chunk, 37 percent, said “only in cases or rape and incest.” The law at the center of the Dobbs case was a 15-week abortion ban in Mississippi.

Combining the six-week limit, the 15-week limit and those who only allow abortion due to rape and incest is 72 percent of respondents. A 15-week abortion ban, like Mississippi’s, puts America more in line with abortion restrictions around the rest of the world.

Broken down by gender, 69 percent of men and 75 percent of women support limiting abortion at the state level at 15 weeks of pregnancy. More men than women, 31 percent to 25 percent, support abortion past the 23 week threshold.

Twenty-five percent of respondents said that it is better for abortion standards to be set by the Supreme Court. Thirty-one percent said standards should be set by a congressional vote and 44 percent said it should be set by state legislatures.

The poll was taken from June 28 to June 29 among 1,308 registered voters. 

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