The Supreme Court will take up an abortion rights case on December 1 that would give them an opportunity to directly overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that protects the right to abortion until viability. But doing so would be quite unpopular with Americans. According to the results of three recent polls conducted over the past few weeks—as reproductive rights crumble in Texas—fewer than one-third of Americans would like to see Roe v. Wade overturned.
CNN reports that across the polls conducted last week, most of the people surveyed had no interest in dismantling Roe. Of the surveyed, only a scant 20 to 30 percent believed that the landmark abortion rights decision should be overturned. From CNN:
Americans say, 45% to 23%, that the Supreme Court has reduced, rather than expanded, the rights of people seeking abortions over the past 15 years or so, according to Marquette. Nearly half would like to see the needle move the other way — 48% want to see the Supreme Court make it easier to get an abortion in the US, per Quinnipiac, with 35% saying the court should make it harder to do so.
The debate around abortion and the future of reproductive rights is necessarily nuanced because the issue itself is complicated and intensely personal. However, the details of the Texas bill, which effectively deputizes citizens to turn in abortion providers for a bounty of $10,000, could be a very compelling reason for those who were on the fence about abortion rights to change their minds. The polls indicate that the public appetite for overturning Roe v. Wade is, at this moment, not quite there, but that hasn’t stopped lawmakers from continuing their crusade.
In Mississippi, lawmakers are attempting to argue in favor of keeping their 15-week abortion ban; meanwhile, a handful of other states are gathering their resources to craft bills that are very similar to the one in Texas. Despite the results of the polls, which clearly states that the citizens being affected by these laws don’t want them to change, politicians (and conservative SCOTUS justices) are forging ahead with their own agendas—disappointing, yes, but completely unsurprising.