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Poll Shows How Many Americans Want Congress to Guarantee Access to Abortion

AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe

Several polls have come out since the Supreme Court’s historic ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Planned Parenthood v. Casey and Roe v. Wade. A poll published this week asked Americans how they reacted to the news that Roe was overturned and if they think Congress should act on protecting abortion access.

The new AP/NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll published Thursday claims that the majority of Americans say Congress should pass legislation guaranteeing access to abortion nationwide.

The poll asked respondents how they were feeling about the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe. In the results, Republicans were more inclined than Democrats to say they are “very” or “extremely” relieved (41 percent to 3 percent), proud (34 percent to 3 percent) or excited (38 percent to 3 percent) that Roe was overturned.

A follow-up question asked respondents if they think Congress should pass a law guaranteeing legal abortion nationwide. Overall, 60 percent said Congress should pass such legislation. Thirty-nine percent said Congress should not. 

Broken down by political party, 85 percent of respondents said Congress should pass legislation protecting abortion nationwide. Fifty-seven percent of Independents and 32 percent of Republicans said the same.

Respondents were asked were limits should be drawn when it comes to abortion. Overall, 74 percent of respondents said abortion should be legal the first six weeks of pregnancy. Fifty-three percent said it should be allowed up to 15 weeks of pregnancy. Thirty-three percent said it should be legal to 24 weeks of pregnancy. 

Ninety-one percent of Democrats said abortion should be legal in the first six weeks. Seventy-six percent said it should be legal to 15 weeks. More than half, 55 percent, said abortion should be legal til 24 weeks of pregnancy. That marks the end of the second trimester.

The Supreme Court’s majority opinion in the Dobbs case last month outlined how the U.S. Constitution does not protect the right to abortion and determined that Roe and Casey were wrongly decided. It sent the issue of abortion back to the states.

“The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion; Roe and Casey are overruled; and the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives,” the opinion stated. 

“Like the infamous decision in Plessy v. Ferguson, Roe was also egregiously wrong and on a collision course with the Constitution from the day it was decided. Casey perpetuated its errors, calling both sides of the national controversy to resolve their debate, but in doing so, Casey necessarily declared a winning side. Those on the losing side—those who sought to advance the State’s interest in fetal life—could no longer seek to persuade their elected representatives to adopt policies consistent with their views. The Court short-circuited the democratic process by closing it to the large number of Americans who disagreed with Roe.”

AP’s poll conducted this month included 1,085 adults and has a margin of sampling errors of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points. 

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