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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 17, 2024, with Gallup's latest data pertaining to Americans' views on abortion.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Most Americans continue to believe abortion should be legal in at least some situations. The majority also disagree with the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, which returned discretion over the legality of abortion to the states. At the same time, majorities think second- and third-trimester abortions should generally not be legal.

Broad Views on the Legality of Abortion

According to Gallup's May 2024 update on Americans' abortion views, 35% believe abortion should be legal "under any circumstances," 50% say it should be legal “only under certain circumstances,” and 12% say it should be “illegal in all circumstances.”


A follow-up question asked of those taking the middle position finds 16% wanting abortion to be legal under most circumstances, while 33% favor it in only a few circumstances. The result is 51% of U.S adults who favor expansive abortion rights (legal in all or most cases) and 45% who favor more restrictive rights (legal in only a few or no cases).


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

Support for Abortion Rights Varies by Trimester

A May 1-24, 2023, survey asked about the legality of abortion at different stages of pregnancy and found about two-thirds of Americans saying it should be legal in the first trimester (69%), while support drops to 37% for the second trimester and 22% for the third. Majorities oppose legal abortion in the second (55%) and third (70%) trimesters.

In line with Americans’ broad support for first-trimester abortions, the majority in the 2023 poll opposed laws that would “ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, usually around the sixth week of pregnancy.”

Most Americans in Favor of Abortion Pill

Before the Supreme Court’s June 13, 2024, decision preserving access to the mifepristone abortion pill for now, 61% of Americans were in favor of allowing it to be available in the U.S. as a prescription drug. The latest reading is similar to the 63% measured in 2023.

Most Oppose Dobbs Decision

In line with Americans’ desire for abortion to be legal to some degree, 60% currently say overturning Roe v. Wade was a “bad thing,” while 36% call it a “good thing.” These views are similar to what Gallup measured last year and for more than 30 years before Roe was overturned.

Identity as “Pro-Choice” Increases Since Dobbs Leak

Continuing a shift that began in May 2022, after a leaked draft copy of the Dobbs opinion was reported in the news, Gallup's 2024 abortion update finds more Americans continuing to self-identify as "pro-choice" (54%) rather than "pro-life" (41%) on abortion. From 2007 to 2021, no more than 50% of Americans identified as pro-choice.

The breakdown of how different subgroups of Americans answer this question is available on Gallup's "Pro-Choice" or "Pro-Life" Demographic Table page.

Similarly, after years when Americans were either closely divided on the morality of abortion or leaned against it, a slight majority in 2022 said they consider it morally acceptable. That has continued in the 2023 and 2024 polls, with 54% currently saying abortion is morally acceptable and 37% calling it morally wrong.

U.S. subgroups’ views on this question are provided on Gallup's Morality of Abortion Demographic Table page.

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

Learn how the abortion issue may influence voters’ candidate preferences in upcoming elections in our latest article.

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 page.

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