According to a recently released Gallup Poll, a majority of Americans say for the first time that abortion is “morally acceptable” and should be kept legal. The poll shows a big swing in support for abortion rights as the Supreme Court debates whether to overturn Roe v. Wade in the wake of the leaked Samuel Alito opinion draft.
The May poll reflects drastic changes in views and opinions on abortion following the Supreme Court leak of the draft that if decided on by the court, which is likely, will see the 1973 decision that established the constitutional right to abortion overturned.
The poll found that 55% of those surveyed identify themselves as pro-choice, which is the highest percentage reported since 1995. In the same poll last year, only 49% used that same label to describe themselves. On the flip side, those identifying as pro-life fell from 47% to 39% in the year between the polls, indicated that the gap between both groups jumped anywhere between 2 to 16 percentage points.
58% oppose the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, according to the poll.
Lydia Saad, Gallu’s director of Social Research, explains:
“The prospect of the Supreme Court overturning the case that established women’s right to seek an abortion has clearly jolted a segment of Americans into identifying with the pro-choice side of the issue and expressing more unequivocal support for abortion being legal.”
The poll found a majority of Americans are much less likely to believe abortion should be illegal under all circumstances than previous polls indicated. It also recorded Gallups’ highest ever percentage of those who feel abortion should be kept legal in every circumstance.
However, according to the poll, most Americans do agree that abortion should be illegal in the second (55%) or third trimester (71%).
For the first time in the country’s history, according to Gallup, a majority of Americans surveyed consider abortion to be “morally acceptable,” at 52%.