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Majority of Americans don't want Roe v. Wade overturned, CBS News poll finds

New abortion bans spark protests across U.S.
New abortion bans spark protests across the country 02:57

Two-thirds of Americans want Roe v. Wade left in place, and most who hold that view would be disappointed or angry if the ruling were to be overturned someday, a new CBS News poll finds. Recent state laws restricting abortions have prompted speculation over whether the Supreme Court might one day revisit the decision.


If Roe v. Wade were overturned, almost twice as many Americans say they would be dissatisfied or angry than happy or satisfied. A quarter say it wouldn't matter much. 


Most who want the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade would be happy (35%) or satisfied (31%) if that were to happen. Among those who want Roe v. Wade kept as it is, a majority would be dissatisfied or angry if the ruling were to be overturned, including 44% who said they would be angry.

Views on abortion divide along partisan lines as they have for years, but Republicans split over whether Roe v. Wade, specifically, ought to be overturned.


A plurality of Republicans would have stricter limits on abortion, rather than have it not permitted, and they are more likely to want Roe left in place. The Republicans who say abortion shouldn't be permitted (one third of the party) also want Roe overturned. 


Party is more strongly related to views on abortion than is gender. And men and women overall hold similar views on what should happen with Roe v. Wade. 


Thirty-eight percent of women say they would be angry if Roe v. Wade were overturned, compared to 24% of men. 


Most Americans (79%) have heard at least some news about the recent state laws, including nearly half who have heard or read a lot about it. 

This poll was conducted by telephone May 17 to 20, 2019, among a random sample of 1,101 adults nationwide. Data collection was conducted on behalf of CBS News by SSRS of Glen Mills, Pennsylvania. Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard landline and cellphones.

The poll employed a random digit dial methodology. For the landline sample, a respondent was randomly selected from all adults in the household. For the cell sample, interviews were conducted with the person who answered the phone.

Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish using live interviewers. The data have been weighted to reflect U.S. Census figures on demographic variables.

The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus four percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher and is available by request. The margin of error includes the effects of standard weighting procedures which enlarge sampling error slightly. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

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