After rising to new heights last year, Americans’ support for legal abortion remains elevated in several long-term Gallup trends.A record-high 69% say abortion should generally be legal in the first three months of pregnancy. The prior high of 67% was recorded last May after the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization draft was leaked, showing that the court planned to nullify constitutional protection for abortion.
Most Americans oppose abortion later in pregnancy, but the 37% saying it should be legal in the second three months of pregnancy and 22% in the last three months of pregnancy are the highest Gallup has found in trends since 1996.
Gallup’s oldest trend on the legality of abortion finds 34% of Americans believe abortion should be legal under any circumstances, nearly matching last year’s record-high 35% and above the 27% average since 1975. Another 51% currently say abortion should be legal under certain circumstances, while 13% (similar to the all-time low of 12%) want it illegal in all circumstances.
Fifty-two percent of Americans say abortion is morally acceptable, matching last year’s all-time high. This is 10 percentage points above the historical average since 2001.
These findings align with Americans’ reaction to the Dobbs decision, which the Supreme Court handed down on June 24, 2022. A 61% majority of Americans think overturning Roe v. Wade, thus ending constitutional protection for abortion rights and returning the matter to the states, was a “bad thing,” while 38% consider it a “good thing.” Last year at this time, shortly after the Dobbs draft was leaked, 63% said overturning Roe v. Wade would be a bad thing and 32% a good thing.
Gallup measures public attitudes on abortion each May as part of its Values and Beliefs poll. The latest survey was conducted May 1-24.