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Poll: Majority of public opposed to overturning Roe v. Wade, closely split on 15-week abortion limit

The public is closely divided though on a limit to abortions after 15 weeks.
FILE - The Supreme Court is seen at dusk in Washington, Oct. 22, 2021.
FILE - The Supreme Court is seen at dusk in Washington, Oct. 22, 2021.(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 5:30 AM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Amid the 49th anniversary of the decision in Roe v. Wade, a new Marquette Law School Poll finds Wednesday that nearly three-fourths of respondents would be opposed to overturning it.

Of the respondents who had an opinion on the landmark case, around 28% stated that they were in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade and 72% oppose overturning it.

Table: Favor or oppose overturning Roe v. Wade

Poll DatesFavorOppose
9/7-16/212872
11/1-10/213070
1/10-21/222872

The Supreme Court of the United States is considering a Mississippi law, in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case, that bans abortions after 15 weeks. If the law is upheld, anti-abortion activists said much of the attention would shift to Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Kansas. These are states with Republican legislatures but Democrats in the governorship, each of whom is up for election in November.

If the Supreme Court overturns the Roe v. Wade ruling that women have a constitutional right to an abortion, governors in Michigan and Wisconsin would be powerless to overturn restrictions in their states that were already in place before the 1973 decision. But these governors would be the only obstacle to new measures passed by GOP legislatures, including outright bans on the procedure.

When respondents were asked about the specific restriction from the Mississippi law, 49% supported the limitation on abortion and 51% opposed it.

Table: Favor or oppose upholding 15-week abortion ban in Dobbs, among those with an opinion, Jan. 2022

Poll DatesFavorOppose
9/7-16/215446
11/1-10/215347
1/10-21/224951

Poll organizers noted that as abortion issues in front of the SCOTUS have been receiving more attention since the summer, the percentage of respondents with an opinion in Roe v. Wade has also increased. Just over seven in ten respondents said they had an opinion on reversing the decision in September, but that number rose six percentage points in January to 77%.

Those with an opinion on the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case remained steady, which was 73% in September and one point higher in January.

The survey was conducted from Jan. 10-21 and 1,000 adults nationwide were interviewed. The margin of error is +/- 4 percentage points.

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