Record number of Americans say abortion ‘morally acceptable,’ Gallup poll finds

·2 min read
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

More Americans believe abortion is acceptable today than at any point in the past 20 years, according to a recent poll.

Gallup found that 47 per cent of Americans believe that receiving an abortion is morally acceptable. That number is the highest that it has been since the polling organisation began asking the question two decades ago.

On the flip side, nearly the same number of Americans – 46 per cent – believe abortion is "morally wrong."

The poll determined that it was largely Democrats and independents whose acceptance of abortion grew since the last poll. Of those groups, 64 per cent of Democrats and 51 per cent of independents believe abortion to be morally acceptable. Only 26 per cent of Republicans felt the same way.

Despite the disagreement on the morals of abortion, the majority of the country appears to agree that the right for a woman to get one should remain intact.

When asked if Roe v Wade – the landmark Supreme Court decision that established legal abortion rights in 1973 – should be overturned, 58 per cent of respondents said no. Only 32 per cent of the respondents said they wanted to see Roe v Wade overturned.

The poll was conducted at a tumultuous time in the world of abortion law; several weeks ago, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case involving Mississippi's ban on abortions taking place after 15 weeks.

Anti-abortion activists likely see the current conservative-leaning Supreme Court to be their best chance in decades to be rid of the federal laws preventing states from outright banning abortion.

In response to the challenge, congressional Democrats reintroduced a bill on Tuesday aimed at explicitly authorizing abortion under federal law.

The measure is essential meant to be an insurance policy in the event that Roe v Wade is dismantled.

Due to the sharp divisiveness in Congress and the heightened emotions surrounding the issue of abortion, it is unclear whether or not such a bill can make it through the legislature.

Lawmakers in some state legislatures have been preparing for the potential end of Roe v Wade for months or even years. Some states have passed laws explicitly protecting their abortion laws, while others will essentially be prepared to ban abortion the instant the Supreme Court overturns the landmark case.

These laws - called "trigger laws" - were put in place in conservative states to trigger should Roe v Wade ever be overturned. According to The New York Times, at least 10 states have trigger laws, and an additional 12 will likely move to outright ban abortion if the decision is struck down.

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