A majority of U.S. adults (58%) do not want to see the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision overturned, while a similar majority (55%) identify as “pro-choice,” according to two Gallup reports published June 2.
The percentage who wants Roe to remain in place is unchanged from 2021, and it is in keeping with the average over the past three decades. “Dating back to 1989, support for reversing the decision has averaged 32%, while opposition has averaged 59%,” the report said.
A wide gap exists based on political party affiliation, with 58% of Republican respondents wanting to see Roe overturned, compared to 34% of Independents and 15% of Democrats.
Respondents who identify as “pro-choice” increased six points from last year to the highest percentage since 1995 when 56% identified as “pro-choice.”
By comparison, 39% identified as “pro-life” (down eight points from 2021), 4% said “mixed / neither” (up two points) and 1% said “don’t know what terms mean” (unchanged).
Again, a partisan gap was seen when analyzing responses based on political affiliation, with 88% of Democrats identifying as “pro-choice,” compared to 54% of Independents and 23% of Republicans.
“The pro-choice and pro-life labels have no official definition but are merely the prevailing terms used by the two major sides of the issue in national discussion and debate. Yet, how Americans interpret the terms can change in response to major events and cues,” the report said. “In the aftermath of the leaked opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson, being pro-life may be more associated than ever with being against Roe v. Wade. This could have pushed some former pro-life identifiers who feel ambivalently about abortion but favor Roe v. Wade to now put themselves in the pro-choice camp.”
When asked if they considered abortion morally acceptable or morally wrong, 52% of respondents said it was morally acceptable – the highest percentage in polling history and the first time a majority said it was morally acceptable.
Support for abortion declines as pregnancy progresses, with 67% of all U.S. adults saying it should be legal during the first trimester, 36% in the second trimester and 20% in the third trimester.
A strong majority (85%) want abortion to be legal, with a plurality (35%) saying they would like it to be “legal under any circumstances.” By comparison, 32% want it “legal only in a few circumstances” and 18% “legal under most circumstances.”
Democrats (82%) were most likely to say abortion should be legal in all / most circumstances, compared to 51% of Independents and 25% of Republicans.
The full report on Roe v. Wade views, with a plus or minus five percentage point margin of error, is available here.
The full report on “pro-choice” and “pro-life” views, with a plus or minus four percentage point margin of error, is available here.