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  • Posted July 9, 2024

More Americans Now Think Abortion Should Be Allowed in Any Circumstance

Two years after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, more Americans think their state should allow a woman to get a legal abortion for any reason, a new poll finds.

Just over 6 in 10 of those questioned say women should have that right, compared to just under 50% of Americans who held the same belief in 2021, the new survey from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found.

Since the Supreme Court ruling in June 2022, full abortion bans, with limited exceptions, have been enacted in 14 Republican-led states. Meanwhile, three others prohibit abortion after about six weeks of pregnancy, before many women even realize they’re pregnant, the AP reported.

Americans are even more opposed to a national abortion ban, the poll found. 

Seven in 10 Americans think abortion should be legal on a national level in all or most cases, a slight increase from last year, while about 3 in 10 think abortion should be illegal in all or most cases. 

While the survey shows that the country is largely opposed to abortion restrictions, a substantial number of those polled expressed opinions and values that were incongruent, the AP reported.

About half of those who said a woman should be able to get an abortion for any reason also said their state should not allow abortion after 24 weeks of pregnancy and about one-quarter said their state should not allow abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

But the vast majority of Americans -- more than 8 in 10 -- said abortion should be legal in extreme circumstances, such as when a patient’s life would be endangered. Roughly 8 in 10 said the same about a pregnancy caused by rape or incest or when a fetal defect would prevent the child from surviving outside the womb.

Meanwhile, around 8 in 10 Americans said Congress should not pass a federal law banning abortion. Even most Republicans -- about two-thirds -- said a nationwide abortion ban should not happen.

The nationwide poll was conducted online and by phone with just over 1,000 adults from June 20 to June 24. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points.

More information

The World Health Organization has more on abortion.

SOURCE: Associated Press/NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, poll, July 9, 2024; Associated Press

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