The poll, released Thursday, found that 64 percent of Americans support the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in the U.S., and they would not like to see it overturned. Twenty-eight percent of Americans responded that they would like to see Roe overturned.
Gallup conducted the poll through telephone interviews with 1,291 people from July 2-8 ― just before President Donald Trump announced Brett Kavanaugh as his pick to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. Democrats and abortion rights activists have sounded the alarms on Kavanaugh, whose judicial record indicates that he does not support abortion.
In 2017, Kavanaugh wrote in a dissenting opinion that an undocumented teenager should not be allowed to seek an abortion while in custody at the U.S. border in Texas. He argued that the U.S. government has “permissible interests” in “favoring fetal life” and “refraining from facilitating abortion.”
Trump said in 2016 that he would use any Supreme Court nomination opportunities to appoint judges who would overturn Roe.
The responses to the Gallup poll were mostly divided along party lines. Eighty-one percent of Democrats said they did not want Roe overturned, while 41 percent of Republicans said the same. In contrast, 13 percent of Democrats and 51 percent of Republicans said the ruling should be reversed.
The poll also found the American public is torn on whether a “qualified” and “ethical” Supreme Court nominee should be evaluated on his stance on a specific issue. Forty-nine percent of Americans reported thinking senators are justified in voting for or against the confirmation of a nominee based on his views, while 46 percent of Americans believe it is unjustifiable.
Though Trump said last week that he did not question his Supreme Court candidates about Roe, Vice President Mike Pence said in a Tuesday interview with CNN that he would still like to see the ruling overturned.
If Roe v. Wade were reversed, abortion could once again become illegal in more than 20 states that had laws outlawing abortion before the Roe ruling.