Poll: Record High Support For Legal Abortion in the US

| Tue Jan. 22, 2013 12:39 PM EST

A record-high 70 percent of Americans now oppose overturning Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that affirmed a limited consitutional right to abortion, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll. And for the first time since the Journal and NBC started asking this question in 2003, a majority of the country believes abortion should be legal in all or most cases:

A simple explanation:

The shift is mostly the result of more Democrats backing the decision—particularly Hispanics and African-Americans—and a slight uptick in support from Republicans.

But the poll showed a consistent tension in Americans' attitudes toward the decision. Almost seven in 10 respondents say there are at least some circumstances in which they don't support abortion.

The news of Roe's newfound support comes on a big day—the milestone abortion-rights ruling had its 40th anniversary on Tuesday. The decision last saw its highest levels of support during the early '90s—around the same time the Supreme Court issued the 1992 ruling Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which affirmed the constitutionality of certain restrictions on abortion access.

MoJo editor Mike Mechanic has a good round-up of handy infographics from the Guttmacher Institute. Here's one that demonstrates the challenges women still face in trying to gain access to safe, legal abortion in the US:

guttmacher infographic barriers abortion us

And here's one on how abortions in this country have become concentrated primarily among the poor:

guttmacher infographic abortion concentrated among poor women

For more, click here and here.