The latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll shows that 70% of all Americans believe Roe v. Wade should remain the law of the land, according to today's Wall Street Journal . Today marks the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court case that legalized abortion nationwide.
At 70%, the Roe decision enjoys the highest level of public support since polls began tracking the issue in 1989. The Wall Street Journal explains that:
The shift [in support of the Roe decision] is mostly the result of more Democrats backing the decision—particularly Hispanics and African-Americans—and a slight uptick in support from Republicans.
But the WSJ/NBC poll also showed that approximately 31% of poll respondents said "abortion should always be legal," while nine percent "believed it should be illegal without any exceptions." Between those two extremes, 23% thought abortion should be legal "most of the time, but with some exceptions," while 35% believed abortion "should be illegal except in circumstances of rape, incest and to save a woman's life."
Similarly, in a survey by the Pew Research Center reported by Ashby Jones of the Wall Street Journal yesterday, 54% of Americans think abortion should be "legal in all or most cases," while nearly 40% believe that abortion should be "illegal in all or most cases." The Pew Survey notes that these levels of public opinion on abortion have remained fairly stable since the mid-1990s. The Survey also reports that women are somewhat more likely than men (55% vs. 52%) to support abortion rights in all or most cases.
The Pew Survey can be found here.