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The Short Answer
Where Do Americans Stand on Abortion?
The Short Answer

Where Do Americans Stand on Abortion?

Editor's Note: This article was updated on June 15, 2022, with Gallup's latest data pertaining to Americans' views on abortion.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- More than eight in 10 Americans believe abortion should be legal to some degree, and a majority don't want Roe v. Wade overturned. At the same time, the country remains far from unified on the extent to which abortion should be legal.

According to Gallup's May 2022 update on Americans' abortion views, 35% of U.S. adults believe abortion should be legal "under any circumstances," 50% say it should be legal "only under certain circumstances" and 13% say it should be illegal in all circumstances.


A follow-up question asked of those taking the middle position finds 18% want abortion to be legal under most circumstances, while 32% favor it in only a few circumstances.


The demographic breakdown of these abortion views can be found on Gallup's Legality of Abortion Demographic Tables page.

Gallup polling on Roe v. Wade since 1989 has found Americans consistently opposed to overturning the landmark abortion ruling. As discussed in this article, that pattern continued in the latest survey, with 58% opposed and 35% in favor.

Steady 58% of Americans Do Not Want Roe v. Wade Overturned

The May 2-22 survey was conducted mostly after a leaked copy of a Supreme Court draft majority opinion overturning Roe v. Wade was reported in the news.

At the same time that Americans oppose overturning Roe, majorities oppose abortion being generally legal in the second (55%) or third (71%) trimester, while they broadly favor it being legal in the first trimester.

Separately, Gallup's 2022 abortion update found that the public now leans more "pro-choice" (55%) than "pro-life" (39%) when asked which term they identify with. The breakdown of how different subgroups of Americans answer this question is available on Gallup's 'Pro-Choice' or 'Pro-Life' Demographic Table page.

After years when Americans were closely divided on the morality of abortion or leaned against it, a slight majority (52%) now consider it morally acceptable, while 38% call it morally wrong. U.S. subgroups' views on this question are available on Gallup's Morality of Abortion Demographic Table page.

Yearly trends in Americans' views on the legality of abortion and whether they are pro-choice or pro-life are shown by gender, age and party ID on the following pages:

Learn how abortion may figure into Americans' vote in the 2022 midterm elections here:

Abortion Poised to Be a Bigger Voting Issue Than in Past

Find more Gallup articles about abortion on the Abortion Topics page.

Explore Gallup questions and trends about abortion on Gallup's Topics A-Z: Abortion page.

For more articles in the "Short Answer" series, visit Gallup's The Short Answer Topics page.

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