About 55% of Americans say they are “pro-choice”, most since 1995

Activists hold Pro-Choice posters. Local pro-choice activists rallied at the Alberta Legislature in solidarity with American women to protest for abortion rights. On Sunday, May 8, 2022, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Arthur Widak/ | Nurphoto | Getty Images

The percentage of Americans who identify as ‘pro-choice’ has risen to 55% – its highest level in decades – following an opinion leak that strongly suggests the Supreme Court will revoke the constitutional right to abortion next month, according to a new Gallup poll.

This level is six percentage points higher than that recorded in a similar Gallup poll last year. It’s been 27 years since the percentage of those who support the right to terminate a pregnancy was this high in a Gallup poll. In 1995, 56% of Americans were of this opinion,

Gallup said the surge in the number of respondents who support abortion rights was primarily due to an increase in the number of Democratic-leaning groups of people who share that view.

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“The percentage of ‘pro-choice’ did not change significantly among Republicans, independents, men or older Americans,” according to a summary of the findings published by Gallup.

The poll released Thursday also found that a majority of Americans now view abortion as morally acceptable, the first time a majority has expressed that view in a Gallup poll. And 35% of Americans say they support legalizing abortion under all circumstances, which is the highest percentage ever measured by the data tracker.

Additionally, the same new poll found that the percentage of Americans who say they are “pro-life” or opposed to abortion is 39%: the lowest level since 1996.

The phone survey of 1,007 American adults was conducted May 2-22. It had a sampling error margin of 4 percentage points.

Politico reported on May 2 that Judge Samuel Alito had written a draft majority opinion that the 1973 High Court decision in the landmark abortion rights case known as Roe v. Wade “must be undone”. Roe v. Wade is the foundation of the constitutional right to abortion for Americans.

Alito’s opinion has not been officially published by the Supreme Court, nor has any other similar opinion that would overturn the right to abortion.

But the court is expected to issue such a ruling in early July, which for the first time in half a century would give states carte blanche to determine how to regulate abortion.

Protesters during an abortion rights protest outside a courthouse in Los Angeles, California, U.S., Tuesday, May 3, 2022.

Jill Connelly | Bloomberg | Getty Images

More than half of US states are expected to either ban the procedure or restrict access to abortion much more severely if Roe is overturned.

The new Gallup poll found that the percentage of Americans who oppose overturning Roe v. Wade held steady at 58%, and the level of those who want him canceled was 35%.

“These sentiments are essentially unchanged from 2019,” Gallup noted in a report on the results.

And since 1989, when Gallup started polling people for their views on Roe’s overturning, opposition to overturning the decision has averaged 59%, while support for overturning the decision averaged 32%.

Gallup noted that a second question was added to the survey in May for the first time, asking people their thoughts on allowing each state to set its own abortion policies in the event Roe is overturned.

Sixty-three percent of those polled said it would be a “bad thing”, the survey found. Another 32% said it would be a “good thing”.

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