Polls and surveys have consistently shown that a majority of Americans support abortion rights and Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark decision that established a woman’s constitutional right to abortion. Everyday Health’s readers are no exception.
A recent Everyday Health poll found that two-thirds of readers said they don’t want the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the landmark 1973 decision that legalized abortion on the national level. Across every age group, gender, and geographical area, more Everyday Health readers support Roe v. Wade?than those who don’t.
This opinion poll was conducted before the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in a 5-4 decision on Friday, June 24.
Nearly 1,000 Everyday Health readers submitted answers. Of 914 responses, two-thirds said they don’t want Roe overturned and that they support the landmark 1973 ruling. Across every age group, gender, and geographical area, more Everyday Health readers support Roe than those who don’t. An overwhelming majority of Democratic readers (95 percent) do not want to see Roe overturned. Two-thirds of Independent readers want to keep Roe, and 1 in 3 Republican readers also expressed support for abortion.
The second highest percentage of support across all age groups was among those 65 and older: 72 percent of those readers support Roe. Readers ages 35 to 44 have 78 percent in support of?Roe, as do 64 percent of readers 45 to 55. People ages 18 to 34 and ages 55 to 64 both have 62 percent in support.
According to Cynthia Soohoo, a professor of law at the City University of New York and co-director of the Human Rights and Gender Justice Clinic, that high percentage of support among older readers is not surprising.
“People who are 65 years or older were teenagers or adults before Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in 1973,” says Soohoo. “They are more likely to have known someone who was denied an abortion or who had to get an illegal abortion. They understand the importance of Roe in a way that younger people do not.”
At 85 percent, most of the people who filled out the poll are women. Three in four women said they support Roe, while only half of male readers did.
The highest geographic area of support was the West (Alaska, California, and Hawaii), with 76 percent in support of Roe. However, most regions had around two-thirds in support. The geographical group of readers with the lowest support for?Roe were those living in the South Central United States, with 57 percent wanting Roe to remain. All three states in this region — Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas — have trigger laws that would ban abortion if Roe is overturned, according to USA Facts.
“I think it is significant that even in the South Central area, where we have seen the most extreme anti-abortion legislation passed, the majority of readers still support Roe v. Wade,” says Soohoo. “This reflects a problem with the political process, as state legislators are not passing laws that reflect the views of the majority of their residents and instead disproportionately cater to the views of a vocal anti-abortion minority.”
Now that Roe has been overturned, abortion access will be decided at the state level. More than half of U.S. states — most of which are in the South and Midwest — are certain or likely to completely ban abortion. Some states would ban people from traveling to different states to obtain an abortion, a policy that is certain to face legal challenges. Other states — like California, according to ABC, and New York — have legislation in the works that would expand abortion funding and protections.
The Everyday Health poll of 914 readers was conducted May 19 to June 1, 2022, with a margin or error of +/- 3 percentage points.