Almost 70 percent of Americans think Roe v. Wade should stay put

Despite the simple facts that abortion has been legal nationwide since 1973 and is an extremely safe medical procedure, it continues to be a topic of contentious debate in the U.S. At least among politicians, that is. A new Pew Research Center study shows that 69 percent of Americans oppose overturning Roe v. Wade, so most of the country is on the same page here.

According to the study, the ratio of Americans who oppose overturning the Supreme Court decision versus those who support it has remained about the same for the past two decades, but the percentage of those opposing a reversal has gone up slightly. In 1992, 34 percent of American voters wanted to overturn Roe, while only 28 percent do today.

Nearly 70 percent of the nation wanting to keep the law in place means that even many Republicans want women to have the legal right to terminate a pregnancy. In fact, the Pew study says 53 percent of Republicans don’t want to overturn the law entirely, agreeing with a whopping 84 percent of Democrats. Nevertheless, GOP politicians and president-elect Donald Trump remain determined to ban the perfectly safe medical procedure.

Trump and VP-elect Mike Pence have repeatedly said they plan to nominate Supreme Court justices who will trash the ruling, and in a presidential debate leading up to the election, Trump said abortion involves “ripping the baby out of the womb” days before birth, which is pure bullshit. But, you know, spreading lies is a pretty effective way to bring people over to your side sometimes.

Unfortunately, the lies work to some extent. But apparently not enough, since way more than half of Americans think Roe should stay put. The results were also basically the same for men and women, with a majority of both genders supporting legal abortion.

At the same time, though, there are countless federal and state laws that limit access to abortion even with Roe in place. These TRAP laws make it incredibly difficult for women to end a pregnancy, especially low-income women and women of color who seek abortions at higher rates. Even if those 69 percent of pro-Roe Americans don’t necessarily oppose TRAP laws (which hasn’t fully been studied yet), it’s at least encouraging to know that most of the country wants women to have an overarching legal right to have a baby when she chooses.