As evisceration of Roe looms, poll finds support for abortion rights at new high
Activists supporting a woman's right to choose to have an abortion protested in March 2020 outside the US Supreme Court(AFP)

With reproductive rights defenders staging rallies and other events in response to a draft U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning protections enshrined in Roe v. Wade, a new NBC poll finds record-high support for abortion rights.

Released Sunday, the survey of 1,000 adults reveals that 60% say abortion should be legal at least some of the time. Thirty-seven percent say it should be legal all the time, and 23% say it should be legal most of the time. That combined amount of support marks the highest level since the poll first asked the question in 2003.

Just 5% say it should be illegal without exceptions—a new low level of support for that position—while 32% say it should be illegal except in cases of rape, incest, or to save the mother's life.

The poll also found that 63% oppose overturning Roe, 54% of whom strongly oppose overturning the 1973 Supreme Court decision. In contrast, 30% support overturning the ruling.

Opposition to overturning Roe was higher the last time the poll asked the question, however. In 2018, 71% opposed overturning the ruling, compared with 23% that supported taking away the abortion protections.

The survey, which has a margin of error of 3.1%, was conducted this month after Politico published Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito's draft majority opinion for Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization that would overturn the abortion rights enshrined by Roe and later affirmed in Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

In response to that leak—and further incensed by the U.S. Senate's subsequent failure to pass the Women's Health Protection Act, which would affirm abortion rights at the federal level—and other state-level attacks on reproductive rights, pro-choice advocates held actions Saturday in cities nationwide.

The "Bans Off Our Bodies" events included rallies in hundreds of U.S. cities, from major metropolises like Los Angeles to smaller cities like Staunton, Virginia, where medical student and protest attender Aliena Lowell said, "I felt like I couldn't rightly stand by and do nothing when a very important part of people's healthcare was at risk."

The actions were organized by progressive groups including the Women's March, which made clear they're ready to hit the streets once again.

"Our Summer of Rage is officially beginning," the Women's March tweeted Sunday, adding that they're "prepared to rage for Roe all summer, culminating in a Women's Convention in Houston."

"We won't rest," the group added, "until abortion rights are protected."