Support for legal abortion hits new high among US voters: Fox News poll

March 28, 2024

A record 59 percent of surveyed Americans believe abortion should be legal, according to a new Fox News poll published Wednesday, as the Supreme Court argued over whether abortion pills should be outlawed, and GOP politicians consider support for a national abortion ban.

Support for abortion rights has increased by double digits since early 2022, just before the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision that removed federal protections for abortion procedures. The Dobbs ruling created a cascading effect of abortion restrictions in Republican-controlled states nationwide and sparked a new movement of abortion rights activism.

The 59 percent figure is a significant increase from the April 2022 record low of 44 percent in an identical Fox News poll.

Support for making abortion legal in all or most circumstances has gone up in every demographic, including those considered most critical of abortion rights. That includes a 16 percent increase among people 65 or older, a 12 percent rise among conservatives, an 11 percent increase among registered Republicans and a 10 percent increase among white evangelical Christians.

About five times as many people said abortion should always be legal (35 percent) as those who said it should never be legal (7 percent), the poll found.

Both Republicans and Democrats have seized on abortion as a political rallying issue, with President Biden and Democrats vowing to bring back pre-Dobbs protections while Republicans consider further restrictions.

Former President Trump has not said whether he backs a national abortion ban but has floated backing the measure in recent weeks. A majority of his GOP primary rivals said they would back a 15-week abortion ban, an unpopular policy according to polls.

The Fox News poll on Thursday found that a majority of surveyed Americans — 54 percent — would oppose a 15-week ban, while 43 percent said they would support one. That’s a flip from last year’s results, when a ban was supported by a 12-point margin.

Pollster Daron Shaw, a Republican, said the results show rare movement on the issue and could provide Democrats with momentum.

“Sometimes you have to be careful about what you wish for,” Shaw told Fox News. “Opinions on abortion are hard to move, but they have shifted slightly to the left in the past two years. Whatever the substantive legal and policy merits of the Court’s ruling in the Dobbs case, overturning Roe has given the Democrats a rallying point in an otherwise bleak issue environment.”