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Reproductive rights advocates

Reproductive rights advocates held a protest on July 10, 2018 in New York City to denounce President Donald Trump's nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. (Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

As Republicans Target Roe, New Poll Shows Majority of Americans Don't Want Landmark Ruling Overturned

"It isn't news that abortion is generally supported among American voters. But Republicans from state legislatures to the Supreme Court have been determined to ignore these constituents."

Jessica Corbett

As Republican politicians nationwide continue to mount a challenge to Roe v. Wade with a wave of anti-choice state laws, a new poll shows the majority of Americans don't want the landmark Supreme Court ruling, which affirmed the constitutionally protected right to have an abortion, overturned.

The CBS News poll, published late Monday, found that 67 percent of all respondents want the high court—if it reconsiders Roe—to "keep it as is." By contrast, only 28 percent said they want the court to "overturn it."

Roe v. Wade poll results

Nearly half of all respondents, 48 percent, said they would be "dissatisfied/angry" if the 1973 ruling were overturned, whereas 26 percent said they would be "happy/satisfied" and 23 percent said it "wouldn't matter much."

The large majority of Democrats, 87 percent, said the court should keep the ruling as is and 66 percent said that abortion should be "generally available." Another 20 percent of Democrats agreed the procedure should be available, but with limits.

Republicans were split on how the nation's highest court should handle Roe: 45 percent said keep it as is and 48 percent said overturn it. A plurality of 48 percent said abortion should be available with limits. Only 16 percent said the procedure should be generally available, while 34 percent said it should not be permitted.

The polling results come as protests sweep the nation in opposition to restrictive state-level abortion bans that GOP state legislators and governors recently have pushed through in Georgia, Alabama, and Missouri. The explicit purpose of these "intentionally unconstitutional" bans is to provoke legal challenges by civil liberties groups that Republican politicians and anti-choice activists hope will ultimately result in a case before the right-wing U.S. Supreme Court.

"It isn't news that abortion is generally supported among American voters. But Republicans from state legislatures to the Supreme Court have been determined to ignore these constituents," Sophie Weiner wrote for Splinter in response to the CBS polling results. "Given this dire situation, it's important to keep in mind that not only are abortion bans dangerous and oppressive, they are also undemocratic."

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