New Poll Finds 70 Percent Support Ban on Abortions After 15 Weeks

Majority favors Roe but half of registered voters support banning abortion at six weeks.

AP/Jose Luis Magana, file
Abortion-rights activists protest outside the Supreme Court June 25, 2022. AP/Jose Luis Magana, file

As a post-Roe v. Wade America charts its course forward, one thing is clear: Those who oppose all abortion restrictions are in the minority. 

A new poll shows that in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson’s Women Health’s Initiative decision, half of registered voters support banning abortion at six weeks and about 70 percent support such a prohibition after 15 weeks. A majority favors upholding Roe

The Harris Poll and Harvard University’s Center for American Political Studies surveyed online some 1,300 registered voters between June 28 and June 29. 

Thirty-seven percent of voters surveyed said they think their state should permit abortion only in cases of rape and incest; 12 percent said abortion should be legal up to six weeks; and 23 percent said it should be legal up to 15 weeks, which was the restriction upheld in Dobbs. Another 18 percent would support access until 23 weeks, and 10 percent would support it up to nine months. 

Only 25 percent said they believe that abortion standards should be set by Supreme Court justices as opposed to state legislatures (44 percent) or congressional vote (31 percent).

The pollsters also determined, contradictory to speculation that Dobbs would either reinvigorate or demoralize the Democratic Party, that Dobbs would have a “net neutral impact” on voting in the midterm elections. Thirty-six percent of respondents said it made them more likely to vote Democrat, 36 percent said it made them more likely to vote Republican, and 29 percent said it had “no effect” on who they would support. 

Despite responses suggesting that voters are in favor of state-by-state abortion regulations and tighter restrictions on abortion access than Roe v Wade would permit, 55 percent of respondents also said they didn’t support the decision to overturn Roe. This suggests that either respondents misunderstood the question, or that much of the American public is confused about what Roe actually meant. 

Sixty-three percent of respondents said they believe the Supreme Court is legitimate, and nearly the same number believe that people should be allowed to protest outside the homes of Supreme Court justices.


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