Fewer than 1 in 4 favor overturning Roe v. Wade: poll

Fewer than 1 in 4 U.S. adults support overturning the Supreme Court’s 1973 landmark decision in Roe v. Wade that defended Americans' constitutional right to abortion access, according to a new Marquette University Law School poll.

The study, conducted Sept. 7-16, found that 20 percent of Americans ages 18 and older believe the ruling in Roe v. Wade should be overturned, while 50 percent would oppose such a move by the Supreme Court. 

About 29 percent said they have not heard enough about the issue or don't have a firm opinion on the matter. 

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When asked about the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case involving Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban that is set to go before the Supreme Court later this year, 40 percent of respondents said they supported upholding the law, while 34 percent said it was unconstitutional.

Meanwhile, 27 percent said they had not heard of the contested law, or had no opinion on the subject. 

Oral arguments in the Mississippi case are scheduled to begin Dec. 1, with the Supreme Court expected to reach a decision in June. 

The Mississippi law would ban nearly all abortions after 15 weeks into a pregnancy, a measure opponents say should be invalidated based on the Roe v. Wade ruling, which said that people have a right to an abortion before a fetus is viable, which is typically around 24 weeks into a pregnancy. 

Anti-abortion advocates hope that the 6-3 conservative majority on the high court could lead to the Roe v. Wade decision being overturned, especially after the Supreme Court earlier this month in a 5-4 vote declined to block a Texas abortion ban from taking effect. 

The Texas law bans nearly all abortions after cardiac activity is detected, which can occur as early as six weeks into a pregnancy and before many people know they are pregnant. 

The Lone Star State’s ban has also gained pushback for not providing exemptions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest, and also allowing virtually any private citizen to win a financial reward for a successful lawsuit filed against an individual who performed or aided in the performance of an abortion in violation of the state law. 

The Biden administration and several groups have filed amicus briefs in support of the challenge to the Mississippi law, which the administration argued this week constitutes a “profound intrusion” on a pregnant individual’s “autonomy, her bodily integrity, and her equal standing in society.”

The Marquette poll, which included more than 1,400 adults, reported a margin of error of roughly 3 percentage points.