Yahoo News/YouGov poll: Growing majority of Americans want Congress to restore Roe v. Wade protections

The poll was conducted days after Arizona revived an 1864 abortion ban.

A full 54% of Americans (and 56% of registered voters) now want Congress to pass “a law that keeps abortion as legal and accessible as it was nationwide under Roe v. Wade,” according to a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll.

That is the highest level of public support for making Roe the “law of the land” since Yahoo News and YouGov started asking about the issue in spring 2022. In June 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, dismantling 50 years of nationwide protection for abortion and paving the way for individual states to curtail or ban the procedure.

In contrast, just 30% of Americans (and 33% of registered voters) would oppose federal legislation designed to restore the half-century status quo under Roe, which protected abortion rights until 22 or 23 weeks of pregnancy — the point of “viability,” at which a fetus can survive outside the womb.

The new Yahoo News/YouGov survey of 1,746 U.S. adults, which was conducted from April 11 to 15, highlights the political risks facing anti-abortion Republicans ahead of the 2024 election if they continue to push for hard-line state bans.

Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe, 14 states have banned abortion entirely, while another seven have banned the procedure at an earlier stage of pregnancy — ranging from six to 18 weeks — than previously allowed under Roe.

Political analysts say Republican candidates have repeatedly lost otherwise winnable races as a result.

The growing support for codifying Roe in Congress may reflect the latest developments in the states.

Shortly before the Yahoo News/YouGov poll went into the field, Arizona’s highest court reinstated a long-dormant 1864 state law banning all forms of abortion from the moment of conception, except when necessary to save the life of the woman.

After reading a brief description of the Arizona ban, including its lack of exceptions for rape or incest and its potential two-to-five-year prison sentences for doctors who perform the procedure, 57% of Americans say they oppose reinstating it, according to the survey — while just 25% say the opposite.

Likewise, 56% of Americans oppose and just 26% favor “more states passing abortion bans like Arizona’s.”

Among registered voters, opposition to Arizona’s abortion ban is even higher. A full 62% say they’re against it, and a nearly identical 60% say other states shouldn’t pass similar laws. Only about a quarter of voters say they favor the Arizona ban (25%) and want other states to follow suit (27%).

After considering a 15-week national abortion ban of his own, former President Donald Trump announced in April that he would leave it up to individual states to make their own rules if he were reelected in November.

“Whatever they decide must be the law of the land,” he said in a video.

In response, President Biden’s campaign accused Trump of effectively “endorsing every single abortion ban in the states, including abortion bans with no exceptions.”

Biden has repeatedly emphasized the need to restore the “protections of Roe v. Wade in every state” by passing legislation in Congress — something that requires clear-cut Democratic majorities.

“You can do it,” Biden told supporters in January. “Give me a Democratic House of Representatives and give me a bigger … Democratic Senate, and we will pass a new law restoring the protections of Roe v. Wade, and I will sign it immediately.”

However you slice it, Biden’s stance — which, again, 56% of voters effectively support — is more popular than Trump’s. Asked “which of the following views … comes closest to your own,” just 28% of voters say that “individual states should be allowed to set their own abortion policies.” More voters say the Republican Party (48%) rather than the Democratic Party (39%) has the more extreme view on abortion. And more voters say the same about Trump (41%) than about Biden (38%) — even though Trump has tried to distance himself from the Arizona ban and others like it.

Similarly, more voters would oppose (43%) than favor (38%) Congress passing a law that “bans abortion nationwide after 15 weeks of pregnancy” — and more voters say they would be likely to vote against (49%) rather than for (29%) a “candidate for major office who wants to ban most abortions that were legal under Roe v. Wade.”

Ultimately, 57% of voters say they would prefer their own states to keep all (25%) or most (32%) abortions legal post-Roe v. Wade; only 35% would prefer that their states ban all (11%) or most (24%) abortions.

The latest Yahoo News/YouGov poll suggests that the Arizona ban may have convinced at least some voters that the best way to ensure that the procedure remains legal is by not leaving it up to the states.


The Yahoo News survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,746 U.S. adults interviewed online from April 11 to 15, 2024. The sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, education, 2020 election turnout and presidential vote, baseline party identification and current voter registration status. Demographic weighting targets come from the 2019 American Community Survey. Baseline party identification is the respondent’s most recent answer given prior to Nov. 1, 2022, and is weighted to the estimated distribution at that time (33% Democratic, 27% Republican). Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all U.S. adults. The margin of error is approximately 2.6%.