Hands off: More than 2 in 3 Americans don't want Roe v. Wade overturned

Trump may get to put an anti-abortion judge on the Supreme Court, but most Americans want to preserve Roe v. Wade

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published January 4, 2017 3:53PM (EST)

 (AP/Ted S. Warren)
(AP/Ted S. Warren)

President-elect Donald Trump may appoint a Supreme Court justice who will overturn Roe v. Wade, but one thing is certain — more than two out of three Americans support the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that guaranteed the legality of abortion within the first three months of pregnancy.

According to a Pew Research survey released Tuesday, 69 percent of Americans do not want Roe v. Wade to be completely overturned. The same poll found that 28 percent want to see it completely overturned.

When the same questions were asked of poll respondents in January 2013, only 63 percent said they didn't want Roe v. Wade to be overturned, compared to 29 percent who did want it overturned.

Not surprisingly, a higher percentage of Democrats said they support Roe v. Wade than Republicans, although even a slight majority among the latter group expressed that same view. Eighty-four percent of Democrats would not want Roe v. Wade overturned, an opinion shared by 53 percent of Republicans. There is little divergence on this issue between liberal Democrats and conservative or moderate Democrats, with 87 percent of the former and 82 percent of the latter believing Roe v. Wade should be upheld.

President-elect Trump has been staunch in his position regarding Roe v. Wade. During an October presidential debate with Hillary Clinton, Trump vowed that Roe v. Wade's overturning would "happen, automatically" if he became president, also adding that "I am pro-life." During an interview with "60 Minutes" in November, Trump reiterated that "I’m pro-life. The judges will be pro-life."

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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Abortion Pro-choice Roe V. Wade Roe Vs. Wade