By Chris Kahn
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A plurality of Americans believe that abortion should be legal up until the fetus is capable of living on its own, and they remain largely supportive of abortion rights that will be under U.S. Supreme Court review later this year, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling.
The national opinion poll, conducted June 11-17, found that 47% of adults agreed that women should have the right to pre-viability abortions, which is generally before 24 to 28 weeks of pregnancy. Another 39% disagreed and the remaining 14% did not express an opinion.
The Supreme Court is expected to take up the issue in its next term when it considers a challenge to a Mississippi law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks.
The case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, will give the court's conservative majority an opportunity to scale back abortion rights that were guaranteed nearly a half century ago with the landmark Roe vs. Wade decision.
The court could issue a decision next spring or summer, just ahead of the 2022 congressional races that will determine which party controls Congress.
For years, polls by Reuters and other news organizations have consistently found that a majority of Americans support at least some forms of abortion. The latest Reuters/Ipsos survey found that 52% of adults said abortion should be legal in "most" or "all" cases, while 36% said it should be illegal.
The responses were divided along party lines, however, with about 70% of Democrats expressing support for abortion rights, compared with 35% of Republicans and 47% of independents.
Women, including college-educated women and women Democrats, appeared to be especially concerned with the potential for the Supreme Court to someday outlaw abortions. Some 37% of women, including 42% of women with college degrees and 57% of women Democrats, said they were "very concerned" about that possibility.
The Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted online, in English, throughout the United States. It gathered responses from 4,420 adults, including 2,015 Democrats, 1,583 Republicans, and 474 independents. The poll has a credibility interval of 2 points for the entire population, 3 points for Republicans and Democrats and 5 points for independents.
(Reporting by Chris Kahn; Editing by Alistair Bell)