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As the Supreme Court weighs a decision on the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the abortion pill mifepristone, more than half of Americans said they trust the agency to make decisions on abortion access in the United States, much more than the Supreme Court and federal judges, according to a new Morning Consult survey.
The Public Trusts the FDA Much More Than the Supreme Court and Federal Judges on Abortion Access Decisions
Democrats trust the FDA while Republicans trust the Supreme Court to make abortion access decisions
- Among all U.S. adults, 57% said they have “a lot” or “some” trust in the FDA to make abortion access decisions in the United States, compared with 43% who said the same for the Supreme Court and 40% for federal judges.
- Democrats were more likely to say they trust the FDA (72%) than independents (48%) and Republicans (44%). Nearly 2 in 5 Democrats said they trust the Supreme Court and federal judges on abortion access decision-making. Meanwhile, 56% of Republicans said they trust the Supreme Court, and 47% said they trust federal judges.
- Roughly a third of independents said they trusted either the Supreme Court or federal judges on abortion access decisions.
At Least 7 in 10 Americans Are Concerned About Unsafe Abortions, Increased Maternal Deaths Amid Abortion Pill Challenge
Nearly 2 in 3 Americans are concerned about total or near-total abortion bans
- As the legal battle over mifepristone continues to play out, more than 7 in 10 U.S. adults said they are concerned that people will turn to unsafe abortion methods and an increase in maternal health complications and deaths.
- Nearly 2 in 3 adults said they are concerned that about half of the states in the country would implement total or near-total abortion bans, compared with about 1 in 5 who said they are not concerned and 1 in 8 who said they do not know or had no opinion. The issue has a stark partisan divide: 82% of Democrats said they were concerned about abortion bans, compared with 56% of independents and 45% of Republicans.
- About 2 in 3 said they are concerned people would have to continue unwanted pregnancies. Meanwhile, over 3 in 5 said they are concerned that people will be unable to access abortion services in their area (63%), states would use the precedent of Roe v. Wade to overturn other rights like same-sex marriage (62%) and reproductive health and abortion providers in states where the procedure is legal would be overwhelmed (61%).
All eyes are on the Supreme Court
Close to one year after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, it once again has a landmark abortion case to decide. The court could limit nationwide access to abortion pills — the most common method of abortion in the United States — after a ruling from a federal judge in Texas suspended the FDA’s 23-year-old approval of mifepristone.
Nearly half of the public (47%) said they oppose U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk’s suspension of the drug’s approval, while about 3 in 10 said they support the ruling, according to a recent Morning Consult survey.
A federal appeals court overturned the suspension but left in place decisions to limit how the medication is distributed and how late into a pregnancy people can use it. Justice Samuel Alito said the court would decide on the next steps by midnight on Wednesday.
The April 10-13, 2023, survey was conducted among a representative sample of 2,208 U.S. adults, with an unweighted margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.