For The First Time In History, Most Americans Think Abortion Should Be Legal

Planned Parenthood

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

For the first time in history, a clear majority of Americans want abortion to be legal in all or most cases, according to a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released Monday night.The poll found that 31 per cent wanted abortion to be legal in every case, while 23 per cent of respondents said they wanted abortion to be legal most of the time. That is the first time the combined response of those two options has gone above 50 per cent.

Meanwhile, 35 per cent of respondents wanted abortion to be illegal with exceptions in cases of rape, incest, or to save the mother’s life — the most popular option. Only 9 per cent of the respondents wanted abortion unilaterally illegal without exceptions. 

The poll also found that 70 per cent of respondents opposed overturning Roe v. Wade, on the 40th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court case that legalized a woman’s constitutional right to abortion in the U.S.

Americans’ opposition to overturning Roe v. Wade is at its highest point since it was first measured in 1989. Only 24 per cent of respondents wanted to see Roe v. Wade overturned, the poll found. 

Overall, 39 per cent of respondents said they approved of the Roe v. Wade decision, while 19 per cent disapproved. A large chunk of respondents — 41 per cent — said they did not know enough about Roe v. Wade to have an opinion. 

The sample was comprised of 52 per cent women and 48 per cent men and had a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3.1 per cent. 

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