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Slightly more than half of Minnesotans oppose the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and think abortions should be legal in most or all cases, according to a new Star Tribune/MPR News/KARE 11 Minnesota Poll.

In the poll, 52% of respondents said they don't agree with the June ruling that overturned Roe, the landmark decision that provided constitutional protection for abortion for nearly 50 years. Forty percent of those polled said they support the court's decision, which kicked the debate over abortion access back to individual states, while 8% are undecided.

Women oppose the Supreme Court's ruling on Roe by a more than 20-point margin, while men were evenly split, according to the poll. Non-white respondents, those with a college degree and people living in Hennepin and Ramsey counties were most strongly opposed.

The poll of 800 likely voters, taken between Sept. 12-14, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

"I'm 72 years old, so I have seen inflation go up and down and I have seen gas prices go up and down, and I have seen a lot of things in my years," said Ellen Frei, who lives in Karlstad, in the northwest corner of the state. "However, the issue of abortion will affect people long after I am gone. And so that's important to me."

Frei opposed the court's decision to overturn Roe and is among a quarter of the poll respondents who think abortion should be legal in most cases, while 30% said it should be legal in all cases.

Only 2% of those polled want abortion to be illegal in all scenarios, while 41% said abortion should be illegal in most cases.

"I don't think that people should have an abortion at all, after all that's a child," said Barbara Tuzinski, 92, who lives in West St. Paul. She said she's been frustrated by what she sees as lack of action from states on abortion since the overturning of Roe.

The landscape of abortion access continues to shift dramatically in the months since Roe's reversal. Fourteen states now ban most abortions, including neighboring South Dakota and Wisconsin.

The battle over access is playing out in the courts in some states, or through referendums, including one defeated in Kansas last month that aimed to strip abortion protections from the state's constitution. On Nov. 8, abortion-related questions will be on the ballot in at least five states.

Abortion access is constitutionally protected in Minnesota through a 1995 state Supreme Court case, Doe v. Gomez. In July, a Ramsey County judge ruled many of the state's regulations on abortion access were unconstitutional, eliminating longstanding restrictions on the procedure, including a 24-hour waiting period, informed consent and parental notification requirements.

"No longer are parents even notified before an abortion is performed on a minor girl," said Paul Stark, spokesman for Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life. "These are extreme abortion policies. We believe most Minnesotans support reasonable and commonsense laws that offer protections for unborn children and their mothers."

Seventy-percent of non-white poll respondents said abortion should be legal in most or all cases, while none of those respondents said it should be illegal in all cases. The reversal of Roe is expected to disproportionately affect women of color, who more often face economic barriers in traveling for abortion access if they live in states where the procedure is banned.

A strong majority of respondents in Hennepin and Ramsey counties think abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while 52% of those polled in the counties surrounding them said abortion should be illegal in most cases. A slight majority of respondents in southern Minnesota support abortion access in most or all cases, while the question of abortion access was almost evenly split between supporters and opponents in northern Minnesota.

Abortion has become a top issue in some state races this election cycle. Those polled ranked abortion as the third most important issue in determining their vote in the governor's race, coming in close behind crime and the economy. Democrats have been hammering Republican governor candidate Scott Jensen in ads over past statements saying he would ban abortion. Since Roe was overturned, Jensen has changed his position, saying abortion is a constitutionally protected right in Minnesota.

"Our rights and access to reproductive health care, including abortion, depend on elected leaders at all levels of government," said Tim Stanley, executive director of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. "We need to ensure that every Minnesotan can get abortion care without politicians controlling when, where or why."

A strong majority of women polled said abortion should be legal in all or most cases, compared to 48% of men who felt the same. There are deep divisions along partisan lines on the issue, and among independent respondents — a crucial group of voters — 57% support abortion access. None in that group supports banning the procedure.

Staff writer Jessie Van Berkel contributed to this report.