Roe V Wade’s legacy lives on.
In a recent Gallup poll, 50 percent of Americans surveyed described themselves as pro-choice. At first glance, this statistic may suggest a draw between the two opposing factions, but it so happens that only 44 percent of respondents called themselves definitely pro-life, giving the pro-choicers the clear majority.
This is the first time in 7 years that the American vote has skewed significantly in favor of choice. Not since 2008 have pro-choice respondents held a lead by this wide a margin. The pro-choice vote led by 9 percentage points for a brief period in 2012, but that came and went in just six months.
It’s worth noting, too, that even beyond the 50 percent pro-choice, another 36 percent are in favor of limited abortion rights. Only 19 percent of respondents are against abortion in “all circumstances.” This is both a huge relief and deeply disturbing (if taken at face value, the statistic suggests that around 1 in 5 Americans are against abortion in cases of rape, incest, and child sexual abuse), depending on how you look at it.
Women are still significantly more in favor of choice (54%) compared to men (46%), which is unsurprising if one considers the unique ways in which reproductive rights impact women (i.e. the debate is raging upon the sphere of their own bodies).
Still, America is not as pro-choice as it was in the mid-1990s. But this recent trend suggests that we may yet reach the heights promised by the 90's lead.