Your NPR news source

Majority of Americans say it was wrong for the Supreme Court to overturn Roe

A year after the court did away with the right to an abortion, 57% say they oppose the decision, an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll finds. They’re also in favor of continuing affirmative action programs.

SHARE Majority of Americans say it was wrong for the Supreme Court to overturn Roe
Light illuminates part of the Supreme Court building on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., Nov. 16, 2022.

Light illuminates part of the Supreme Court building on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., Nov. 16, 2022.

Patrick Semansky/AP

A majority of Americans say they oppose the Supreme Court’s decision a year ago to overturn Roe v. Wade, want to see affirmative-action programs in college admissions continue and have little confidence in this current court, the latest NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll finds.

The survey of 1,327 adults, conducted from June 12 through 14, also explored the thorny issue of gender-identity politics, finding that most people think gender is determined by birth. They don’t want to completely limit the ability for people to have access to gender transition-related health care, but there are sharp divides about when that care should be available.

Warning signs continue for Republicans on abortion rights

The issue of abortion rights played a significant role in the 2022 midterm elections, helping Democrats, and it figures to be a factor in the upcoming presidential election as well.

  • 57% oppose the court’s overturning of Roe, which guaranteed the right to an abortion in this country. There was, of course, a sharp partisan divide with three-quarters of Democrats and almost 6-in-10 independents against it, but two-thirds of Republicans in favor.
    Roe 1

    Source: NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll of 1,327 U.S. adults conducted June 12-14, 2023. The margin of error for the overall sample is 3.5 percentage points. “Unsure” responses were volunteered.

  • Notably, in this survey, 66% of women who live in small cities and suburbs, as well as 63% of independent women opposed the decision. Those are key swing groups.

Majority wants affirmative action programs to continue

  • Similarly to Roe, 57% also say they think affirmative action programs in hiring, promoting and college admissions should be continued. More than three-quarters of Democrats said so, but almost 6-in-10 Republicans disagreed.
  • Independents were split, 50%-46% in favor of keeping affirmative action programs.
    Roe 2

    Source: NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll of 1,327 U.S. adults conducted June 12-14, 2023. The margin of error for the overall sample is 3.5 percentage points. “Unsure” responses were volunteered. Totals may not add up to 100% because of rounding.

    
  • There was a racial divide with 66% of non-whites saying they want the programs to continue, but a majority (52%) of whites also said so.
  • There was a major divide by age – with those under 45 almost 20 points more likely to say they want the programs to continue than those older than 45 (67% to 48%).
  • There was also a big gender divide, especially in small towns and suburbs. Overall, by a 62%-to-50% margin, women were more likely than men to say these programs should continue. In small cities and suburbs, the split was 62%-to-48%.

Lack of confidence in conservative-majority court

  • By a 59%-to-39% margin, respondents said they have very much or no confidence at all in the Supreme Court.
  • A majority of Republicans do have confidence (53%), but 62% of independents and 61% of women who live in small cities and suburbs do not.

Majority says gender is defined by birth

Conservatives continue to use gender-identity politics as a culture-war issue, and they have appeared to make inroads with their messaging, the survey found.

  • By a 61%-to-36% margin, respondents said the only way to define male and female in society is by the sex listed on a person’s original birth certificate.
  • There has been a 16-point net change in favor of saying the only definition is by birth certificate since Marist asked the question in May 2022. (Then it was 51%-42%).
  • There is a huge political divide. Nearly 9-in-10 Republicans and 6-in-10 independents hold these views, but almost 6-in-10 Democrats said that definition is out of date and needs to be updated to include identity.
    Roe 3

    Source: NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll of 1,327 U.S. adults conducted June 12-14, 2023. The margin of error for the overall sample is 3.5 percentage points. “Unsure” responses were volunteered.

    

Divide over access to gender transition-related health care

  • The plurality of respondents (45%) said only adults 18 or older should have access to gender transition-related health care. That includes majorities of Republicans and independents.
  • Another 31% said it should be available to those 18 or older and those under 18 with parental consent. A slim majority of Democrats agreed with this. Another 31% of Democrats said it should only be available to adults.
  • A quarter said no one, regardless of age, should. Republican women were the most likely to say this (43%).

The survey has a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percentage points. There are 1,212 registered voters in the survey and when they are referenced, there is a margin of error of +/- 3.6 percentage points.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

The Latest
A greater share of Chicago area Republicans cast their ballots by mail in March compared to the 2022 primary, but they were still vastly outpaced by Democrats in using a voting system that has become increasingly popular.
As the 2024 presidential election approaches, officials, advocates and experts have expressed concern over misinformation and disinformation about candidates and elections in Chicago, Cook County and Illinois.
In interviews with WBEZ, several decried the length of sentence the 80-year-old could face, while a handful of others said he deserves significant time in prison.

From 1968 to today, volunteers in Chicago aim to connect visitors to their city, and to see some of the convention action themselves
Chicago’s longest-serving alderman Ed Burke will face up to 10 years in prison when he is sentenced later this month. WBEZ’s Mariah Woelfel shares what prosecutors and Burke’s defense team are requesting from the judge overseeing the case.