Surprise, surprise: Americans want to keep the right to abortion!
A survey released by ABC News/Washington Post on Tuesday found that 60 percent of voters believe the Supreme Court should uphold Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision protecting abortion rights until viability, compared to 27 percent who want to see the precedent overturned. The pro-choice majority includes a number of demographics: men, women, young adults, seniors, college graduates, non-college educated, whites and non-whites. Among Catholics, 62 percent believe Roe should be upheld, despite what the church would have you believe.
The poll also asked about Texas Senate Bill 8, which bans abortion after six weeks and allows private citizens from anywhere to sue anyone who aids or abets an abortion. Sixty-five percent of those surveyed said the Supreme Court should reject the law. The highest court heard arguments more than two weeks ago and have not issued any rulings. The six-week ban has been in effect since Sept. 1 when SCOTUS failed to issue an injunction or enjoin the law. Thus far, it has resulted in patients leaving Texas in droves for abortion in surrounding states, which results in patients from surrounding states being pushed to even further states. The influx of Texas patients is simply unsustainable: The total number of abortions performed in four surrounding states is only 41 percent of the total abortions performed annually in the state of Texas.
Poll respondents also weighed in on state anti-abortion laws being debated and passed. While overall there is a strong opposition to laws that make abortion clinics difficult to operate (58 percent compared to 36 percent), digging into the particulars is where it gets interesting: The “strongly support” and “strongly oppose” camps have only become more steadfast. Compared to a 2013 poll asking the same question, the percentage of Americans who “strongly oppose” laws that make it difficult to operate an abortion clinic climbed by eight percent, the percentage of those who “strongly support” those laws ticked up up one percent.
Reproductive justice means giving the decision to a patient with the guide of a medical professional. Seventy-five percent of voters said the decision to have an abortion should be left to the woman and her doctor (sorry for the unnecessarily gendered language, it’s what respondents were asked), compared to 20 percent who said it should be regulated by law. This view is in line with the view of abortion espoused in Roe, wherein the state had no say in abortion care in the first trimester — only the patient and their doctor.
The constitutionality of Roe v. Wade will be considered on Dec. 1.