FOX News/Opinion Dynamics Poll:Americans Say Let Roe v. Wade Stand

As we approach the 29th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, a majority of voters supports keeping the Supreme Court's landmark abortion decision intact.

The latest FOX News/Opinion Dynamics poll results show that by 59 percent to 26 percent, Americans prefer letting Roe v. Wade stand rather than overturning it. The 1973 Supreme Court decision made abortion in the first three months of pregnancy legal. Democrats, young people, and higher income groups are among the strongest backers of keeping the legislation in place. No gender gap here — 59 percent of both men and women say let Roe v. Wade stand. Two-thirds of Democrats endorse keeping the decision, as do half of Republicans and 62 percent of Independents.

There's a striking difference in opinion between those who voted for former Vice President Al Gore versus George W. Bush voters. Fully 72 percent of Gore voters support keeping the Court's decision in place compared to 52 percent of Bush voters.

Overall, the number of Americans who describe themselves as "pro-choice" and "pro-life" is more evenly divided than the positions on the Roe decision would suggest. Forty-seven percent say they are "more pro-choice" and 41 percent "more pro-life."

The young and old hold polar opposite opinions on this issue, with only one-third of 18-34 year olds being pro-life and only about one-third of those over 60 being pro-choice.

"The data show that while many Americans don’t like abortion, they are wary of any step that would put it into the center of the political and legal system and create even more contention than currently exists. The combination of those who support abortion and those who don’t want it in the legal system provides solid backing for Roe v. Wade," comments Opinion Dynamics President John Gorman.

Polling was conducted by telephone January 9-10, 2002 in the evenings. The sample is 900 registered voters nationwide with a margin of error of ± 3 percentage points.

1. On the issue of abortion, would you say you are more pro-life or more pro-choice?

2. The 1973 Supreme Court decision called Roe v. Wade made abortion in the first three months of pregnancy legal. Do you think the Supreme Court should overturn Roe v. Wade or let it stand?