Court Battles

Majority of Americans are concerned Roe decision will be used to overturn other rights: poll

Protesters for abortion rights demonstrate outside the Supreme Court on Friday, June 24, 2022 after the court released a decision to strike Roe v. Wade.
Greg Nash
Protesters for abortion rights demonstrate outside the Supreme Court on Friday, June 24, 2022 after the court released a decision to strike Roe v. Wade.

A majority of Americans are concerned that the the Supreme Court’s bombshell decision to overturn Roe v. Wade will be used as the basis to overturn other rights, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

A majority of respondents were also against the decision, which most said was motivated by politics rather than the law.

Fifty-six percent of respondents expressed concern that the ruling would be used as a basis to overturn past decisions upholding rights including birth control and same-sex marriage, compared to 41 percent who did not share that view.

By a 57 percent to 36 percent margin, respondents said the ruling was politically motivated. And 56 percent of Americans disapprove of the ruling, compared to 40 percent who approve.

The poll also found that 78 percent of Democrats said they were more likely to vote in November’s midterms because of the decision, 24 percent higher than Republicans.

“What the court did is clearly outside the mainstream of public opinion, and that is reflected again in the NPR poll,” the organization said of its survey, which has a margin of error of 4.9 percentage points.

Justice Clarence Thomas issued a concurrent opinion in the majority, calling on the Supreme Court to reconsider “due process precedents,” such as rulings protecting access to contraceptives and LGBTQ rights.

That decision has struck fear in Democrats about how far the conservative court might be willing to go.

However, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Sunday said Justice Samuel Alito “set the right tone” by writing in his majority opinion that other Supreme Court decisions are not in jeopardy.

“He said nothing in this decision puts those cases at risk. The reason he decided that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided is because it deals with the potential for life,” the senator said during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday”

Of Democrats polled, 9 out of 10 reported a negative view of the ruling, as well as a slim majority of independents (53%).

While the majority of men and women are against the decision, a slightly higher percentage of women oppose it (59 percent to 54 percent).

The poll results echo findings from a CBS News-YouGov poll released Sunday, in which 59 percent of respondents reported disapproval of the ruling and 41 percent said they approved. Additionally, 52 percent of voters said the decision was a “step backward” and 31 percent viewed it as a “step forward.”

The NPR/NewsHour/Marist poll, conducted Friday to Saturday, has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

Tags Clarence Thomas Lindsey Graham Roe v. Wade Roe v. Wade Samuel Alito
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