Poll: 56 percent say Supreme Court should consider Roe v. Wade settled law

A majority of voters in a new poll say the Supreme Court should not revisit the Roe V. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide. 

The new Hill-HarrisX poll found that 56 percent of registered voters see the 1974 decision as a settled matter and do not want the court to review the issue. Forty-four percent disagree.

Majorities across all age groups said they did not want the Supreme Court to revisit the decision, with the closest margin among younger voters.

Respondents between the ages of 18 and 34 were almost evenly divided, with 51 saying the court should consider Roe settled law and 49 percents saying it should not be.

A strong majority of participants who were 65 years or above, 64 percent, said that the Supreme Court should not reexamine its earlier abortion ruling. Fifty-six percent of voters who were between 50 and 64, and those who were between 35 and 49 agreed, said it should not be reviewed.

Respondents who said that the court should re-examine Roe were not asked about why they desired the review.

New restrictive abortion laws have been put in place in a number of states. Some states, such as Alabama, have essentially made almost all abortions illegal while others, such as Ohio, have sought to limit abortion to within specific weeks of pregnancy.

Opponents of abortion rights are hoping that a more conservative Supreme Court could consider the issue and revisit Roe v. Wade. That has sparked fears among abortion rights supporters who have warned abortion could be made illegal or severely limited across the country.

A Hill-HarrisX survey taken in August and September of last year found that 18 percent of registered voters believed that abortion should be legal under all circumstances; 27 percent believed it should be legal under most circumstances until the end of the sixth month of pregnancy; 41 percent believed it should be legal only cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother; and that 14 percent believed it should be illegal under all circumstances.

In a May 10-11 Hill-HarrisX poll, 45 percent of registered voters said that they believed laws restricting abortion rights after the sixth week of pregnancy were too strict. Thirty-four percent said they were just right and 21 percent said they were too lenient.

The June 1-2 survey was taken online among a statistically representative panel of 1,001 registered voters. It has a sampling margin of error of 3.1 percentage points and a 95 percent confidence level.

—Matthew Sheffield