Three-quarters of Americans say they want to keep in place the landmark Supreme Court ruling, Roe v. Wade, that made abortion legal in the United States, but a strong majority would like to see restrictions on abortion rights, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll.
What the survey found is a great deal of complexity — and sometimes contradiction among Americans — that goes well beyond the talking points of the loudest voices in the debate. In fact, there’s a high level of dissatisfaction with abortion policy overall. Almost two-thirds of people said they were either somewhat or very dissatisfied, including 66% of those who self-identify as “pro-life” and 62% of those who self-identify as “pro-choice.”
“What it speaks to is the fact that the debate is dominated by the extreme positions on both sides,” said Barbara Carvalho, director of the Marist Poll, which conducted the survey. “People do see the issue as very complicated, very complex. Their positions don’t fall along one side or the other. … The debate is about the extremes, and that’s not where the public is.”