The Supreme Court may finally overturn Roe v. Wade and uphold Mississippi’s abortion law, banning almost all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

The news media and the Democrats want you to think this is an extreme position. It’s not. On both questions, Mississippi’s abortion law and the substance of Roe v. Wade, the draft opinion by Justice Samuel Alito represents the majority view of U.S. residents.

Begin with the law in question here: Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban. A very recent YouGov poll on abortion found that 21% would ban all abortions, an additional 20% would ban abortions after a heartbeat is detected (six weeks), another 13% would ban them after the first trimester (13 weeks), and an additional 10% would ban abortion after 15 weeks — which is what Mississippi does.

Add it together, and it means that 64% of people in the United States believe Mississippi’s law is either the right call or too liberal on abortion. To uphold this law is to side with the opinion of nearly two-thirds of America on abortion policy.

But Alito’s opinion wouldn’t end there. He would strike down Roe and thus return abortion to the states and to the democratic realm of lawmaking. Not everything should be subject to democracy, of course, which is why we have a Bill of Rights. But is it extreme to say, as Alito does, that abortion law shouldn’t be determined by the Supreme Court?

Not at all. Some polls suggest that most people in America agree with Alito on that score, too. Others show a split opinion.

Here’s a more recent poll on Roe and the Supreme Court from YouGov.

Pollsters asked whether the federal government or the state governments should set abortion law, and opinions were fairly split — leaning 44% to 36% in favor of the federal government setting it.

Of those who said the federal government should set abortion policy, only 24% said that within the federal government, the judicial branch “is best suited to deciding on abortion’s legality.”

Combine those last two questions, and that’s 24% of 44% (about 11%) of the country that believes the Supreme Court should be setting abortion policy. Only that blue slice in the poll below sides with Roe on the constitutional question.

This chart incorporates data from a YouGov poll conducted Tuesday on abortion law and the Supreme Court.
This chart incorporates data from a YouGov poll conducted Tuesday on abortion law and the Supreme Court. (Tim Carney / Washington Examiner)

Under Roe, it was the Supreme Court that set abortion policy. Alito’s draft opinion would, in its own words, “return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”

At the Washington Examiner, 18 months ago, we commissioned a poll that asked the question differently: Should states be allowed to regulate or ban abortion as they see fit, or should federal courts protect abortion from regulation? It was an even split, with a plurality of independents saying states should have the power to regulate.

So why do so many people tell pollsters they think Roe shouldn’t be overturned? It’s because most people don’t understand Roe and don’t understand that overturning it returns the issue to lawmakers and the states.