Support for Abortion Surges to Highest Level in Nearly 30 Years

Two-thirds of Americans now say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, the highest number since 1995.

Support for Abortion Surges to Highest Level in Nearly 30 Years
Photo:JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP (Getty Images)

People really don’t know what they’ve got until it’s gone: Four months after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and ended federal protection of abortion, support for abortion has surged.

The number of Americans who say abortion should be legal in all or most cases jumped to 66 percent, or two-thirds of the country, according to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll. That’s the highest number since 1995—the first time the question was asked—and up eight points since April, which was before a draft of the Supreme Court opinion overturning Roe leaked.

The pollster, Langer Research Associates, called the increase “a striking result.” It said that women, including Republican women, were primarily responsible for the boost. Support for legal abortion went from 62 percent among all women in April to 74 percent now, with Republican women’s support increasing 15 points, to 43 percent. In states that voted for former President Donald Trump in 2020, the percentage of people who support keeping abortion legal also increased by 15 points, clocking in at 63 percent.

(The poll was conducted between Oct. 30 and Nov. 2 among a random national sample of 1,005 adults, including 881 registered voters, with 75 percent reached on their cell phones.)

Screenshot:Washington Post (Fair Use)

Still, voters ranked other issues as more important than the loss of abortion rights. According to the poll, 80 percent of likely voters said the economy is a top issue; 77 percent said inflation; 75 percent said education and schools; 74 percent said threats to democracy; 69 percent said crime; and 62 percent said abortion.

Democrats could very well lose both the House and the Senate despite this record support for abortion; the party in power historically loses seats in Congress in midterm elections. But don’t let anyone tell you that abortion rights are unpopular, or that Republicans have a mandate to ban abortion—far from it.

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