Fox News Poll: Two-thirds say abortion pill should be legal

A majority of American voters thinks the FDA-approved prescription medication used to end a pregnancy, mifepristone, should be legal. That’s from the latest Fox News Poll, which measured opinions on the controversial issue, as well as attitudes toward a Supreme Court whose decisions are reshaping public policy on abortion

Approval of the Supreme Court remains near its low, with 41% approving of the job it’s doing. Support for the high court declined to a record 39% in June 2022, after the leak of a draft court opinion on the case deciding Roe v. Wade, but shortly before the ruling that overturned the landmark abortion ruling (June 24, 2022).

The court’s approval rating has held between 39-42% since last summer. 

The survey, released Thursday, was conducted soon after the April 21 Supreme Court decision that allows full access to mifepristone, commonly known as the abortion pill, while a lawsuit against it makes its way through the lower federal courts. 

Sixty-five percent think the abortion pill should be legal – including nearly half of conservatives (46%) and White evangelicals (44%). Plus, more men (68%) than women (63%) support the drug.

Overall, 30% of voters believe the abortion medication should be illegal.

In general, a near-high 56% believe abortion should be legal either all (32%) or most (24%) of the time, while 43% say it should be illegal except in certain circumstances (36%) or always (7%). Support for abortion reached a record 57% last September and has stayed over 50% since last June.

By an 8-point margin, voters oppose a law that bans abortion after 6 weeks of pregnancy. That’s a reversal from last May when more favored it by 4 points.

Support for a 6-week ban is down across the board, but one of the largest shift is among men, who oppose it by 5 points, while last year they supported it by 13 points.

Hispanic voters also flipped their stance, now opposing a 6-week ban by 3 points vs. favoring the law by 17 points a year ago.

Republicans are less likely to back the ban now by 7 points.

On a 15-week abortion ban, support has held steady: 54% of voters favor it vs. 42% oppose, virtually the same as last year (54-41%).

Among Democrats, 28% favor a 6-week ban and 43% favor a 15-week ban, while 84% want mifepristone to be legal. 

More than 6 in 10 Republicans favor the 6-week (62%) and 15-week bans (67%), and their views split on the abortion-inducing drug (46% legal, 49% illegal).

Despite the news coverage abortion has been getting, just 3% offer that abortion is the most important issue facing the country. 

Conducted April 21-24, 2023, under the joint direction of Beacon Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R), this Fox News Poll includes interviews with 1,004 registered voters nationwide who were randomly selected from a national voter file and spoke with live interviewers on both landlines and cellphones. The total sample has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

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