A new Fox News poll has found that more than half of voters support restricting abortion to the first 15 weeks of pregnancy, as Mississippi’s Gestational Age Act at the center of a Supreme Court case does. The poll was completed shortly before Monday night’s leak of Justice Samuel Alito’s draft majority opinion showing the Supreme Court may overturn Roe v. Wade in its decision on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. That final decision is expected in June.
When asked how they would feel if a law restricting abortion to 15 weeks were passed in their state, 54% of voters said they would favor such a law while 41% said they would oppose it. When asked about a six-week abortion restriction such as Texas’ Heartbeat Act, which prohibits abortion once a preborn child’s heartbeat can be detected, 50% said they would support such a law in their state compared to 46% who said they would oppose it.
In addition, 54% of voters polled said abortion should be illegal at all or most of the time, and 43% percent said it should be illegal except in cases of rape.
“If Roe v. Wade is overturned, it will be a hand grenade in the middle of an already chaotic political environment,” says Democratic pollster Chris Anderson, whose company Beacon Research conducted the Fox News survey along with Republican pollster Daron Shaw. “There are so many potential repercussions that predictions about how this will playout in the midterms are premature.”
These poll results are similar to those of a recent poll conducted by the Marquette University Law School. That poll also found that most Americans support a 15-week abortion limit. When asked, “if they would favor or oppose a ruling to ‘uphold a state law that (except in case of medical emergencies or fetal abnormalities) bans abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy,’ 37% said they favored upholding it, while 32% said they would oppose it.”
While polling continues to show that Americans believe Roe v. Wade should remain in place, their opinions on abortion limits show that many are unaware of the current legal limits on abortion under Roe, which forces all states to allow abortion up to 24 weeks.
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