COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – As the nomination of a conservative justice to replace liberal Ruth Bader Ginsburg pushes the U.S. Supreme Court toward a renewed fight over abortion rights, new polling shows that 2 in 3 Americans do not want Roe v. Wade overturned.
Results released Tuesday from the latest NBC/SurveyMonkey poll, conducted Sep. 21-27 among 47,733 U.S. adults, show that 66% do not want the landmark SCOTUS decision that established a woman’s right to an abortion completely overturned. 1 in 3 (29%) U.S. adults want Roe overturned, while 5% did not answer.
Democrats and those who lean Democrat support keeping Roe by a wide margin, 86% to 12%. Republicans and Republican leaners, however, are split on the issue instead of having one prevailing opinion. Republicans slightly support overturning Roe than keeping it, 50% to 47%.
Independents tend to agree more with Democrats than Republicans, favoring keeping Roe 71% to 25%.
The 1973 Roe v. Wade decision said a woman’s right to privacy protected her ability to get an abortion, but the ruling also allowed states to regulate abortion more heavily after a pregnancy’s first trimester. Before Roe, abortion rights were up to individual states, with few federal restrictions.
Solid majorities across demographics
Unlike many social issues in America, opinions on Roe do not vary much by age group, as majorities of people of all ages agreed the decision should stand:
- 18-24 years old: 68%-29%
- 25-34 years old: 66%-29%
- 35-44 years old: 65%-30%
- 45-54 years old: 66%-29%
- 55-64 years old: 66%-29%
- 65 years old and up: 66%-30%
Men and women were also close in their results, both favoring keeping Roe:
- Men: 63%-33%
- Women: 69%-26%
Tuesday’s survey also did not find much variation between races, ethnicities, education levels or income levels. Strong majorities of U.S. adults in each subcategory said they do not want Roe overturned.
An opening for conservatives
Fulfilling a promise to only nominate anti-abortion justices to the Supreme Court, President Donald Trump nominated federal circuit court Judge Amy Coney Barrett, 48, on Saturday to replace the liberal Ginsburg who died Sept. 18.
Barrett said in 2013, according to research by the Associated Press, that controversial rulings such as Roe should be open to change instead of forever being precedent.
Although in 2016, regarding the future possibility of a conservative court taking up Roe, Barrett said, “I don’t think abortion or the right to abortion would change. I think some of the restrictions would change.”
Barrett’s confirmation would give conservatives a 6-3 majority on the Court and allow those opposed to abortion a larger avenue to argue for overturning Roe or at least loosening its abortion protections.
Senate Judiciary Committee chair Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) announced that confirmation hearings will begin Oct. 12, just 22 days before the Nov. 3 presidential election. Many Republicans, including Graham, argued in 2016 that new SCOTUS justices should not be confirmed in an election year, while they stalled President Barack Obama’s March nomination of Merrick Garland.
Democrats, in the Senate minority, have few options to stop Barrett’s confirmation as only two Republicans – Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) – agree that a nominee should not be confirmed until after the 2020 election.