- The Washington Times
Monday, June 27, 2022

A majority of Americans polled after the Supreme Court overturned the national right to abortion said they disagree with the high court’s move, but they still don’t support packing the court.

A NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll published Monday found 56% of respondents said they disagreed with the ruling overturning the 1973 landmark decision Roe v Wade, and the same number worry other rights may be next in line to go.

Fifty-seven percent of respondents say the Supreme Court made the ruling based on politics, not the law.

But 54% argue that Democrats shouldn’t pack the court by adding more liberal justices, an agenda item of progressive lawmakers and activists.

The poll was conducted Friday after the high court handed down its decision, quizzing 941 people and has a 4.9% margin of error.

Fifty-one percent of the people surveyed said they would vote for a candidate who would support a federal law making abortion a national right.

On Friday morning, the Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade, which gave women a national right to an abortion for nearly 50 years.

The justices were considering Mississippi’s state law banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.  

Mississippi officials argued that Roe’s holding that abortion is a constitutional right should be overturned because it’s outdated. The state said the viability standard for the fetus set out in Roe was unclear, and Mississippi had an interest in banning abortions after 15 weeks to protect women’s health and that of unborn children.

The legal challenge to the restriction was brought by Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the state’s only abortion clinic, and a doctor who provides abortions. According to court papers, the clinic had provided abortions up to 16 weeks of gestation.

They challenged the state’s Gestational Age Act, enacted in 2018. The law, which its authors intended specifically to challenge Roe’s guidelines, banned abortions after 15 weeks unless there is a medical emergency or severe abnormality within the fetus.

The abortion providers told the court in their filing that the state’s interest in the woman’s health and children doesn’t begin until viability, which occurs “months” after the 15-week marker set in the law.

The deliberations inside the court were shaken last month when a draft opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade was leaked and published by Politico. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. condemned the leak but also confirmed that the draft was authentic.

Pro-choice protesters, enraged by the leak, have shown up outside the houses of Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Brett M. Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett and Samuel A. Alito Jr., who authored the leaked opinion. One California man traveled to Justice Kavanaugh’s suburban Maryland home with a plan to murder him. He was stopped outside the justice’s home by authorities. 

It was the first time a full draft opinion has been leaked in the Supreme Court’s 233-year history.

Chief Justice Roberts cautioned at the time of the leak that it did not necessarily represent the high court’s final ruling. He has called for an investigation to uncover who leaked the document to the press.

• Alex Swoyer can be reached at aswoyer@washingtontimes.com.

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