Support for abortion rights hits new high in NBC News poll

More than 60 percent of Americans oppose the prospect of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade as support for abortion rights reaches a new record high, according to a new NBC News poll.

The new poll released Sunday was conducted after the Supreme Court’s leaked draft opinion indicated that a majority of justices would support abolishing the constitutional right to abortion. The poll found that 63 percent of respondents said they oppose overturning the 1973 landmark decision.

While the percentage of respondents who oppose overturning Roe v. Wade has remained relatively the same over the years, it reached the highest amount of opposition in 2018, when 71 percent said they opposed overturning the decision.

In general, 60 percent of those polled said abortion should be legal. More specifically, 37 percent said it should always be legal, and 23 percent said it should be legal most of the time. In contrast, 32 percent said abortion should be illegal with exceptions, and 5 percent said it should have no exceptions.

In comparison, a combined 45 percent of respondents in the April 2013 poll said that abortion should be legal. The support later jumped to 55 percent in March 2018.

The latest results show the highest percentage of support for abortion since NBC began asking the question in 2003.

Across party lines, 84 percent of Democrats and 63 percent of independents said abortion should be legal, while only 33 percent of Republicans said the same. 

Additionally, 52 percent of registered voters said they are less likely to vote for a candidate who supports overturning Roe v. Wade, while 26 percent said they are more likely to vote for one.

NBC’s poll was conducted on 1,000 adults from May 5 to May 7 and May 9 to May 10. It has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points. The draft opinion leaked on May 2.


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