On January 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its landmark decision in the case of Roe v. Wade, which affirmed the constitutional right to access safe, legal abortion. More than 40 years later, Americans still stand by this decision. Today, 72 percent of Americans — including a majority of Democrats, Independents, and Republicans — don’t want to see Roe v. Wade overturned.
The data is clear — Americans are firmly against any attempts to overturn Roe v. Wade.
URGENT! Roe v. Wade is at Risk
Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, would swing the court's balance away from our constitutional right to access abortion. Urge your senators to oppose his nomination!
Abortion Access: Then & Now
Roe wasn’t the beginning of abortion in America — rather, it allowed people to access abortion legally and prevented people dying from unsafe, illegal abortions.
In 1965, illegal abortions made up one-sixth of all pregnancy- and childbirth-related deaths. A survey conducted in the1960s found that eight in 10 women with low incomes in New York City who had an abortion attempted a dangerous self-induced procedure.
But now that abortion is a legal right thanks to Roe, it’s become one of the safest medical procedures in the United States — with a safety record of over 99 percent. Also, because abortion is legal, people who decide to have an abortion can receive support throughout the process from medical professionals.
Nationwide Attacks on Roe v. Wade
The right to safe and legal abortion has been the law of the land for more than 40 years, and is a part of the fabric of this country. Roe v. Wade is clearly established precedent, and it shouldn’t be up for debate. And yet, opponents of abortion have made it increasingly harder for people to access — and these threats are not slowing down.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice
President Trump made a clear promise to nominate judges who would "automatically" overturn Roe v. Wade. His nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill Justice Anthony Kennedy’s seat was widely celebrated by anti-abortion groups as an opportunity to do just that.
Kavanaugh’s nomination was vetted and approved by the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation, two anti-abortion groups. Kavanaugh also has a record of ruling to limit access to abortion. Unless the Senate intervenes, Kavanaugh would tilt the Supreme Court’s balance away from our constitutional right to access safe, legal abortion.Oppose Kavanaugh's Nomination!
Looming Abortion Restrictions
As part of a broader effort to chip away at Roe v. Wade and ultimately ban abortion nationwide, anti-abortion politicians have been pushing a variety of bills in Congress that would restrict access to abortion at any point during pregnancy. That includes efforts to pass a harmful nationwide ban on all abortions at 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Existing Federal Abortion Ban
An abortion ban that became law in 2003 and upheld by the Supreme Court in 2007 criminalizes certain abortion procedures in the second trimester of pregnancy — procedures that doctors say are often the safest and best to protect women's health.
State Attacks on Roe v. Wade
In Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court recognized that the U.S. Constitution protects a person's right to make their own medical decisions, including the decision to have an abortion. In the more than 40 years following that landmark ruling — in decisions including Casey v. Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania and Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt — the Supreme Court has never wavered from this principle.
Despite this precedent and Americans' consistent support for Roe v. Wade, anti-women’s health state legislators continue to attack abortion access through ballot measures and legislative restrictions. In the first quarter of 2018, 37 states introduced 308 new abortion restrictions. Currently, at least 20 states are poised to ban access to abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
Americans Support Roe v. Wade and Don't Want it Overturned
Support for access to safe, legal abortion is at a record high.
72 percent of Americans don’t want to see Roe v. Wade overturned.
That's the highest rate since the case was decided more than 45 years ago, and it includes people who voted for Trump.
Across the political spectrum, Americans oppose overturning Roe v. Wade.
Support for Roe v. Wade by political party includes:
53 percent of Republicans
76 percent of Independents
86 percent of Democrats
Moderates overwhelmingly support Roe v. Wade. That includes:
71 percent of self-described moderate Republicans and liberal Republicans
82 percent of moderate and conservative Democrats
Roe v. Wade has strong support from Catholic Americans.
Six in 10 Catholics support the decision.
Young people are especially supportive of Roe v. Wade.
And their approval is higher than ever. Eighty-two percent of 18-29 year olds support Roe v. Wade.
People of color overwhelmingly support Roe v. Wade. That includes:
79 percent of African Americans
71 percent of Latinxs
74 percent of Asians/Pacific Islanders
Americans simply don't believe that politicians or judges should be making personal decisions for people about their pregnancies.
Ensuring That Women Have Health Care, No Matter What
Planned Parenthood is America’s most trusted provider of reproductive health care. Planned Parenthood’s expert health care professionals are dedicated to offering all people high-quality, affordable medical care.
One in five American women has chosen Planned Parenthood for health care at least once in her life. Planned Parenthood knows firsthand why it’s so critical that everyone have access to a comprehensive range of reproductive health care services, including safe and legal abortion.
BOTTOM LINE: For generations now, people have had the right to make their own personal decisions about when and whether to become a parent, including the right to access to safe, legal abortion services.
It up's to people — not politicians or judges — to make these fundamental decisions.
From courthouses to statehouses to Capitol Hill, Planned Parenthood works to protect that access — no matter what.