keep abortion legalIt has been 40 years since the Supreme Court handed down the Roe V. Wade decision and support for it among the American people has never been higher, according to a new NBC/WSJ poll.

The poll found that 70 percent of Americans don’t want to see the law overturned while only 24 percent think it should be overturned. This is a four point improvement compared to 2005.

In addition the poll found that 54 percent of Americans believe that abortion should always be legal or legal most of the time. By comparison only 9 percent think it should be illegal in all cases and 35 percent think it should be illegal but with exceptions for rape and the mother’s life.

In the past decade there has been a huge shift on other culture war issues like drug policy and marriage equality. While opinions about reproductive rights haven’t changed nearly as dramatically as those other issues, there does seem to be a modest trend towards more support. At least on social issues the country has undeniably moved towards the left.

Photo by peacechicken under creative commons license